Ansley Heavern is on the track and field team. She is currently studying International Business and Finance through Terry College.
This past May I was fortunate enough to participate Terry’s Business in South America program in Chile and Argentina. During my time there, I got to take classes in International Business and Legal Business, meet with local companies and government officials, and experience two beautiful cultures.
Our trip started out with two and a half weeks in Santiago, Chile. Santiago is a huge city located in a valley of snow capped mountains, filled with beautiful parks, historic neighborhoods, and a bustling business district. Our business trips included visits to the American Chamber of Commerce, Banco de Chile, Codelco – the country’s largest copper mining company, an innovation lab, and a winery. Each company had something very different to offer, and through all of them we were able to learn about the more conservative nature of Chile’s business climate.
Outside of the classroom and the business trips, we were able to experience things that I could have only dreamed of before. For example, we got tickets to go see one of Santiago’s club soccer teams play. I can attest that the energy at a South American soccer game is absolutely unrivaled, and something you need to experience for yourself. We won the game 2-0, and in the supporter’s section our fans were going wild shooting off fireworks and flares, climbing up poles, singing and throwing things on the field. We also took a weekend trip to Valparaiso, a hillside town on the coast of Chile just a short bus ride away from Santiago. Every single wall and surface in Valpo is adorned with amazing street art that we spent a whole day marveling. While we were on the coast, we took a day trip out to the sand dunes of Concon and went sandboarding. The steep, mountainous dunes overlooked the pacific ocean and went on for miles. Sandboarding was so much fun and definitely something I’ll never forget. While in Chile we also got to ride horses along the steep cliffs through a portion of the Andes Mountains.
My favorite day in Chile by far was when a group of us decided to go trek into the Andes Mountains. Armed with a couple of tour guides, we drove as far into the mountains as a car can possibly take you, towards Cajon del Maipo. We got out of the car and hiked up through the Andes to a glacier and an active volcano. The views were absolutely indescribable as we got to a lush green valley with a river of glacier water running through the middle of it, surrounded on one side by snow capped mountains, and on the other by mineral striped rainbow mountains. Wild horses and sheep wandered around right beside us. After the hike we found some volcanic hot spring pools to relax in.
Next, we spent a short week and a half in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Everything about this city was amazing, from the beautiful European architecture to the delicious steaks and empanadas. Our business visits here included technology start-up Tienda Nube, the city Congress, and a grain farm. We also spoke with an expert economist on agribusiness, and with a professor from South America’s most prestigious law school. We took a day trip out the Pampas region of Argentina and had a typical asado style meal with performances from tango dancers and gauchos. We also went to go see the beautiful Boca region of Buenos Aires, famed for its colorful buildings and street vendors, and the popular Boca Juniors soccer team. The highlight of our stay in Buenos Aires was definitely our tango dance class and the amazing show that followed.
My study abroad in South America was filled with experiences I would have never had without the University of Georgia putting on this program. There are some things you really just cannot recreate outside of a study abroad, and I don’t know when I would have ever pulled the trigger to go on a month long trip to South America if I was planning my own vacation. I made incredible memories and lifelong friends on this journey that I will forever be thankful for.