Midshipmen study abroad in Argentina, Peru, and Chile
POSTED ON: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 9:35 AM by MIDN 1/C Kohl Dorsey, 1/C Jillian Bellows, 2/C Chase Barlow, and 2/C Jatin Khona
MIDN 1/C Kohl Dorsey, 1/C Jillian Bellows, 2/C Chase Barlow, and 2/C Jatin Khona studied economics through the Institute for the International Education of Students in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our program focused on developmental and macroeconomic theory from the perspective of developing nations. We began our program studying seven weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the current economic crisis. In Argentina, we learned the importance of international financial markets and economic development over time. In the middle of the semester, our program included a one week visit to Peru in order to meet with businesses and firms to supplement our understanding of economics with hands on practical experience. While we were not able to continue our semester in Chile due to national protests, we returned to Buenos Aires. We continued our academic program studying economic transformation and economic sustainability. Our program supplemented our in-class learning experience with excursion trips with local business leaders and CEOs of Argentine firms.
As the program we were able to attend was not at a military institution, we lived with host families in Buenos Aires. This gave us an opportunity to immerse ourselves into the culture and language even more, and we all grew in our spanish-speaking abilities. Additionally, it gave us all an even more unique and individual experience as we were able to create relationships with our own respective host families. These relationships proved to be even more important than we could have imagined, since when we returned to Buenos Aires due to the protests in Santiago, all of our host families were gracious enough to accept us back for the rest of the semester. Being able to have a home-cooked meal and a place to consider home allowed all of us to grow more comfortable in a foreign country while still challenging ourselves to grow outside of what we have previously known.
We were able to develop in our military profession through multiple interactions with Argentine officers, the former minister of defense, and visit other attractions outside of our study abroad program. We met with officers and cadets at the Argentina Naval Academy, where we were given tours of the planetarium, campus, and ship simulator. We visited several museums that outlined and displayed artifacts of Argentine’s rich and controversial military history, including the Naval Academy museum and the official Navy Ship museum. It was amazing to be able to talk to officers multiple times throughout our time in Buenos Aires and discuss a non-western perspective of the United States, its military, and the views of Argentine military and the effects of the government and economy on foreign policy and military support.
During our time abroad, we experienced diverse cultural interactions with people from different countries and every region of Argentina. We traveled to Machu Picchu, Peru and Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, both UNESCO world heritage sites. In Argentina, we immersed ourselves in the cultures of cities including El Chalten, El Calafate, Ushuaia, Mendoza, Bariloche, Iguazu, Mar del Plata, and Tigre. Exploration and regional diversity ensured that we not only interacted with Argentines from large cities but with locals who live in mountain towns and rural agricultural based communities. The mélange of cultures we interacted with will help to increase our cross-cultural competence and complements our leadership development as Midshipman at USNA. We are beyond grateful to have had this opportunity and will share the lessons we have learned academically, professionally, and culturally with the brigade and as future officers in the fleet.