Sarah Young


Stanford in Santiago, Spring 2015-16
Major: Psychology
College year while abroad: Junior


Why did you choose to study abroad in Santiago?

Wanted a Spanish-speaking country, and had already been to Spain but never to Latin America.  I also was fascinated after being in the gateways course.

What were your expectations before you went and how did those change once you arrived in Santiago?

I expected to get a much needed break from Stanford and it changed into an understanding of how life’s most difficult experiences can be the most critical to your future happiness.

What were some of the academic benefits from studying abroad in Santiago?

I loved the quality time spent with the Stanford faculty in residence.  I now feel like I’ve made important connections to people who can help me achieve my academic goals.

What did you learn about yourself while you were studying abroad?

I learned that I’m a lot more willing to try new things than I thought, but also can be content with passing up some experiences with a fear of missing out.

What was the most challenging experience you encountered while you were abroad and what did you learn from it?

The most challenging experience I encountered while abroad was managing my interpersonal relationships.  I felt that I was changing so rapidly and apart from everyone around me, but I really wasn’t, so that strengthened my belief in the strength of my relationships.

What was the biggest cultural adjustment you had to make?

The biggest cultural adjustment was getting used to how other cultures perceive of different cultures, religions, genders, races, etc.  It is really easy to fall into believing that somehow your upbringing taught you what the truth is, but it was great to step back and see another perspective.

What was your favorite part of your everyday life in Santiago?

My favorite part of everyday was talking with my host mom.

What was the most memorable experience you had while you were in Santiago?

My most memorable moment was seeing the sunset in the Valley of the Moon in Atacama with my friends after a whirlwind and spur of the moment decision to adventure to see it.

What 5 words would you use to describe your experience?      

Incredible, mature, skill-honing, much-needed, pivotal.

Fun Questions:

What was your favorite food you had in Santiago?

I was known as the empanada expert-in-residence.

What was the most valuable item you took with you on the program?

It sounds stupid, but my phone because I was able to keep in constant contact with my host family and others on my trip to organize fun activities.

What was your favorite music/band that you discovered in Santiago?

We went to karaoke every Thursday, and had a lot of fun with salsa, bachata, and other types of music more popular in Argentina.