Life in Santiago de Chile
The most popular means of transport is the metro, and it is also probably the most reliable and transparent. I took the metro to the university every day and depending on the time it can get very crowded. But then you shouldn’t be squeamish, you just have to push along, there is no longer any personal space, instead people are practically nose to nose. When it’s cold outside, I always found the crowd the worst, because you get incredibly warm in such a crowd and then you freeze all the more when you get out in the fresh air. In order not to buy a ticket every time, you buy the BIP card once, which you can top up with credit and then simply “check in” with it. You can also top up the FEN student ID with credit! Unfortunately, there is no student bonus for exchange students, so you have to pay 600 pesos each way, a tight euro. In addition to the metro, there is also the “micros”, which means the buses in German. Very delicate matter, as no stations are announced and they also drive like crazy people. Personally, I preferred to ride the metro there. Or in the evening when the metro was already closed (11 p.m. / midnight) always a taxi, which is also incredibly cheap compared to German taxis. Here the girls are best to take a radio taxi alone, they should be safer.
Shopping for groceries has always been annoying for me, because: it’s expensive, it’s difficult and it’s a long way! Since you don’t have a car, you have to do everything with the metro and you have to rely on buying everything in a shop, because you are simply not that flexible with the metro. Groceries are expensive in Chile! In retrospect, I was shocked back in Germany at how cheap you can go shopping here. Sausage and cheese in particular are expensive in the supermarket. You can buy these things cheaper at a market, the best known is probably “La Vega”. There you can get everything fresh and cheap. Lots of fruits and vegetables too! It is an experience to go shopping there, something you should definitely not miss!
Food in Chile in general is difficult to describe as there are few things that are typical of Chile, at least in Santiago. In any case, they love to eat avocado. You can find it in almost all dishes, and I mean all dishes: hot dogs, hamburgers, sushi, rice, fish, meat, etc. There is a lot of fast food and few really good restaurants. So better cook yourself;)
- For information about Chile and South America, please visit extrareference.
Leisure time in Santiago usually looks like this: you go trekking or similar outdoor activities, you go to the mall or the city center and drink a Starbucks, or you just take the bus to neighboring cities for a weekend trip to escape the smog. Those who like trekking will get their money’s worth there. There are many Facebook pages that invite you to go on excursions with different levels of difficulty and also offer weekend treks. A great opportunity to meet new people! Valparaiso and Vina del Mar are ideal for weekend trips, they can be reached by bus for about 10 € within 2 hours. It is also not very far to Pomaire, Pichilemu and San Antonio. Those who are into wine can visit countless wineries here and do one wine tasting after the other. It is unbelievable how much wine there is in the regions around Santiago. Among other things, the label “Concha Y Tore”, which is also known in Germany, with the wine “Casillero del Diablo”. The red wine in particular is very good!
You can also celebrate well in Santiago, namely in the well-known “Bellavista” district, where there is one pub after the other and a great number of students hang out. We liked to take part in the “Pub Crawl”, where you get to know people from all over the world and just have a great time, and get to know several clubs / bars.
With all the fun and all the pipapo, you shouldn’t forget that you are in Santiago de CHILE and that one or the other would like to steal your money or just everything else you have with you. I heard the most amazing stories from my fellow students. A lot of things just got away: Iphones, Blackberries, bags, money, wallets, cameras, Ipods and and and. I don’t want to scare anyone, but I think you shouldn’t forget to take care of your belongings. Nothing was stolen from me, whether it was luck or I did a good job, who knows. Just be attentive, especially in metros at rush hour, in crowded places, in lonely places, late on the bus (preferably leave it alone !!) But if you stick to what I consider to be little things, you can really enjoy it!
All in all, I can only recommend the semester at the FEN! Another tip is to plan more time after the semester and also to plan in good time for: TRAVEL. I myself have been in the Atacama Desert for 10 days and from there with the jeep through the desert to Bolivia and I would like to encourage everyone not to miss this unique experience. There is also Pantagonia in Chile, which unfortunately I couldn’t go any more. To do this, I traveled through Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina for a month. It is definitely great to include some travel time and oh yes: money;) And above all, stay relaxed, we are in Latin America, everything is chilled out there;)
Finally, our favorite saying: Let’s chill in chilly Chile!