How is This Event Structured?
Presentation 1: Mourad Dakhli, Georgia State University, USA
GSU-ESCA Students Tackle Global Sustainability Challenges Leveraging Virtual Exchange
This virtual exchange project leverages the power of virtual teams, the resources of open source global innovation platforms, and the value of cross-border collaboration to tackle real societal challenges.
The project brought together students from Georgia State University enrolled in ‘Cities as Centers of Innovation and Sustainability in Emerging Markets’ with students enrolled in Dr. Rihab Abba International Management class at ESCA in Casablanca. Morocco. Working in teams, students tackled and proposed solutions to one of the challenges on the Agorize Open Challenge platform. The project consisted of critically assessing current practices and proposing sustainability solutions for a large Canadian MNE to help it reduce its environmental footprint. For this project, multiple assessment tools were used including the IES intercultural effectiveness scale that evaluates competencies essential for effective interaction across cultures. Additional assessment tools included student reflections, peer evaluations, and instructors’ assessment of the proposed solutions to the sustainability challenge along pre-defined rubrics.
Presentation 2: Daria Panina, Texas A&M University, USA
MS Business Virtual Experience: Chile
This virtual end-of-class project focused on learning about Chile, its economy and culture, and consulting a Chilean startup on its expansion to the U.S. market.
Due to the COVID-19, MS Business students from Mays Business School participated in a virtual version of the week-long field trip to Santiago, Chile that was planned for March, 2021. In preparation to the end of class consulting project, MS Business students used a variety of reading and video materials to familiarize themselves with geography, culture and history of Chile. They’ve participated in two economic overview guest lectures delivered by experts from the country. As a hands-on consulting project, student teams were researching U.S. import regulations and working with Lap Marketplace – Chilean online trading platform on their expansion to the U.S. market.
Presentation 3: Karen Lynden and Heidi Bretz, UNC Greensboro
Experience Business Abroad Belgium
This faculty-led study abroad program offers a unique course structure that has been offered since 2012. As a collaboration between Louvain School of Management (LSM) at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium and UNC Greensboro, United States, it is a true joint course where each partner recruits students who take the course concurrently at their institutions. The program offers a unique course design where students begin their work collaborating virtually, and then visit each other’s home country to meet, work, and socialize in each culture. A primary goal of the course is to provide all students a culturally rich, academically rigorous experience where they will learn about entrepreneurship, strategy, and global business while working in multi-cultural teams. In 2021 we delivered the course as a Global Virtual Exchange (GVE), and in this short session, we will review our reflections of the GVE learning experience. Additionally, to assess how students were developing interculturally over the course of the semester, students took the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) at the beginning and end of the program, receiving group and individual debriefs. The results have interesting implications regarding the impact of short-term programs on intercultural learning.
Presentation 4: Sumit Kundu and Jillian Avendano, FIU, USA
Faculty Development: Virtual Experience
Join Dr. Sumit K. Kundu, Associate Dean of International Programs at FIU’s College of Business, Faculty Director for the PDIB India Program, and Dr. Jillian Avendano, CIBER Program Director Center for International Business Education and Research, to learn about the virtual journey of discovery through India on the CIBER (FIU) Business inaugural virtual PDIB (Professional Development international Business) program. This program was designed for faculty, doctoral students, and professionals interested in developing a greater understanding of the complexities of doing business in one of the world’s largest emerging markets. Attendees were afforded the opportunity to learn from and connect with top executives from several industries across the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi, and participated in cultural exchange tours and talks -all while networking with faculty from leading academic institutions. Dr. Kundu and Dr. Avendano will overview the model; its benefits, format, and give a behind-the-scenes view of the important aspects considered when creating this Virtual PDIB. Additionally, Dr. Avendano will overview the 2021 South Korea PDIB program, and provide a glimpse of what is in store next!
Presentation 5: Jami Leibowitz, ECU, USA
Impactful Virtual Exchange: Design Considerations and Outcomes
COVID-19 brought Virtual Exchange to the forefront as a key strategy for providing international education opportunities in a time when travel was not possible. As the world re-opens, what happens to virtual exchange? In this interactive session we will share research on virtual exchange that shows the impact of virtual exchange. The session will discuss how virtual exchange complements study abroad and has a role in a comprehensive internationalization strategy. In particular we will look at comparative gains in cultural intelligence between those who take a virtual exchange course and those that study abroad. We will also examine the impact of virtual exchange and the role it plays in promoting international education particularly among typically underrepresented groups. Once we understand why institutions should offer virtual exchange, we will shift to examining the components that make for an impactful virtual exchange experience and identify strategies for developing the international partnerships essential for this modality. We will then open the session to a discussion about virtual exchange with a focus on learning about what attendees are doing or hope to do in this area.