Patterson School students visit Atlanta for break, spring trip planned to show students the international side of companies

Students from the Patterson School of Diplomacy are taking a different kind of spring break.

Next week, the students will tour several agencies and corporations in Atlanta that work internationally, said Carey Cavanaugh, retired ambassador and director of the Patterson School.

The trip was built around the idea of a visit to the border, Cavanaugh said, because Atlanta is a stop for much international travel to the United States.

The students will visit the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, he said, where they can see how the federal government manages people entering the country.

Hartsfield airport is the busiest airport in the country, and Cavanaugh said the students will see the citizenship side of international travel, including immigration.

The students will also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where they will see how the center is working to eradicate malaria and HIV worldwide, Cavanaugh said.

They will visit Zoo Atlanta, one of the few zoos outside of China to have giant pandas.

Cavanaugh said the zoo will show students how the zoo negotiates with China.

Some of the corporate stops for the students include Delta Airlines, CNN International, Coca Cola and the global investment company Invesco.

Matt Koch and Fausto Sarmiento are two of the 22 Patterson students going on the trip.

Koch said the trip would be a “great opportunity to see the innerworkings of how governments do their work.”

He said few people get to have the access they will be granted at places like Hartsfield airport.

Sarmiento said this is an example of the Patterson School offering its students hands-on learning through backstage aspects of the trip.

Cavanaugh said since the students get to meet with high executives at international companies, the trip can help the students get jobs after they graduate.

Koch said the trip will help students see “what they can do with the degree they’re studying for.”