Belgian in Chile

Mathieu is a Belgian who met a girl in his exchange in Austria. For things of life, he end up helping House and Flats while living with her girlfriend in Santiago, Chile. This is his story:

Hi, my name is Mathieu. I started working for House & Flats Chile not long ago. I am helping them in their international relations. In order that you understand how I might help you, I will first tell you my story about how I found my way into this Chilean company even though two years ago I didn’t speak a word of Spanish.

Two years ago, I was still studying in Belgium to get my bachelor degree of International Business. Even though I was loving my Belgian student life thanks to the beautiful culture and beverages of my country, I was dreaming about discovering the world.

So, in my last year of studies I jumped on the occasion to do an Erasmus Experience in Steyr, a nice little town in Austria. I could tell you one thousand things about everything that happened during that lifetime experience. But I won’t go into all the details and tell you what during that experience helped me to go on and arrive here in Chile. I met a girl. And yes, you guessed it right she is Chilean. But at the end of this Erasmus experience we had to get separated. She had to go meet some friends in Chicago before returning back to Santiago. And I found during this experience an opportunity to do my end of studies internship in New-Zealand.

But after a long conversation we thought about trying a long-distance relationship. We knew it would be difficult but there was still a little chance. We stayed connected and after two months, Claudia told me that her dream would be to visit New-Zealand. She booked plane tickets to come see me after I finished my internship to travel two weeks in a beautiful campervan that was a replica of the Mystery Machine (another childhood dream accomplished). I was so excited that she would come and discover all those breath-taking landscapes! But she wasn’t as impressed as I thought she would be in front of those landscapes. She told me that it looked like the surroundings of her home town Puerto Varas. I tried to tell her that it wasn’t possible that New Zealand is unique to only later understand that she told the truth and that the South of Chile is quite similar to New-Zealand.

Since the end of my internship meant also that I would get my degree, I told myself it was the perfect moment to go travel to Chile, learn more about that incredible culture, learn Spanish (or more exactly Chilean, basically the same but faster and without pronunciation) and be with her of course.

So, I booked a plane ticket to arrive the 15th September, three days before their National Holiday in order to directly get in touch with their culture. Since I didn’t arrive in an international organisation this time, I didn’t receive the basic information that a stranger in Santiago would receive and therefor had to discover them the practical way. After now a few months that I am living here, I can proudly say that I know most of the essentials to live nicely, safely and comfortably as a stranger in Santiago. I am still constantly learning as well as Santiago is evolving but if you have any doubt, don’t hesitate to ask, we are here to help.

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