I did the medical internship in Viña del Mar, Chile. First of all, it is a beautiful city to live in, with lots to do and with Valparaiso just a 20 minute metro/bus ride away. The location of the house is perfect and in a safe place, just a few blocks from the beach and about a 30 second walk from a supermarket. I lived with other Adelante candidates and got along with all of them exceptionally well. The staff at the language school are welcoming, and my classes really helped me get accustomed to living in my new city. I learned about the unique spanish spoken in Chile, and my professor also took me out of the classroom to explore Viña as well as Valparaíso and learn about their history and culture. In order to meet new people, I recommend going to language exchanges in Viña or Valparaíso - these can be found through MeetUp online, and it's a great way to meet natives and practice spanish! Living in a new city with no familiar faces and a language barrier can be daunting, so these really helped me at first! When I started my internship at a local physical therapy (kinesiology) office, it was challenging of course due to the new environment and the language. Within a few weeks, however, I was effectively communicating with patients, leading several patient sessions, and carrying out physiotherapy. My spanish improved dramatically and I also learned technical vocabulary that will help me in my future career. The employees were great teachers and always made sure I understood what was happening, the patient's affliction, and what techniques they were using and why.
The last month of my stay, there was political unrest in Chile but Adelante staff made sure we stayed safe, and maintained communication with us. I would not change anything about my experience in Chile, as it helped me grow as a person and greatly increased my skills and confidence in Spanish. The people in Chile are very welcoming and kind, even though Chilean spanish can be hard to understand at first! I've come to love Chile so much and I will definitely be coming back! I could't recommend this Adelante program more.