Study Abroad Feature: Valeria Rubio’s Summer in Chile

Valeria Rubio is an undergraduate Marketing and International Business major, who is also minoring in Spanish. Over the summer of 2018, she had the opportunity to spend several weeks in Chile, taking  a class and working on a business internship. Below are some of her favorite things about the experience.


Known as one of the best street art cities in the world, Valparaiso is decorated with vibrant colors in every corner.

I spent half of my summer in Chile, through the International Studies Abroad (ISA) summer program in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. In my time abroad I lived in Viña del Mar, a city on on the coast, with a host family that consisted of my host parents, a 19-year-old host sister, and 8-year-old host brother, and the cutest little 4-year-old host sister (who stole my heart).

Valeria_amigos chilenos1

I also put into practice what I have learned in my business classes and applied them to my business marketing internship in a business incubator and co-work, where I got to work alongside the marketing director in a range of different projects, all while practicing my Spanish. I not only learned an enormous amount about Latin American business practices and how to use Spanish in a business setting in my internship, but I also took a Latin American Social Political History class, where I was exposed to new material that I hadn’t learned before.


If I wasn’t in class, work, or hanging out with my host family, you would have found me exploring different places with my friends that I made while abroad. Looking back at my experience, it was really all the cool people that I met who made my time in Chile so unforgettable.

Valeria_desierto chileno
Taking in the beauty of Northern Chile with some amigas from school.

Every Spanish-speaking country has their own unique forms of expression and “slang” – and anyone who has studied in Costa Rica on K-State’s faculty-led winter trip knows all about the varied uses of “Pura vida”! During my summer in Chile, this is just a handful of Chilean lingo that I had the opportunity to learn…

  • Si po’– Chilean way of saying “Si pues” (“well yes”)
  • no po’– Chilean way of saying “No pues” (“well no”)
  • weon – a way to say dude or bro (can also be used to describe an object or thing, or can be used as a verb to say “messing around”)
  • cuico – bouji
  • bacan – cool
  • al tiro – right away
  • harto– a lot
  • cach ai – do you understand?; do you catch that?
Valeria_chilean landscapes
The beautiful Chilean landscape

Finally, Chilean landscapes are some of the most breathtaking in the world, with the immense Andes mountains to the east, the desolate Atacama desert to the north, the beautiful Pacific Ocean to the west, and the frigid Patagonia to the south.  Below I’m enjoying a trip to the Dunes of Concón, just out side the city, where you can hike up the dunes for gorgeous panoramic views of the city and Pacific Ocean.

Disfrutando de cada momento posible en las dunas de Concón – Enjoying every last moment on the Concón Dunes.



If you’re interested in studying abroad this summer – 2019 – there are two new faculty-led summer study abroad programs in which students can early 6 credits towards their Spanish major or minor. If you will have taken Span 550 by Spring 2019, contact Dr. Bender (rmbender) about her Spain trip in Madrid-Pamplona-Barcelona. If you will have taken Span 301, contact Dr. Valentin-Rivera (lvalentin) about her Mexico trip to Mexico City and Querétaro.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: