BRIC 2015 Week 1
Post by: Elisa da Rocha Leao (’17) and Joshua Boutin (’17)
Each week, two students from this year’s¬†BRIC cohort- BRIC 7-will share an update from their travels. This week, Elisa da Rocha Leao (’17) and Josh Boutin (’17) describe their experiences with¬†the Encounters course, pre-departure sessions with Professors Seitz and Coyle, and the group’s flight to Russia!
As the butterflies in all of our stomachs began to flap their wings harder and stronger with the approaching “big day” of August 27th, the BRIC 2015 cohort moved into Park Manor West to check off the first destination of our abroad adventure. Familiar faces appeared- though some were more familiar than others, be it from past classes, jobs, or the like. As the days went by and conversation became looser by the minute, our group built a comfort zone among each other, a cushion that will soften the impact of struggles we may face along the way. It started sinking in: we were about to spend three of the most adventurous months – probably of our entire college life – together.
So began our pre-departure session, and with it, a¬†panel of former BRIC-ers. These three BRIC alumni-one from each of the last three cohorts- challenged the 22 of us¬†to interact more freely and get to know everyone in the group, not just those we were originally most comfortable talking to. Our group, so far, has risen to the occasion, sharing with each other our goals for this journey and challenges we’ve faced along the way.¬†The group bonding exercises as part of our pre-departure meetings¬†were a reminder that we can and should rely on one another. That support, and this cohort, will hopefully open our eyes to how brilliantly different we all are and to how those¬†differences will¬†make¬† this experience so unique.
Filled with anticipation, excitement, and perhaps just a little bit of nervousness, we approached takeoff: a Thursday night flight delivered us to Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday morning. It’s been five months since we found out we’d be a part of the seventh iteration of BRIC at Babson. And in these two days, we’ve quickly learned that it was well worth the wait; we’re looking forward to what this semester has in store.
For more stories from the 2015 BRIC study abroad program, please click here.