This study abroad trip to Uruguay was one of the most rewarding experiences. The country itself was very beautiful, and the locals were very nice. We stayed in hotels with nice accommodations in three different cities. There was a large language barrier, which made even simple things like ordering in a restaurant confusing at times. Although there is a language barrier, the culture is not extremely different. Some of the most noticeable differences are they eat very late (lunch around 3 o’clock and dinner around 10 o’clock), and they take their time during meals to visit and interact with one another, and it often takes a long time. One of my goals is to learn more Spanish and travel to other Spanish speaking countries. Many people in bigger cities like Montevideo and Punta del Este spoke some English, but when we toured the country side, Bruno had to translate almost everything.
I chose to go on this trip to Uruguay because of the class. Economics in Grass-Fed Beef Production caught my eye as an Agribusiness major with an interest in livestock. I was not sure what to expect from Uruguay, but I was pleasantly surprised. Uruguay is different in their method of beef production in the sense that there is very little grain-finished beef. The large majority of the beef is completely grass-fed. A reason for this is a large geographical part of the state has shallow soils and is not suitable for row crop, however it has natural pastures that can sustain beef production. After learning more about beef production, I have solidified my interest into one day having a cattle operation.
Leaving Uruguay and Bruno #1 and Bruno #2 was very sad. We had spent over 18 hours in a bus together learning about many aspects of the country and the agricultural strength in different regions. Just when understanding Spanish was getting a little easier, our time was up.