Over the Winter break I had the honor of traveling to Santiago, Chile for a program called, Doing Business in Emerging Markets. Before going abroad I knew this would be a life changing experience for me. Especially because it was a completely new environment with people I have never met before. By putting myself in this situation with other people who were also going through the same thing, I was able to make a group of friends who I am sure I will keep in contact with for many years to come.
What surprised me the most about Santiago, Chile was definitely the amazing view of the Andes Mountains surrounding the city in addition to the amazing view it portrays on the city with the sunset. Honestly, I have never seen such an amazing geographical barrier that added such beauty to a city. The most challenging thing for me while studying abroad was making sure I ate the right foods. For starters, I don’t eat beef due to religious beliefs and I also had to make sure that the food I consumed was sanitary and safe. The last thing I wanted was to get sick abroad and not be able to enjoy the entire trip.
The most rewarding thing about this trip was the interaction with Chilean students in a classroom setting. With these classmates, we formed groups to present business plans and cash flows to help sell our products. These skills are crucial for the future I want to have in business and this trip allowed me to work in a team, practice my public speaking, and come up with entrepreneurial ideas.
I would definitely recommend this program to other students at Binghamton. This program is everything one can ask for in a study abroad program and more. The people you meet and experiences you have will always be there for you to look back on and remember how fun and rewarding the trip can be. It is always good to try new things and put yourself in different situations to help you grow as an individual and in society. All in all, I am beyond happy that I chose to go on this trip abroad with such a wonderful group of people.
Shailen Patel, a Financial Economics major, who studied abroad in Santiago, Chile in winter 2016