I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 10 days in December, 20177 and it was not nearly a long enough trip! I was able to travel with 21 of my fellow classmates and 2 professors to this beautiful city and we definitely made the most of it. Our group focused on building an appreciation for how complex it is to operate a business in a foreign culture studying specifically in the fields of: Human Resources, Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, IT and Software Development. We developed real-world international experience, gained understanding of the Spanish culture, learned the challenges and opportunities of doing business outside of the United States, and had a lot of fun!
My fellow classmates and myself from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga had the privilege of meeting and getting to know our tour guide, Alejandra Trabanco. Having Alejandra with us created a stress free, relaxing experience allowing us to fully take advantage of our time in Buenos Aires. We ended up visiting 6 Argentine businesses during our stay and every one of them was so welcoming and informational. I enjoyed all of the company visits so much that I didn’t even realize how much I was learning. One of my favorite visits was Globant, a digitally native technology services company. They are a great example of an innovative and unique company thriving in South America. What intrigued me the most was our speaker Mercedes MacPherson and the management role she played within the company. As a Management and Entrepreneurship major, I couldn’t help but hang on her every word as she spoke about her role in the company.
However, the best part of the trip was not only learning how business is done internationally, but taking part in Argentina’s passionate culture full of street art, tango, futbol, mate, asado, & wine. We were able to mix work with play a little bit and enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking and touring the Delta Tigre River by boat. There we learned all about the little town of Tigre and how they live minimally on the river with only watercrafts for transportation. We also took part in a graffiti tour, exploring the streets of Buenos Aires, learning all of the history and stories behind the artwork. Afterwards, we were even able to create our own graffiti! Further, we had the opportunity to learn Argentina’s masterpiece art, the Argentine tango, and watch a professional show at Tango Porteño. This was such a highlight of the trip for me because I am so intrigued by all dance. One of my favorite activities was horseback riding and watching a gaucho demonstration at Estancia Santa Susana country house. The gauchos were so charming and welcoming as they helped us mount and ride our horses while demonstrating how it was done professionally in their competition, Race of Rings. Lastly, we were able to visit the colorful town of La Boca, walk around, and tour the River Plate Futbol Stadium!
Overall, the purpose of studying abroad is to make connections and gain a real world understanding of other cultures. I left with just that, an understanding and extended appreciation for the Spanish culture and the knowledge that travel is what I want to do, whether in my future career or just for fun. This trip was only the beginning and I can say with confidence that I will be visiting again. Until next time, Buenos Aires.
Candace Melton is a double major in Entrepreneurship and Managemetn . She participated in a College of Business faculty led trip to Argentina in December, 2017. Candace had the following to say about her time abroad, “Argentina was the perfect trip to attend for my first out of country experience. Buenos Aires is an enormous city full of beautiful architecture, street art, tango, soccer, delicious food, and wine. Every time I would step out on the busy streets in the center of Buenos Aires, I felt as though I was in a foreign New York City. This experience allowed me to not only learn about the Spanish culture and myself but also intensified my desire to travel.”