Dauri Torres '10
First, he spent six weeks in Costa Rica. Then, Dauri Torres '10 of Lawrence, MA, decided to spend a semester abroad in Scotland. The following semester, he headed off to the Bahamas to continue his adventure of a lifetime with a Semester at Sea.
The experience changed his life, he says.
"I met people from all over the world and have been immersed in cultures, living with a family in India and sleeping on the Great Wall of China. Not many people have that opportunity," says Torres. "For me, it's a great feeling to have."
It started with a summer program in Costa Rica, to fulfill a requirement for Torres' Spanish minor, and to see how he liked traveling. "I fell in love with it. I wanted to do something big and the way I did it was to spend a whole year abroad," he says.
But where to go next? "It came down between Scotland and Argentina. I decided to go with something different from my Latino heritage and to step out of my comfort zone," says Torres, an interdisciplinary studies major whose focus is on business administration and sociology.
Although in Costa Rica he lived with a host family, in Scotland he lived in a flat with three American and four Scottish students. They attended James Watt College in Greenock, where Torres studied economics, human resources, information and technology for business, and biology.
"We basically became immersed in the culture. I became part of the culture," he says.
While in Scotland, Torres also traveled to Ireland, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Brussels.
Then, along with about 760 other college students, including MCLA student Sarah Robischon '10 of Saratoga Springs, NY, Torres sailed around the world during his Semester at Sea.
After boarding the ship in the Bahamas, he traveled to Spain, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan, Hawaii and Guatemala, visiting each country for four to five days at a time. The students then traveled through the Panama Canal, before their final docking in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Classes were held at sea.
"I wanted to see the global economy and see how businesses operated all over the world," says Torres. "When we got to port, we basically did whatever we wanted to. Some of our classes required us to take day trips. In Mauritius, we went to a sugar plantation and talked about how they marketed their product. I visited the Coca Cola factory in Morocco and the Nike factory in Vietnam.
"What really struck me was the Nike factory and how it costs so little to make the Nike shoe. It costs less than a dollar to make each pair. By the time it gets to the United States, Nike has paid about $5 for each pair, before selling them for like $90," he says. "People on the trip went crazy, buying sneakers for $3 or $4 - the top of the line. They were the exact sneakers you'd find here. I filled my suitcase."
Now, Torres hopes to attend graduate school in Edinburgh, Glasgow, or London.
"After doing all of this traveling, I'm thinking of doing something with higher education administration, to help other students with the study abroad process," he says.