Chile from Top to Bottom

Before I arrived in Santiago, I was hooked on watching Drexel student Jesse Rosenstein’s videos of his time here in Chile. (I know that usually refer to people by their first and last initials, but Jesse gave me permission to reveal his true identity.) Jesse studied abroad here during Drexel’s Fall 2014-15 term. We’re only a year apart in school, but didn’t meet in person until I arrived in Santiago in September. Over the course of the five months he was here, Jesse traveled the length of Chile, and documented his time in each place through GoPro edits. From exploring the Atacama desert in the north, to celebrating Fiestas Patrias in the colorful coastal city of Valparaiso (see above), to hiking in Torres del Paine at the southernmost tip of South America, it’s a full tour of the country. Jesse and I weren’t able to travel together due to our schedules, so don’t look for any cameos of mine in the videos, but you may recognize some of the places! For a full playlist of all of Jesse’s travels, check out his Vimeo page.

On Work and Summer Vacation

San Joaquín campus
San Joaquín campus

As the summer progresses, and my final weeks creep up on me, I’ve come to realize that I haven’t talked specifically about work very often in this space. It calls back memories of freshman year of college, where you’re making friends and exploring your new life, and you post pictures of people and places and all of the fun you’re having on Facebook, and your mom or dad or some relative comments “Haven’t seen any books yet!” Continue reading

Una Vida Menos Gringa, Más Chilena | A Life Less American, More Chilean

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Club Hipico in Santiago

The view from new bedroom is fantastic! I can swing open the window, hear the birds chirping and hopping around in the trees, and just a little further see where the city is stopped by the mountains. I’ve been exploring the area surrounding my apartment building, and have not yet been disappointed. The people are friendly, the cars drive more slowly, and it feels much more residential. A few blocks from my front steps are more restaurants than I can count: I’ve tried a few so far but will definitely be adding to my repertoire. There are countless yoga studios within walking distance, and advertisements posted all around for concerts, festivals, and pop-up outdoor markets. And with the long days of summer, there’s plenty of daylight to explore. Yes, I am quite pleased with my new home. Continue reading

Some Changes

My second half of co-op – January through March 2015 – will be a little bit different than the first. Three big things you should know going forward:

  1. I’m moving. While it was wonderful having a host family to ease my transition to life in Santiago, I live very far from work. I will be moving into an apartment that cuts my commuting time down from anywhere between 40-80 minutes each way to a nice 20-25 minutes and no need for public buses. I currently live in Las Condes, in a barrio|neighborhood with towering high rises along a main road. I live currently next to a huge shopping mall and a beautiful park, but I’m excited to be moving to Providencia, with smaller shops and in a quieter location. I will be living with two Chileans, and it will save me some money and allow me to be more flexible with my eating and spending.
  2. I have changed my major. As of Winter 2014-15 I will be a Mechanical Engineering student! I’m pumped! I will maintain my minor in Product Design, and still am very open to the idea of pursuing my MS in Biomedical Engineering. Biomed has gotten me to where I am today, and for that I’m grateful. The Drexel Biomed program is strong and I recommend it to those interested in the subject field. I realized, however, that I am more interested in mechanics, and felt that I would benefit from undergraduate coursework in Mechanical Engineering while still maintaining an interest and pursuing opportunities in biological applications.
  3. Summer will be at it’s height, which means fewer people in Santiago. JC, my host sister who’s family lives a few hours south of Santiago (she’s staying with my current host family as a family friend while going to college in the city) will be returning home for a few months, my friends here on exchange will be heading home around the same time I head back to the states, and one of my friends from work is moving to Valparaiso. It will probably be quieter, but I still want to take a few weekend trips, head to San Pedro de Atacama and possibly Buenos Aires, and I really want to go to Chilean or Argentinian Patagonia. Anyone down to visit? Don’t Google the price of flights, just book it. All I’ll tell you is that you’ll want to spend at least a week here to make it worth it!

I come home the week following Drexel’s finals, and will return to Santiago the first full week of January for my final 10 weeks of co-op. While I’m loving the warm, sunny weather here in Santiago – it’s like a Spring/Summer co-op and the summer vacation I never had rolled into one – I’m wicked excited (yes, wicked, as in “very”) to be able to come home to spend some time with friends and family and to go skiing and to not miss out on winter in New England. A quick taste of all of my favorite things about the season, and then I’ll return to enjoy the rest of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.

On Design and the Future of Tech

Campus San Joaquín
Campus San Joaquín

Last week marked one month of my being here in Santiago! I’m happy and healthy and I’m looking forward to the next two before my Christmas break. I will be coming home to spend time in the states a little before Christmas, and will be returning to Chile after the New Year to spend my last 10 weeks on co-op.

I was invited to attend a Talk, Workshop, and Lunch with a professor by the name of Dr. Joe Tranquillo last Thursday, October 16th. Continue reading

Renewed Enthusiasm

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No travel photos this time, sorry! A post about my trip across the border to Mendoza, Argentina will follow when I have a chance to upload the pictures.

I am continuing to learn about solid mechanics as well as teaching myself Python, a programming language. I have finished the book titled Biomechanics: Concepts and Computation, and am supplementing my reading with Classical and Computation Solid Mechanics, by Y.C. Fung and Pin Tong. I’m hoping that this second book will bolster my knowledge from the first. Continue reading

Courtesy, Passion, and Kindness

Friday afternoon, the structural engineering department hosted an asado | barbecue for students and faculty. There is a decent amount of crossover between biomedical engineering and structural engineering with the faculty and students from the lab I’m part of, which is why I was invited. The food was tasty, and I was happy to be outside and talking with people.

I was talking with my professor at the barbecue, and we spoke about the recent growth that biomed has experienced in Chile. We talked about engineering and innovation in general, and how the field has been progressing. He spoke about his hesitations to return to Chile after spending a great deal of time in the U.S., in California in particular. He was at the hub of innovation and the boom of biomedical engineering growth, and it was not ideal at the moment to return to Chile, which is still developing it’s market in terms of medical technology.

He spoke, however, about being pleasantly surprised after entering academia here. It’s a reasonably safe space to take risks in your research, as well as being an environment to experiment and have freedom in whichever direction you want take your research. It allows for easier collaboration across disciplines, giving a varied perspective. Continue reading