For my class, Emerging Markets, we went to Riga, Latvia for five days to learn more about emerging markets and the Latvian economy. It was cool to go to a country that I have never thought of visiting. We stayed in a really nice hotel in the middle of the city and did many company visits, cultural activities, and ate a lot of Latvian cuisine! The entire visit was planned by DIS and they treated us very well!
We visited five companies over the course of the week: the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the Bank of Latvia, Infogr.am, Cytec Industries, and AGA. All of the visits fit well with the final essay and project that we were assigned, so it was very helpful to see the economic environment of Latvia and learn more about current companies and their success in Latvia.
My favorite cultural visit was Latvian Folk Dancing! On Monday night, the entire class went to a dance studio and learned Folk Dancing for about two hours – a great workout and a fun way to get to know everyone better and have a chance to bond. We also visited the Riga Central Market – one of Europe’s largest markets situated in five pavilions constructed in German Zeppelin hangers. The market had everything from produce to fish to clothing. It was also nice to have some free time to explore the tourist attractions, one afternoon we went up in St. Peter’s Church to get some views of the city.
The Latvian cuisine consisted of mostly fish and mushrooms. It wasn’t a day in Latvia without mushrooms and cottage cheese! On our first night, we went to a medieval restaurant that was in an old underground cellar, Rozengrāls, and were served an entire fish! At other restaurants throughout the week we ate duck, stuffed pancakes, and meatballs. Each group meal was 3 courses and consisted of hearty, Latvian cuisine!
Latvia was a lot of fun – and getting to know my classmates better was great (although most of them leave for home on Saturday). We had a lot of fun with company visits, cultural activities, and hanging out in our free time in Riga!