Elective Abroad 2015: Preparation for the Chilean Experience
Babson takes pride in the strength of its international MBA recruitment efforts and in the diverse campus culture they produce. Babson students have the opportunity to work with classmates from around the globe and develop a better understanding of the world around them. The lasting relationships that may form during a student’s participation in the MBA program can provide students with unique cultural perspectives and improve their abilities to thrive in today’s global economy.
Students enrolled in Babson’s MBA program also have the opportunity to travel abroad with several classmates. Several Babson MBA students traveled to Chile in January to learn more about what many consider South America’s most successful economy.
Although the trip took place in January, the course began during the Fall Semester, enabling students to gain a holistic view of the Chilean business environment and customs in advance of the trip. The classroom-based portion of the course was scheduled prior to departure to ensure the class could collectively learn as much as possible prior to departure and so it could optimize its experiential learning opportunities while abroad.
In the classroom sessions leading up to January departure, student groups assembled to explore various topics that might affect Chilean business and entrepreneurship. Students were tasked with analyzing subjects such as Chile’s education system, capital markets, and economic history, general history, politics and government, geography, climate, natural resources, and foreign relations to provide context for the trip on which they were about to embark. By developing deeper insights into the interactions among these areas, could improve their abilities to more capably assess potential business opportunities in Chile. The class engaged in interactive presentations on these diverse subjects while its students sampled popular Chilean cuisine and prepared to travel South for an in-depth international experience.
This brief taste of Chilean culture provided the class a snapshot of what was to come and a foundation on which its students could develop their views of Latin American Business Opportunity.