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Gap Year Abroad

4 posts categorized "Jamie Maddox"


Desierto de Atacama


El Desierto de Atacama was an amazing trip. In the northern most part of Chile we were able to explore miles and miles of incredible landscapes including mountains, caves, canyones, and salt lakes! 

DSCN0556and see flamigos in their natural habitat :)



DSCN0530After watching the sunset with my feet hanging over a canyon, I was able to appreciate the fact that the Atacama desert is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. 





In September we were able to travel south to Puerto Montt and the Region de los Lagos, the very northern part of what is considered Patagonia. After taking various tours around the region we were able to see the incredible landscapes and national parks Chile has to offer. 


On our tours in Patagonia we were also able to visit the beautiful Archipelago de Chiloe! Chiloe is known for its distintive folklore, mythology, and cuisine. Here we enjoyed fresh salmon and tour the beautiful Archipelago while learning about its rich Spanish and Mapuche (Native Chilean) culture, and the myths and legends of the Mapuche. 10659279_721668321216442_6484519279975269417_n

 After a week in Patagonia we arrived just in time for Fiestas Patrias in commemoration of the proclamation of the First Governing Body of 1810 marking the beginning of the Chilean Independence. The actual dia de independencia is September 18th, however, unofficially the celebration lasts all weekend long with traditional food like empanadas, barbaque, and terromotos, and traditional dance called the "Cueca". 




To catch you all up... August was an exciting month full of new experiences as I got to know the cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. I was so lucky to have been placed with such a great host family with two host sisters close to my age to help me adjust to life here in Chile. I've also enjoyed getting to know my Gap Year Abroad group (in photo above) and other students from the Universidad de Vina del Mar (UVM), the University I've been studying at. Starting in August I have been taking five different classes. Three of which are designed to work on my Spanish. I have one class that focuses on communication, another that focuses on grammar, and another to work on getting rid of my "gringa" accent. So far I have been loving my classes! It's so interesting to have Spanish classes in which not everyone in your class speaks english as their first language. In my class of 8 we have students from the United States, Germany, France, and Finland. When learning vocabulary, instead of just writing the English word next to the Spanish word, we instead have to describe it in Spanish so that every student understands. This has been such an interesting way to learn and it has been so cool learning about the different cultures in Finland, France, and Germany as well as here in Chile!



Hello everyone! My name is Jamie Maddox. I am 18 years old and from Prairie Village, Kansas. In May I graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School and before attending the University of Kansas in the fall of 2015, I wanted the chance to travel the world and improve my Spanish! Some of my interests include; sports, reading, baking, and spending time with friends and family. For the past couple of months now, I have been living in Vina Del Mar, Chile, and I have been having a blast! Though at first it was difficult adjusting to living in a foreign country, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful group of friends and a host family to help me through! Because of technical difficulties I am just now getting by blog set up, and I look forward to sharing my experiences here in Chile with you!

Gap Bloggers

  • Eva - Gap Year Abroad in Japan
  • Eamon - Gap Year Abroad in Spain
  • Sage - Gap Year Abroad in China
  • Kira - Gap Year Abroad in France
  • Smith - Gap Year Abroad in Chile
  • Maddy - Gap Year Abroad in Japan
  • Hannah - Gap Year Abroad in Italy
  • Chloe - Gap Year Abroad in Chile