If I was the study abroad director of ARGBRAZ 2006

Sao Paulo Travel Blog

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All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed this trip and would not change a lot of things. If I were to change some things, these would be them.

            Blogs: I thought the blog setup was a good one. Doing a number of weekly blogs is much better than having to write a large final paper. I enjoyed the slight grace given to students who were a little slack in submitting theirs on time. I think 4 blogs per week did become quite a hassle though. 2 or 3 might be a better number, in my opinion. Maybe a clearer idea of what is expected from the students in the blogs, as well as a quicker return on the blog grades would have been nice.

            Places: I thought the time spent in each place was great. I would have preferred to spend less time in Curitiba, but I realize that a course on doing business in Brazil must spend a good amount of time in such a successful business city. I enjoyed the extra couple of days in Sao Paulo. I feel the group did not get a glimpse of the “real Brazil” in Floripa or in Curitiba, and it was good to see something more traditionally Brazilian like Sao Paulo. If there was any way to take the entire group to Rio, I would do that if I was director. Rio is at least the foreigner’s idea of heart of Brazil and it’s a shame that those not doing the 12 hour program don’t get to experience it. Also, maybe just one more weekend trip in Argentina.

            Work: One of the larger things I would change if I was director is the distribution of assignments and group activities. We were told the this program would be “top-loaded” with the majority of the work and class time at the beginning of the course so we could be more relaxed towards the end. Though this was true with actual class time, I felt the exact opposite was true with the distribution of work. I had a lot of free time in Buenos Aires to make weekend trips and daily outings, while I had very little extra time anywhere in Brazil, minus Floripa. One suggestion would be to move the business plan to an earlier due date so it doesn’t coincide so closely with the final exams. We had class activities almost everyday in Curitiba and Sao Paulo, the 2 places we needed free time the most to complete assignments. I did not get to enjoy Curitiba or Sao Paulo because of all the things we were doing and all the things due all at once, (business plan, personal blogs, group blogs, AND finals). A more spread-out work load would have made the last 2 cities much more enjoyable. Maybe waiting to go to Floripa until after Curitiba would be a good idea. Have the students do the business plan and a final or two in Curitiba, then take the break in Floripa, then finish up with a final in Sao Paulo and/or Rio. These are all just suggestions, I have no idea on the plausibility of any of it. Like I said, I thought it was a great program with awesome class activities that seemed well planned. I´m glad I got to experience it.

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Sao Paulo
photo by: Eric