A Vibrant Experience of Learning in a Multicultural Team

by Andreia Gabriela Andrei, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania

Here we are. Friday, July 15th, at the end of 2nd week of SUSI’s six-week program, getting out of Boston for a one-day visit of the US seafood capital: New Bedford.

Participants standing in front of a shipThe field trip included visits, lectures and debates at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (https://fishingheritagecenter.org), New Bedford Whaling Museum (www.whalingmuseum.org), Port Authority (www.portofnewbedford.org) and New Bedford Ocean Cluster (www.newbedfordoceancluster.org), a delicious seafood meal at The Black Whale (https://www.theblackwhale.com/), a walking tour of the fishing port and meetings with local business representatives: fishermen, fish boat owners, and an experienced captain.

The field trip included visits, lectures and debates at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center (https://fishingheritagecenter.org), New Bedford Whaling Museum (www.whalingmuseum.org), Port Authority (www.portofnewbedford.org) and New Bedford Ocean Cluster (www.newbedfordoceancluster.org), a delicious seafood meal at The Black Whale (https://www.theblackwhale.com/), a walking tour of the fishing port and meetings with local business representatives: fishermen, fish boat owners, and an experienced captain.

I was impresed by New Beford’s strategies to create more value from ocean resources such as fish, aquaculture, and offshore wind – as  presented by Jennifer Downing – Executive Director, New Bedford Ocean Cluster and John Regan – Director of Policy & External Affairs, New Bedford Port Authority. 

I was also impressed by the representatives of local businesses who consider fishing a valuable legacy that they must perpetuate. Discussions about the fishing industry and local business have highlighted the role of local family businesses in promoting responsible practices and maintaining natural balance through the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth.

The trip proved to be as joyful as it was enlightening, revealing to us the central role played by local family businesses in the sustainable development of the community, the responsible use of resources and the health of the New Bedford ecosystem.

The New Bedford experience allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical lectures on the blue economy that we had previously received from Lindsey Williams, PhD – RiverSea Advisors. The trip brought the field vision, after two weeks of in-door lectures and debates within SUSI program held at Suffolk University in Boston on several topics such as democracy and liberty, free enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit in the US, economic growth and its distribution, political economy, global developments and conflict over resources, conditional cash transfers, ecosystem services and the blue economy.

I am so grateful for the oportunity of attending SUSI 2022 program. It is an amazing learning journey through lectures, interactive sessions, debates, field trips and experiences in a multicultural team of warmhearted and passionate scholars from 15 countries and 4 continents. We learn a lot from speakers, mentoars and ITD staff. But we also learn a lot from each-other and peer to peer debate.

SUSI 2022 on U.S. Economics and Business is a vibrant, amazing experience! It offers so much knowledge to be shared with students in my home country when I will get back!