Off the plane
Now that we’re all back and we’ve settled in our classes again, we all go through our pictures to refresh the precious memories we all created together. Honestly, I feel as if this adventure, LINC Buenos Aires, has gone by way too fast. However, it’s the brevity of this trip that made it so fantastic because we were encouraged to make the most out of our short and packed week.
I recommend joining LINC to anyone that is interested in understanding a great deal about how companies abroad operate and in discovering the intended location’s culture, history and way of life. LINC allowed me to learn a lot of important things. Most of these things involve my future goals and my career, but other ones go far beyond.
It’s hard to believe I have been back in school for a nearly a week! The memories of LINC in Buenos Aires are still fresh in my mind and I have been (reluctantly!) adjusting my diet and sleep schedule.
If I could go back, I would do it all over again. Why?
Do it for the stories
The best friendships are forged in the face of mutual adversity and moments of happiness. What better way to bond than to spend hours trying to navigate your way through a foreign city and then unwinding over the best cup of cafe and pavlova you’ve ever tasted?? Someone is also bound to embarrass his or herself and you will be there to witness every precious moment of it. You should travel to watch your friends grow and to be there for jokes only you and your friends will understand.
Do it to play ambassador
I believe that we are but a sum of our experiences. I believe that when we travel, we not only take a part of the culture with us but also leave some of ours behind. Traveling to a new country has not only introduced me to a new culture but has also reinforced my own.
Do it for the food
$10 juicy steaks. $3 desserts. $2 wine. Need I say more?
Because once is never enough and always is never too much
People change. Cities grow. The world is in a constant state of flux and transformation. There is a whole world out there for us to discover and play in.
A few days after coming back…
It has been three days now since we’ve come back from Buenos Aires and I am already missing it very much. One week was not enough! Most of our days were filled with company visits and only the evenings were open for us to explore the streets of this city. Aside from walking down Corrientes, the ’Street that Never Sleeps’ (which was right by our hotel), we visited Palermo, Puerto Madero and Plaza Serrano. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to visit La Boca, a more touristy and colourful area of Buenos Aires. I will be sure to go there, as well as many other attractions (including a Boca Juniors soccer game!) next time I come. Ahh Argentina!
Okay, time for some pictures!
Here was one of my first dinners. This fillet steak was divine!
Here is a picture of me and my friend dressed up in safety gear before touring the car-frame manufacturing company - Metalsa
At the end of our company visit to Sony
At the end of our tour in Tenaris
I think EVK needs to have one of these in the back instead of that smaller grill. THIS is how you have a barbecue, or should I say - Asado. Taken at Estancia Santa Susana
After eating a delicious meal at the Estancia, we had the chance to take a picture with one of the beautiful waitresses that served us ;)
I will really miss this great country and hope to come back again sometime soon. I definitely recommend this trip, you will miss a once in a lifetime experience if you don’t!
Buenos Aires seems like a far away dream now… I must get back to studying for the next midterm..
Till next time,
Benjamin Rubin, LINC Buenos Aires (WBB)
BA in a day
After having spent a week in Buenos Aires, I have compiled a list of my top 3 places to visit and dine in the city!:
1. La Boca
La Boca is a neighborhood that consists of colorful houses and shops. A top tourist attraction, most of the locals speak basic “Ingles” and accept American dollars. A must see!
A quaint part of town that has great cafes, beautiful buildings and friendly locals. We observed several street football (soccer) games and tango showings!
3. Gran Parilla del Plata
Heaven on Earth. Seriously. You can get a 450 gram tenderloin for 13 USD. The sides are the size of your face. We got free champagne, too!
These places are a must-see if you find yourself in Buenos Aires. And if you did not have enough time to visit all of these places, this should be enough incentive to come back for a second trip in the near future!
A life-changing week!
Argentina always seemed a world away from me. Prior to this trip, I simply observed the culture from afar and lived vicariously through travel blogs and stories. While I am an avid traveler (Malaysian Airlines refers to me by my first name and sends me free stuff!) it never occurred to me to go to South America. Why visit Buenos Aires when I can go to London, Paris or Tokyo?
While each city has its own charm and fair share of delicious foods to offer, Buenos Aires is in a league of its own. Their meats and wines are unbelievably good (trust me!) and LINC offers a truly unique opportunity to look into the heart of business here.
Our schedule was filled with exciting activities during the day such as an inside look at companies such as Sony, Walmart, Metalsa and Cisco. We also got to tour the factories of Nestle Frigo and Bimbo Bakery! We learned a lot about the economy and the culture of Argentina. Some of those facts and lessons include:
-The true rate of inflation is about twice as much as the reported rate of inflation.
-Devaluation of the peso is a serious problem. It is common to lose half of your revenue in a year even though you make the same amount of sales or more.
-The president works in a pink house located in the middle of the historical district.
-“Dulche de Leche” is really caramel and it’s EVERYWHERE. But that’s okay, because it’s amazing.
Aside from being more knowledgeable of Argentina’s culture and learning how to socialize with people who live in an economically volatile country, LINC has also brought me closer to my classmates and granted me access to some of the best steaks I’ve ever had.
Go to foreign places. Travel. Challenge yourself.
It’ll be worth it!!
Three more fantastic days
I’m finally sitting here writing my last blog during the trip. I first got here hoping the week would never end. Unfortunately, it went by way too fast. Nonetheless, the rest of the trip was simply fantastic.
We started the day by visiting Metalsa, a steel making company. The factory experience was very intense; every worker was either melting frames together or supervising some huge machinery producing series of metal parts meant for later development. We then proceeded to visit bimbo bakery, one of the biggest in the world. The factory we visited made wonder bread, burger buns and tortillas at an unimaginable rate. All we saw were loafs of bread coming out of a steaming oven.
To conclude our business tour, our last day was by far our longest and most exhausting. We began early in the morning with a visit to Arcor headquarters. Arcor is the 3rd largest distributor of sweets and sugar products in the world. Although not very known in the U.S., I managed to recognize a few brands due to their popularity in Europe. Cisco was next. Cisco is a company specialized in selling and developing wifi and network products to better the communication experience at work. What I found interesting was that we had a conference with Cisco representatives in Costa Rica in this room that made it seems as if they were sitting right there. Simply incredible to see where technology will lead us.
My week is over, and to top it off, my friends and I are going to the best steakhouse in town. Quoting from a fellow blogger, “I’m off to eat” (Rubin).
The past few days have been amazing
We visited Techint, Nestle, Bimbo, Metalsa, and Arcor. In their presentation, our hosts usually give us a background of the current economic and political situation before going into the specifics of their company, so I can now say that I have a firm grasp on what’s going on here. Argentina is a great place, with amazing people and great food. However, there are many things that tie this country down and deny it from reaching its full economic potential. Specifically - the volatile governmental regulations. I really hope that within the next few years things will get better. Maybe it will take a turn for the better with the elections that are coming up soon (in 2015 If I’m not mistaken)
Wait, did I mention the food? I’ve ate so much meat here my body doesn’t know what to do with it. Everyday I find myself sitting in front of a juicy fillet with an open salad bar nearby. It will be so hard going back to EVK’s food…better make the most of it!
I’m off to eat….
Benjamin, LINC - Buenos Aires (WBB)
3 wonderful days
Arriving here Sunday night at 9 pm and jet lagged did not stop us from venturing out in the city and discovering Buenos Aires for the first time. All we did was eat in a godly restaurant, sight see the Madero neighborhood (the riverfront), replete with restaurants, a happy ambiance and sights for sore eyes. Eventually, we all went back to the hotel and crashed on our beds, ready to wake up early and start our long first day.
Our trip began with a short visit around the city in our bus. Our guide excitedly told us about Casa Rosada (a beautiful red palace where the government reunites), the Obelisco (a grand white monument similar to the Lincoln memorial remembering the city of its history), and various other riverfront attractions. Then, we headed towards the Universidad Austral where we met Argentinian students who also study business. They were all very kind and had interesting and resourceful information to share about our days to spend here in Buenos Aires. As a follow up, we had a meeting with a representative of John Deere who shared a presentation of the agricultural multinational situated in Argentina. Our day ended with a night in a fantastic steakhouse and of course a quick venture around the cities renown nightlife locations.
Waking up at 8 am really wasn’t that easy. Luckily though, the visit at Sony was very interesting. Having done my research on Sony Retail Argentina, I was eager to ask questions regarding their struggle with government regulations. Later in the afternoon, we visited Walmart where the kind representatives introduced us to their way of personnel management which appeared to be much more lenient compared to larger stores in America. However, I couldn’t leave without buying a couple of necessities which the representatives themselves accompanied me to purchase. Overall, it was a very productive, and yes, tiring day.
Waking up at 6 was strangely a little less harsh than waking up at 8. Our day began with our visit to Tenaris, a sub company of Techint. Techint is a multinational firm specialized in manufacturing steel products such as pipes for oil drills and water lines. The rep had an amazing sense of humor. Oh wait, that’s right; he was Italian. The factory was very cool though. Steel pipes where exiting a furnace and burning at temperatures over 1000 Celsius. Definitely worth seeing. The best part was our visit to a local Argentinian ranch; Estancia Santa Susanna. We enjoyed a feast, literally, and a fantastic tango show. Then we went horseback riding. Everything went so smoothly. Everything, except my generous blood donation to the mosquito foundation of Argentina. 17 bites, and counting….
The wi-fi is temporarily working here so I will take advantage and update you how it’s going..
First night. We arrived at the hotel late in the evening. Around nine o’clock. Most of us were tired, but not enough to stop us from checking out the local cuisine. After getting the location of Puerto Madero (where there are a bunch of restaurants and bars) from the concierge, a group of us walked down Corrientes, Buenos Aires “street that never sleeps”. We found a buffet and for 13 bucks we ate until we couldn’t move. Not bad for a first night.
Monday. We toured the city with our lovely guide Alicia, then spent the day at the “Universidad Austral”. Most of our time was spent on interesting lectures about the university, Argentina’s culture and a presentation by an American representative who has been working for John Deere for 25 years, primarily in Argentina. We were joined by some of the local students and had lunch with them in their cafeteria eating area. They were a really nice bunch! I can’t forget the dessert we had - Rogel cake. Probably the best dolce de leche desert I have ever eaten in my life. It was a layered cake, with these sugary crusts dividing delicious dolce de leche, topped with some kind of whip cream. Before I leave this city I am getting another one of those for sure. Anyways, after coming back to the hotel, most of us took long naps, got ready and headed out to a restaurant recommended to us by our host at the university. For 14 dollars we ate like kings. I ate a piece of fillet that was literally bigger than my shoe with some sweet potato puré. Yum.
After eating, we finished the night at Palermo. One of the hotspots of this city where there are numerous bars and restaurants. It’s the beginning of the week so it wasn’t very lively, but I’m sure it will be once we enter the weekend.
Until next time…
Benjamin, LINC Buenos Aires (WBB)
What to pack? What will I eat? Should I bring my laptop and phone? How much should I carry on me?
These are just some of the questions that course through my mind as I think about my trip to Buenos Aires.
I have never been to Argentina before but I have heard only good things about its culture and food! I am excited to experience Buenos Aires with my fellow classmates and to get an inside look into the gears that run its economy. I glance through our itinerary for the week, and I cannot help but get excited over the activities we have lined up for us. We get to visit major factories and speak to regional directors of multinational companies such as John Deere and Bimbo Bakeries!
I decide to pack light, with plenty of business casual attire and a comfy sweater (for the long flight!). I also decide to bring both my phone and my laptop but I also invested in a number of travel locks for my bags. I will bring enough for meals and some shopping money.
I brush off my anxiety and replace it with excitement instead.
See you all in Buenos Aires!