Welcome back Bulldogs! I hope you all enjoyed your winter break and are happy to be in Smithfield starting classes again. I’m starting to get back in the swing of things, but this winter I had the chance to attend SIE Latin America! Although I’m sad to leave Chile and Argentina, I am so excited to start the my second sophomore semester here on campus. I’d like to tell you a little bit about my trip and give viewers a sense of what this program is and what I thought of my time on this trip.
To start, the Sophomore International Experience is a three credit course designed to immerse students in different countries culture and history. All semester long students study the country and the study ends with a two week trip to one or many countries. My course was titled, “Doing Business in Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities.”
I always knew I wanted to do SIE because I could not see myself going abroad for the entire semester. The great thing about this program is that all the students are Bryant sophomores and there are two Bryant faculty and one Bryant staff member all attend this trip and for two weeks everyone interacts in the countries visited.
My trip left from Boston on January 6th and we first visited Buenos Aires, Argentina!
Where our hotel was, the entire city was walk-able and reminded me of a scaled down New York City. I loved how clean and tidy the city was. In Argentina we had business presentations ranging from AgriBusiness to La Serenísmia, which was a dairy farm! In addition to the business presentations we had a lot of time to immerse ourselves in the culture of Argentina. We had a chance to kayak on the Delta de Tigre, get a tour of Riverplate, a famous soccer stadium, and had a lunch and show at the Estancia Santa Susana, a traditional ranch. Every single day was packed with something new and different as a Bryant group, but also time to explore on our own. From here we flew to Santiago, Chile!
Once we were in Santiago, Chile we drove to Valparaíso which is an incredibly beautiful city. We had a quick visit here where we had a Graffiti tour, and a few business presentations and a tour of a the Vermonte Vineyard, located in the Casablanca Valley. Then we loaded up our bus and headed to Santiago where we remained for the duration of the trip. Santiago had a really different vibe then Buenos Aires. To me, Santiago seemed more residential, and although we could still walk everywhere things were a bit further. In Santiago we had a once in a lifetime experience, white water rafting and zip lining through the Andes Mountains! The mountains were incredible and so picturesque I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them. In Santiago we visited the Chamber of Commerce and Start-Up Chile, which was my favorite visit. At the ends of two weeks we regretfully flew back home to the United States.
I wholeheartedly would suggest going abroad to every person on this campus. I met 35 great new students, and made connections with three faculty and staff members. I was challenged to get out of my comfort zone, speak a new language, and challenge my beliefs about Latin America. Thank you to Bryant for allowing me to gain a new perspective and the chance to expand my world.