Camille’s First Week at La Bicicleta Verde


Yes, I lived a year in New Zealand and after 8-months in France it was time to leave again.

My name is Camille and as you can tell, I am French. To pass the 1st year of my master’s degree in Applied Modern Languages I have to carry out a 3-month internship abroad. I had no idea where to go and when I saw the ad (I also wanted to work in tourism), I said why not. So here I am now in Santiago, Chile. 

So, everything started on April, 6th where I almost missed my flight. Let me explain. This was a very busy day and once I managed to go through the customs, I had to run through airport before the gates close.

After a 28-hour flight I finally arrived in Santiago.

The very first day of my internship I lived the incredible experience of taking the Chilean metro. I was not ready. It is worse than the Parisian metro!

I never thought it could be possible. But it is.

When I finally got to La Bicicleta Verde, I met Julie (yes, another Frenchie) and heaps of other people and as many names to remember.

Everyone was getting along so well that I was afraid of not finding my place. But they made me feel comfortable. I discovered Trello, the software that would helped me organise my tasks during my internship.

Later, in the afternoon I took the bike tour. Let me emphasize that I ride a bike not even once a year. But it is actually a great way to get to discover the city of Santiago.

After this very first day, I was really tired. I don’t know if I was still jet lagged or not. But probably.

On the second day, I handled the metro like a pro (in my opinion) and I joined the morning walking tour – my favourite so far. Then I started my first task: translating La Bicicleta Verde website to French, well more correcting someone else’s translation. As a matter of fact I have never liked translation classes in uni but it actually helped me getting acquainted to the tours. However I would also be working on a more exciting project: the website image.

Now a week has passed and here is what I can tell you: you have to LOVE the colour green! More seriously since the very first day, I can tell that real tasks would be given to me (I mean here people can make their own coffee and photocopies).

One of the greatest challenges for me is actually speaking Spanish. I have been learning Spanish for 8 years now but I had never used it outside of school/uni and Chile is a whole different world. Indeed here people don’t pronounce the s at the end of gracias, nor they say cómo estás but cómo estaí, so even the basics are NOT basic.

When I arrived I was surprised by the number of street dogs and people biking! Also it is quite common to see Chileans charging their phones in the metro. I could have experienced my 2nd earthquake instead I had another kind of Terremoto. One more thing: even if there is a lot of pollution here, you can actually see the stars!