Faculty Memoirs: Study Abroad Business Program in China

Faculty Memoirs: Study Abroad Business Program in China

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0169-5.ch015
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The global nature of a contemporary economy emphasizes the need for business graduates to possess a global perspective, cultural sensitivity and the knowledge of language and culture of more than one country. Consequently, faculty driven, short-term, university study abroad programs allow students the opportunity to step outside the classroom and learn about the world in a safe, controlled and faculty regulated environment. ‘Learn by going' (Keese & O'Brien, 2011) happens to be the most effective learning strategy. This chapter describes the experience of the author as an instructor and team member of a study abroad program to China. The author discusses the program, curriculum, pedagogies adopted, and learning outcomes of students. Critical reflections of her own involvement in this educational tour to China are also shared.
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It is no longer possible to ignore the role of diversity and concept of multiculturalism. ‘[The] US has become so richly diverse that one does not need to travel more than a few blocks from campus to have a cross-cultural exposure, hear other languages spoken, meet people from different cultural traditions and discover religious practice different from our own’ (Sobania & Braskamp, 2009, p. 23). To survive and be successful as a business entrepreneur, executive or professional, all business graduates require multicultural competencies grounded in an understanding of international issues and settings (Di Pietro, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Globalization: The process of international interaction and integration amongst people, companies and governments of different nations.

Cultural Competency: A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system; enabling that system to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. That is, being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact by valuing diversity.

Experiential Learning: Processes whereby students learn by doing and by reflecting on the experience.

Ethnocentrism: To consider one’s own culture i.e., customs, practices, values and beliefs as the right and proper way of doing things and the other person’s culture as not correct.

Taoism: An ancient philosophy and religious belief rooted in Chinese customs and history. It is a way of life for Chinese people.

Pedagogy: The discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education. It thus concerns the study and practice of how best to teach.

Faculty Driven Study Abroad Programs: Study abroad programs for students where the faculty accompanies them as trip leaders, fellow travelers and teachers.

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