It is hard to believe that the first week meeting students in Latin America is over! I began in Sao Paulo, Brazil where I visited two schools, Chapel and Graded. At both stops, my Penn State table had long lines of interested students, as usual. One of the students I met has a sister and cousin at Penn State and can’t wait to apply. I reminded the student that the application is already available online.
The group of college counselors that I am traveling with flew to Asuncion, Paraguay that later that day. We did not arrive at our hotel until after midnight. I was a bit disappointed that I could not see anything from the bus as it was my first trip to Paraguay. However, the next morning I saw a lot as we drove to the school. It is a beautiful country and the school was wonderful. The counselors and students were so happy to see Penn State. We had a busy fair and then they provided us with an Asado which is a typical Paraguayan barbecue with lots of foods that were new to me.
Our next stop was Buenos Aires. I have been there several times for recruitment trips and I love that city. I woke up early and walked through the city for about an hour. The stately buildings and enormous ancient trees are truly remarkable. Lincoln School is always a great school to visit. The students ask great questions. I am sure students from this visit will apply to Penn State.
Our next flight to Santiago, Chile was late arriving but we got up early and spent the day at the International School Nido de Aguilas. One student there remembered me from last year and cannot wait to apply to Penn State. We currently have a student from this school and many of the students (and mothers) knew him. Another student knew that Penn State has a very highly ranked Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management program and has already submitted an application for that major.
After the fair, we did a service project at a center for abused children. With 33 people working, we accomplished a lot in our three hours there. We painted, installed sheet rock, worked in the garden, and spent time interacting with the wonderful children. It was a truly rewarding experience.
We then took a bus to Santa Cruz, Chile for a relaxing weekend. I celebrated my birthday there and my colleagues made my day very special. The Chileans really know how to bake a birthday cake!!!
I am now beginning my second week in Latin America and am anxious to meet lots of new students. Check out the International Visitation Schedule to find out where I will be.