My Global Enrichment/Study Abroad Experience

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This January I went on a two-week trip to Argentina and Chile with my classmates as part of Carlson School’s international experience requirement. The main goal of the trip was to teach us about the differences in how businesses operate in these two very distinctive cultures in South America. 

Our trip consisted of a couple of site visits each day and some free time at night. The site visits ranged from local companies (an Argentinian tannery) to global companies with a business unit in that country (3M Santiago). During the site visits we learned about their business and the challenges that come with working both within South America and internationally. Many visits also included a tour of their operations, which was another great way to compare and contrast their business with US companies we had toured before the trip.

After the site visits, we were able to explore the country either through group activities or free time on our own.  Although this wasn’t technically part of the educational component of the program, we learned a lot! Here are the top non-classroom things we learned abroad:

1. How to navigate without phones! Our navigation skills were put to the test as we had some spotty and/or expensive data on our phones in South America.


Looking at a map



















2. How to tango! We took tango lessons in Argentina followed by an official tango show where we had the humbling experience of seeing professionals do the moves we had just learned. I was too busy stepping on my partner’s feet to take a picture during the lessons, so this picture of me and my classmate Meggie trying to tango via a chart on a Palermo sidewalk will have to do.  

Dancing on the street



















3. How to be flexible! Going to a new country requires a great deal of flexibility – whether it’s slowly trying to order food in Spanish and then getting the wrong thing, delays in transportation, or trying new things that are a little out of your comfort zone. The trip taught us to remain positive and open to new experiences.

4. How to relax! (?) Alright, I couldn’t figure out any “lesson” to attach to this picture, I just wanted to include it to show off how beautiful our last day in Chile was.

View from the poolside