Tag: Travel

Olin students traveled to Madrid and Sarajevo to study entrepreneurship and serve as startup consultants in a new undergraduate summer program.

ACCENT’s July Newsletter features the 16 Olin students who studied the impact of startup businesses in cities undergoing economic transition.

While in Madrid, students examined the role of start-ups in the economy after Europe’s “Great Recession.” In Sarajevo, students analyzed the opportunities found in an emerging economy after war.

The students in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on the day of their presentations

The program culminated in a group consulting project where student consultants shared opportunities for growth on a particular aspect of the startup company.

During the program, classwork was combined with rich opportunities to understand the historical, cultural, and economic environment of the European cities. Students visited museums and local companies, toured the cities, and participated in workshops from international lawyers and activists. 

Madrid and Sarajevo are considered ideal cities for start-ups with unique historical and economic environments, dedicated investors, and skilled young professionals.

Chloe Baker in Madrid

Among chatter of finals, WILD, and summer plans, April is also the month juniors compare study abroad options. I am extremely lucky in that I’ve been a Spanish minor since day 1 of freshman year and always knew that the Madrid program was for me. However, for many, the decision does not come as easily. From watching my friends gallivant around the world and experiencing my own semester abroad, here is some advice for picking the best study abroad opportunity for you.

1) Keep an open mind

Many of the Olin programs are less traditional study abroad destinations when compared to some bigger schools your friends from home may attend. Even if it’s not a location you’ve always heard about, don’t count it out. Every place has its merits.

2) Think about what you want from your abroad experience—without your friends.

I’ve become extremely close with other WashU students while studying abroad.
It’s easy to succumb to groupthink and end up picking a location just because you have friends going there, even if it’s not the type of experience you’re looking for. I made the decision independent of my close friends, and it’s worked out incredibly. Plus, I’ve become extremely close with other WashU students in the process.

3) Keep travelling in mind—consider accessibility and location

For some, travelling is a huge part of their abroad experience; for others, not so much. It was a crucial aspect for me, and I have been lucky enough to visit more than 15 cities during my time abroad. I have friends who have spent most weekends in their abroad city and they’ve loved every minute of it. There’s no right answer to this—it’s just important that you keep in mind a city’s accessibility and location if travelling is important to you.

4) Don’t think of studying abroad as the default option

chloe friend
It’s easy to when everyone is discussing it, but it’s a deeply personal choice and it’s not for everyone. Don’t force yourself to go abroad just because you think it’s the right thing to do or most of your friends are going—that’s a recipe for being unhappy. Needless to say, studying abroad is an incredible experience that has truly opened my eyes to so many different cultures, as well as things about myself.

5) Ask questions!

Do not hesitate to reach out to older friends or even just people you know of who have studied in places you’re interested in. We (students abroad) love talking about our experience and can go on for days. The best way to learn about an abroad destination is to talk to someone who’s experienced it!

Photos courtesy of Chloe Baker

“Africa”, as a concept, may evoke thoughts of starving children, uncomfortable living conditions, or social depravity. Within my own subconscious mind, and I believe the minds of most Americans, Africa represents the continent with too few natural resources to keep pace with the modernization of the rest of the world. As an emerging market, I had no clue of the natural wonders and significant benefit it will someday offer globalization beyond an additional middle class to purchase western goods.

Guest Blogger: Micah Northcutt was a member of the CEL Practicum team working with The Women’s Bakery consulting project in Rwanda.

After leaving Kigali with a complete about-face as to the global potential of the Rwandan work-force, the team chose to spend a week touring Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa.

Africa-MapOn previous adventures, I toured the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, I ate my way through most of Europe, and swam in the waters of the Caribbean. However, never had I felt the mist 100 meters above Victoria Falls. Never in my life had I slept on a safari in an open field as the world’s largest land animal passed a few feet behind my tent and the king of the jungle roared in the distance. On the southernmost tip of Africa I swam with the Great Whites, drank wine that rivals the grapes of Italy, and consumed some of the best seafood of my life.

It is true that (currently) visiting Africa requires some discomfort. Air conditioning is sparse, bottled water is typically required, and the mosquitoes can get pretty annoying. However, the thought that the African market is emerging purely as a beneficiary of the western world is silly. The touristic experiences following our work in Rwanda actually enlightened me to the personal benefit I as a global citizen will receive as Rwanda and the rest of Africa enter the modern markets. By helping to improve nutrition and the economic base within Africa, I am helping to open the doors of Africa to my children and grandchildren.

Africa is not a helpless continent of dirt and poverty. It is a jungle of natural wonders waiting to be embraced by the global markets. Work is required, but the entire world will benefit.

Related blog posts:

Why I created The Women’s Bakery

A visit to rural Rwanda

In mid-February, I had the opportunity to travel to Brussels as part of the European Study Tour program that many Olin students take part in while abroad. From a Wednesday afternoon until Friday evening, with roughly 70 peers from various programs, I made my way through a whirlwind European Union educational experience. (more…)

Raphael Thomadsen, associate professor of marketing at the Olin Business School, along with 15 other hospitality and consumer experts, have analyzed the nation’s best frequent flier programs for the credit card comparison website CardHub.com.