Without reservation, the opportunity to be a part of the Uruguay: Sustainable Beef and Grain Production and Marketing Systems Study Abroad will be one of the highlights of my college years. The chance to interact with individuals in an entirely different culture changed my perception of the world. Although there were some major discrepancies in Uruguay from what I’m used to in Athens, Georgia (such as the native language), I enjoyed learning about the marketing production systems in Uruguay. Some of my highlights of the trip were visiting working farms and a rice mill.
While in Uruguay, we visited many cattle farms and two farms with sheep. During our visits, we were given the opportunity to learn about the economics of many of the farms and then discuss the different aspects of the farm on our bus with the University of Georgia Faculty who were leading our journey. The rice mill that we visited was also an excellent economics lesson disguised as an engaging adventure through an operational rice mill. During our rice mill visit, we were able to learn about exporting rice and the grower to consumer process.
Traditional classes in classrooms certainly are an important aspect of a college education. However, as I look back on the opportunities we were given in Uruguay, these opportunities, in the long-run, will be much more beneficial than many traditional classes I have completed. This enriching opportunity was certainly an experience I will cherish for a lifetime. However, it would not have been possible without the Harold and Celestia International Travel Scholarship I received and the following dedicated individuals: Ms Amanda Stephens, Dr Jacob Segers, Dr Nathan Smith, Dr Octavio Ramirez, and, of course, Dr Bruno A. Lanfranco (or as he let us call him “Bruno”). These incredible individuals worked tirelessly each in their unique role to ensure we had an educational and enjoyable study abroad experience.