When most Americans hear anything about Africa, the imagery that comes to mind usually involves jungles, deserts, and wild animals. While this is the case in many parts of Africa, advanced, impressively developed cities are also fairly widespread throughout the continent. Over the course of this year's AMBA international trip, we were fortunate enough to experience one of these cities.
For a little over two weeks during May, twenty-seven students traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to study international business. Cape Town is an amazing place full of indescribable beauty and an enthralling culture. Some parts of the city seemed like they belonged in the U.S., while others seemed to be more at home in National Geographic. Every morning different faculty members of our partner university, University of Stellenbosch Business School, would give lectures on topics such as the history of South Africa, scenario development, economics, technology in developing countries, etc. In the afternoons, we would visit different South African companies to learn about their business processes and value propositions.
These lectures and company visits were informative and thought-provoking. Personally, I thought it was interesting how similar the business concepts were. Of course, there were some culturally relevant practices involved, but, overall, much of what we have learned at Belmont over the past 10 months was directly applicable to what businessmen and businesswomen were doing over there.
Now before you go on thinking that this trip was all business, I'll be the first to admit the class definitely got its fair share of excitement. We visited tourist hotspots such as Robben Island, Table Mountain, and the Cape of Good Hope. We also investigated the nightlife on Long Street, in Bellville, and on the Waterfront. Some members of the class were even adventurous enough to go cage diving with great white sharks.
When I started looking into Belmont's program, the idea of an international trip really appealed to me. Ever since I applied, I looked forward to traveling to South Africa with my classmates. This trip definitely did not disappoint! We were able to learn about business, grow closer to one another, and experience a country and culture very different from our own. I think that I can speak for the AMBA class when I say that this trip has been the highlight of the program so far.