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Celts’ Study of Argentinian History and Economics Culminates with In-Country Field Experience

Celts enjoying a homestyle meal in Mar del PlataGlobal Greater Things continue to unfold to the benefit of undergraduate and graduate student Celts.  After completing spring compressed track classes in International Economics and Latin American Economic Development, 10 Celts joined Dr. Ulyses Balderas during Spring Break for eight days of field experiences throughout Argentina.  Balderas, associate professor of international studies and director of the Latin American Studies Program, has been a leading contributor to student international mobility opportunities for nearly fifteen years and has led more than 10 student groups throughout the Americas and Europe.

Learning About and Living in Argentina’s Economy

Students who participated in the Argentina trip first completed one of two courses, International Economics or Latin American Economic Development. After studying international trade, international finance, and economic policies and development in Latin America, students personally experienced the outcome of such policies during their time in Argentina.  This included first-hand experience with the consequences of Argentina’s multiple exchange rates and trade practices.

Making an Impact on Student Learning and Experience

The program included visits to three different cities in Argentina (Chascomus, Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata) and a day-trip to Colonia, Uruguay. Among the many program elements were lectures from professors at UST’s sister University in Mar del Plata (University of FASTA). In addition, students toured several local companies, received lectures from top executives and lawyers with expert insight into Argentinian policy and economy. They also visited various cultural sites that provided cultural context. 

Celts on a bicycle tour in Mar del PlataWhen asked about the impact that this course and trip had on students, Balderas responded, “This experience motivates our students to learn more about other countries, to become lifelong travelers, and to grow as individuals.  As well, students develop an even stronger appreciation for what they have here at home.”

Victoria Santos, a dual MA/BA student in Diplomacy & Strategic Affairs and International Studies, made Argentina her third study abroad after two prior studies in Taiwan.  For Santos, the value of time in Argentina was living the curriculum in her class. 

She said, “I think it really helped my understanding Argentina’s economic situation better, because it’s always a different experience when you’re there seeing things in person, rather than only learning from a book.” 

Celts along the seawall in Mar del PlataSantos strongly encourages her Celt colleagues to pursue their own study abroad experiences.  “Studying abroad improves the overall UST education because it provides students with a unique opportunity to grow both intellectually and personally, while also creating connections with new people and having a better understanding of global perspectives.”

Invaluable Global Experience for Students

UST produces from seven to 10 faculty-led studies abroad each year to countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa.  Each trip is an extension of a full semester or compressed track class on campus and typically ranges from one to three weeks. Celts may also seek one or two-semester studies abroad at one of UST’s many sister universities. For more information, please see UST Study Abroad, contact the Office of International Services & Study Abroad at studyabroad@stthom.edu, or stop by the office in Crooker Center, room 214, to see the Study Abroad Advisor, Ms. Andrea Pineda.