The night before the trip was nerve-wracking for me while I did my last-minute packing on the phone with my parents. I was telling them how exhausted I had been from my week and how I was unsure of what to expect when traveling to another country I had never been to with an unfamiliar group of students. My parents assured me that opportunities like this to study in Santiago, Chile do not roll around all the time. Being a student-athlete and not going home often to be with family can be challenging. But I thought to myself, "you know what, home will still be there when I get back!"

I can say on Day 2 of the trip that I have made the right decision thus far. I am having an amazing time with Dr. Pribble, Patrick, and the rest of the group! We took a flight from Richmond into Miami and then from Miami to Santiago de Chile. The flight was long and I had never been on a enormous international flight before. I watched movies and slept for most of the overnight flight. When we got into Chile and through customs there were so many Chileans greeted by their loved ones that had just arrived and many taxi drivers holding up signs for people arriving as well. I was quickly surrounded by Spanish speaking natives and it was honestly very refreshing. Although I do not know much Spanish, Dr. Pribble, Patrick, and the other students in my group have been very helpful with making sure I understand what is going on and even helping me order food.

On the first day, we did a lot of sightseeing of different neighborhoods and pretty cool landmarks. For example, I took an air trolley (my first time) and visited the Cumbre Del Cerro San Cristóbal. The second day was a tour filled with the beautiful and colorful city of Valparaíso. The artwork throughout the neighborhoods was really cool to look at and experience. Our tour guide was very helpful, knowledgeable, and made the tour great! The food has been good so far, and that’s coming from a picky eater! I think my favorite dish so far was the crab lasagna I had at the restaurant in Valparaíso for lunch.

Tomorrow should be an exciting day as we prepare to meet with Sergio Bitar and have lunch with some of Dr. Pribble’s acquaintances who are experts on human rights.

 - Aniyah Carpenter, '22 (Spiders Women's Basketball)

EnCompass is a pilot program of the Office of International Education that is designed to increase study abroad access for populations of students who may be reluctant to take on international travel or whose academic requirements make study abroad difficult.