Daphne Tsapalas ’20: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Name: Daphne Tsapalas
Class Year: Class of 2020
Major: Sociology
Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Internship Organization: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Faculty of Medicine; School of Nursing
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Santiago, Chile


The banner reads: El primer día del orgullo fue un LEVANTAMIENTO. A 50 años de la revuelta de Stonewall a protesta mas necesaria que nunca. Translation: The first Pride was an UPRISING 50 years after the revolution of Stonewall protest is more necessary than ever.

This summer I am working at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile on a research project about efficacy of tools for the detection and confrontation of gender-based violence for healthcare professionals within Latin America and the Caribbean. This project has been incredibly interesting, as while learning about the processes of conducting research I am also learning about topics of importance and cultural attitudes within the region I am visiting.

I applied for this internship very last-minute but I am so glad I did as I have gained invaluable research and intercultural skills in Santiago that I will not soon forget. I applied to this position because I have found few research opportunities for sociology offered within Bryn Mawr and I wanted to gain experience in qualitative research before I graduated.


The banner says Transgrede el CIStema: Transgress/break the CIStem.

That being said, my favorite part of this internship has been being able to experience a research project from the inside. I am currently involved in the methodological collection of literature and data working on two projects, a scope review of gender-based violence protocols (or lack thereof) for healthcare professionals in LAC, and interviews, which we conduct and transcribe, with nursing students about their experiences learning about gender-based violence protocols within the healthcare curriculum when in university.

There have, of course, been things to adjust to in Santiago; it’s winter here, which is not nearly as brutal as Bryn Mawr winters but is still not the summer weather one might expect to have in June and July. Winter sunsets are very early so by the time you get home from work most days the sun has set and it’s night already! Nevertheless watching the Copa America in Chile, the solar eclipse, and seeing the places on Earth most similar to Mars certainly make up for the cold!

Living in a new city, especially Santiago, one of the largest cities in Latin America, has been a wonderful experience. Coming from a New York City context I feel right at home in this environment and though I have studied abroad in other cities (small and large) before, my experiences in Santiago have come the closest to New York life; the financial district here is even called Sanhattan.

Even though Santiago is far away from New York, there have been moments in which the two seem closely aligned. One such day, and my favorite day here so far, has been the Pride parade. Pride here is smaller than in New York but growing each year, and unlike Manhattan, here you actually get to march with the parade, which inevitably becomes a joyous mixture of singing and chanting, dancing and remembrance, which is especially important for many groups here whose visibility and sometimes acceptance is still relatively low. It was very interesting to experience this event in another country and it demonstrated that there are certain priorities shared throughout the world, even across international borders.