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Oct 12, 2019

Chile Reflection - Charlie Thomlinson

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Ever since my group from EIA won the trip to Chile I couldn’t wait to go. Re-meeting the team from the weekend before we flew to Chile was great as we caught on what had happened since.

The length of the trip was satisfactory and the accommodation was excellent (especially for me and Bryce).

The addition of the Chilean students really engaged us the most into Chile’s culture. Through discussions at dinner and in between business visits we learnt about their school and everyday living. Them being both fluent in English and Spanish was also great learning some Spanish phrases. Working with them in the challenge on the last day was also great.

The business visits helped us learn the most about Chile and Chile’s business culture. We visited a diverse range of businesses. Where we learned about many different industries and the successes and problems that those businesses had this was something that I liked. The two most engaging businesses that we visited was the winebox hotel and NotCo. Visiting the Winebox hotel was special because we experienced the wow factor of ultimately their product, and then listening to the founder himself about the it. NotCo was also really interesting as it was a business that we could clearly see has huge potential and the speaker was really knowledgeable about the business as well. Learning about the businesses in their own offices or grounds and walking around was definitely more engaging than remaining in a conference room.

The travel between the businesses and to dinner using the Metro was great. Not only was this easy and convenient but also engaged us a lot in the culture. The restaurant selection was great as we went to many different restaurants that served different Chilean food.

Despite the trouble we encountered with the airline on returning to New Zealand the trip overall was an amazing experience and gave me tremendous insight that I wouldn’t normally get when travelling to a new country. I learnt a lot about Chile’s business culture and generally about business that I wouldn’t have learnt in a classroom. I really enjoyed the trip and making new connections. I look forward to returning to Chile or other parts of South America because of this trip and hope to revisit some the people I met.