Trinidad & Tobago

I was given the opportunity to travel to Trinidad & Tobago this semester as part of the ISLP program through the College of Business Marketing department. Out travels took place over spring break so we were given the first half of the semester to prepare for the symposium at the University of West Indies and the elementary schools in Tobago in which we taught the importance of social responsibility. I had never traveled outside of the country prior to this class and wasn’t sure what to expect. I love traveling and volunteering so this course allowed me to do both. Traveling to Trinidad and Tobago was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life thus far. I was not prepared for how much of an impact this trip would have on me. It was eye opening to experience the differences in culture and also see how other people live outside of the US. One of the most significant differences is in the way they live their everyday lives. The people of T&T are not as dependent on time as we are in the states. Their lifestyle is very laid back and they are more concerned with developing lasting relationships with family, friends and neighbors than they are about making a lot of money. In UWI, when discussing social responsibility, I found that the citizens were mostly concerned with upholding their culture and beliefs when making changes in their community. Additionally, in Tobago, people were even more concerned with making sure the well-being of the people in their community was maintained. Teaching the kids in Tobago was one of my favorite parts. The kids were some of the sweetest people I have had the pleasure of meeting and they were so receptive to learning what we had to teach them. The irony of it was that in our attempt to teach them something, they actually ended up teaching me to enjoy the moment and not get so hung up on deadlines, time constraints and superficial goals that often drive people in the states. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the study abroad program offered by the COB and hope that it is continued for many years to come so that other people can experience this life-changing experience like I did. Here is a picture of the beautiful Tobago coastline:

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