This year, the Chilean Study Tour was comprised of twenty-two students and two professors. We visited Chile from March 2 to March 11, spending five nights in Santiago, the capital city, and two nights in Viña del Mar (a beach side resort).
As always, the tour combined classroom academic study with a cultural immersion component. We arrived in Santiago early Saturday morning and were taken by private coach to our “home” in Santiago – the Four Points Sheraton. We were lucky that we were able to check in to the hotel upon arrival. The staff at the Four Points welcomed us graciously, as usual. After dropping off their luggage, most students rushed off to get a quick bite to eat at Dominos (hotdogs, not pizza). They managed to eat just in time for a bike tour of Santiago that they had pre-arranged. Those that were not on the bike tour, leisurely walked the area getting acclimated to Santiago. A few went to Los Dominicos (an artisan village) to begin shopping and still others relaxed by the pool. That night, we met for our annual alumni reception. As always, we love beginning the tour by meeting our Chilean friends. There was singing (karaoke) and Wenesso even serenaded us with Juan’s guitar:
We also enjoyed our cultural immersion day on Sunday. Some students went on a hiking trip to a glacier in the Andes while others went to the Art Museum in downtown Santiago:
The Art Museum
Monday was our first day for site visits. The site visits are the highlight of our academic experience in Chile an opportunity to visit multinational corporations, Chilean businesses and U.S. companies doing business in Chile. The site visit allows students the opportunity to have a dialogue with senior Chilean business executives.
During the course of the week, students enrolled in GB 748 (International Marketing) visited Stanley Black & Decker, General Motors and Johnson & Johnson:
Stanley Black & Decker
Johnson & Johnson
Students enrolled in GB 779 (International Ethics) enjoyed a Human Rights tour (we even saw the changing of the guard at La Moneda) and visited ACHS:
Villa Grimaldi - The Human Rights Tour
Together, the classes visited Hogar de Cristo and spoke with executives from Codelco, Telefonica and Ignisterra. Although it would be hard to pick a favorite visit, our visit to Undurraga combined the academic with cultural immersion:
Hogar de Cristo
It was a busy week for cultural immersion too. On Monday night, the class went to Meztizo for a fantastic dinner. The setting couldnt be beat either. On Tuesday night, many of the students went to a soccer match. It was a late night, but who can top seeing a soccer match in South America! Wednesday was our last night in Santiago; for many it was an early night.
On Thursday, we left Santiago by private coach and made our way to Viña Del Mar, stopping for lunch at an organic winery, Matetic. We arrived at the beach at about 4pm and checked into our hotel, the Hotel Del Mar. At 7pm, we gathered on the terrace for a glass of wine, Chilean of course, and some snacks:
Lunch at Matetic
Viña del Mar
Thursday night, we were on our own to explore Viña. Some went to the casino; others found great places to eat.
Friday morning, we began the day with our last site visit, a visit to Ignisterra:
Lunch at Hotel Brighton
We then returned to Viña for a relaxing afternoon. Most of the students spent time at the beach or shopped for those last minute souvenirs. Saturday was a free day. Most students spent at least part of the day finishing up their site visit reports or working on their final:
The Beach in Viña
After the visit, it was time for a bit of sightseeing and lunch in Valparaiso.
What do students have to say about the 2012 Chilean Study Tour? See testimonials from the class.