As my final weekend in Santiago is ending, I find myself reflecting on how fortunate I have been to spend my summer in the beautiful country of Chile. When traveling away from your home country to do an internship in another continent, it’s natural to be a little apprehensive and nervous about what is going to happen. This was certainly the case for me when I arrived in Chile. Even though I spoke the language, I was nervous to be away from my family, friends, and the familiarity of the US. Fortunately, my apprehension was unwarranted, because these last two months have been one of the greatest experiences of my life and something that has truly changed the person that I am.
Intrax really did a great job in preparing their interns to live in Santiago. For starters, our apartment and the surrounding area was absolutely amazing. My apartment was located in Lastarria, which happened to be my favorite part of the city because of its beautiful streets and lively feel. There were always musicians playing for the people who were eating lunch in the street, vendors who were selling odd Chilean gifts, and an overall excellence of the cultural vibes. It makes me sad that I will no longer be able to walk out of my apartment and get to walk through this beautiful neighborhood every day.
In reality, I have very mixed emotions about returning to the States. On one hand, there are so many things that I miss. It’s easy to take your friends and your family for granted when you’re able to see them every day. But it’s more than just my loved ones. Truly the little things about the US are what I miss. The ability to get in a car and drive! A big chicken Chipotle burrito! Although some of these things seem small and trivial, they are the things that I will truly cherish upon my return.
On the other hand, Chile has been everything that I expected and more. Being able to practice my Spanish will be sorely missed. Also, I am upset that I will not be able to see all of the great people that I have met down here that have made my experience memorable. Some of them will truly be lifelong friends. To be able to do something new every day has led to some of the most unforgettable experiences in my life, and it saddens me that when I leave Sunday I won't get the chance to do this as often.
However, when I say that my last two months in Chile have really been life-changing, it wasn't a superlative. When I came to Chile, I knew that I had an opportunity to work in a great organization and to gain great experience. In reality, I don't feel like my work is finished. After seeing what I can do and what I can provide for the bank, my supervisor and team decided that I was a great fit and that I would be a perfect part of the team permanently. Last Friday, they offered me a contract to return to Chile later in the fall and to work as a full-time employee. I am happy to say that I accepted the offer and I will soon be living full-time in Chile. I have Intrax to thank for this amazing opportunity and for allowing me to continue living my dream. It looks like my experiences in South America will be continuing for a long time! This shows the amazing opportunities that Intrax provides for its participants. I will say that Intrax has my stamp of approval and that I am one lucky man!