Andranae Nelson

Santiago, Chile

Enrolled in CIEE Liberal Arts program in Santiago, Chile, attending Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile during Spring 2016

Favorite Class:

"We sang in Spanish and performed a final recital which my host family came to see! The course served as an elective for performing arts concentration within MIDE."

Favorite Moment:

Easter Island
"I got up at 4 in the morning to watch the sunrise over the 15 Moai heads. The colors of the sky mixed above the heads. I felt one with my surroundings."

Faorite Spanish Word:

"Chileans use it as a shortened version of 'Do you get it' or 'you know?'"

Navigating Challenges:

"My host mom did not want me to do chores, but I grew up learning to always help out. I compromised: sitting back even though it felt uncomfortable but also contributing in my own ways."

Conquering Mountins

"At the beginning, I said yes to everything, which included an excursion to San Cristóbal Hill, which was really a mountain. I was unprepared; I'm a city girl, I don't climb mountains. All of my friends were trudging up the mountain, while I was at the bottom. I told myself I could do it, put on some music, and got to the top. It was one of the most beautiful views. That story is indicative of my entire study abroad experience."

Looking Forward

"One of my friends who was a dance major encouraged me to attend a Jamaican Dance Hall class, and from there, I inadvertently became a part of their dance team. Dance Hall is similar to hip hop, so it was really cool to see Chileans taking on this black dance. At the end of the semester we traveled and got to compete against other teams."

Understanding Discomfort

"Going to Chile, I didn't realize that most of the people wouldn't look like me. In a lot of places, I was the only black person. So when I was there, people would stare at me. At first it made me uncomfortable, because where I'm from, staring at someone means that you're starting a conversation. Through my classes, I realized that most people were probably just curious, wondering why I was here; if I was an immigrant. Eventually, I began to stop noticing, because I felt like a Chilean."