A new study abroad program is being sent by the APSU College of Business to Argentina

CLARKSVILLE, TN – In the late winter of 2020, Dr. Brandon Di Paolo Harrison, assistant professor of accounting at Austin Peay University, began narrowing down a busy itinerary for his summer trip to South America. Specifically, he planned to spend a month in Rosario, one of Argentina’s largest port cities, and wanted his students to make the most of the APSU College of Business’ inaugural overseas trip to the country.

That February, he spoke in a relaxed, cheerful tone about the upcoming visit, exposing his students to the culture he knew and loved. Then on Friday, March 6, 2020, Di Paolo Harrison received a campus-wide emergency email announcing a “moratorium on University-related international travel.” Within a month, the COVID-19 lockdown began, forcing more than 3 billion people to stay in their homes.

“The pandemic canceled the trip,” said Di Paolo Harrison, his voice a little less cheerful. “He canceled it two years in a row.”

After those two long years, most people would have given up hope of organizing such an ambitious trip, but in May 2022, the APSU College of Business embarked on its first historic trip to the Southern Hemisphere. That month, 10 APSU students took classes with Di Paolo Harrison at the Universidad del Centro Educativo Latinoamericano campus while also exploring Argentina’s business, cultural and tourist sites.

“We worked on a place where they could tour the stock exchange in Rosario and meet the administrators there,” said Di Paolo Harrison. “One of the largest insurance conglomerates in South America, La Segunda, we had to visit their campus. And the students could go to Iguazu Falls (the largest waterfall system in the world) and go to Patagonia for glaciers.”

Students lived with host families during their stay and spent a month in classes, discussing supply chain issues with executives, taking tango lessons, learning how to make empanadas and developing Spanish language skills. And most of the trip – apart from a few meals and souvenirs – was free, thanks to grants and scholarships provided by the University and the College of Business.

“Our mission is to take students beyond the textbook,” said Di Paolo Harrison. “Studying abroad guides them and gives them access to people and places they wouldn’t normally have access to.”

Di Paolo Harrison and the College of Business are preparing for a second trip to Argentina from May 10 to June 11. Information about that trip is available at https://www.apsu.edu/business/students/educational-experiences/studyabroad .php.

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