By Kevin McGovern
Master’s Student in Business Administration
This past summer I was lucky enough to travel to Santiago, Chile for the Texas State Study Abroad Program. As a current master’s degree candidate in business administration, the 8-day trip to South America was the highlight of my summer term. During our time in Santiago, the MBA group met with several Chilean business leaders who provided us with new perspectives on how Chile and other Latin American countries operate in the local market economies, as well as the global economy. Our company visits comprised formal meet-and-greets and informational sessions with business leaders from the energy sector, pharmaceutical sector, environmental sector, and most importantly…the wine industry! The learning experience gained from these company visits was immeasurable, and coupled with the cultural and social immersion, our group was exposed to some great life-experiences that could never have happened here in the United States.
Chile is a country rich with culture. While touring the colorful streets of Valparaiso, a coastal city in which artistic expression is a way of life, I came across a street-wall displaying the phrase “libera tu mente,” or “free your mind.” Like thousands of others, this type of personal expression lines the streets and sidewalks of Valparaiso. For some people it may simply be graffiti, but for me it was a cultural phenomenon; the city walls act as an open forum where artists, young people, and tourists alike can contribute to the vibrant aesthetics for which the city is defined.
Unique food, delicious wine, and good friends helped make this trip complete, not to mention a day trip to the Andes mountains and a week of World Cup Futbol in a country where citizens live and die by their national team! My time spent in Chile may have been brief, but the learning experience will stay with me for a lifetime!