Gwynedd Mercy University School of Business
Ralph Hoffman, Ed. D., Associate Professor
Heather Pfleger, Ed. D., Dean
Outline for the Session
Rationale for the program
Description of our process to create the tour
Advantages of partnership
Logistics planning/budget issues
Academic planning and course design
Lessons learned
Gwynedd Mercy University
Student Profile
• Student Profile
– 3181 students
• 2641 Undergraduate (83%)
– 74% female
– 65% Caucasian; 25% African-American;4% Asian; 4%
– 59% First generation college students
• Struggling to pay for private
higher education
• The vast majority of our students have never
been outside of the U.S.
Challenge #1: Push to increase global
experiences vs. student profile
• University academic initiative to increase
global awareness throughout the curriculum
• Instituting practices that satisfy IACBE
Principle 8: International Business Education
• For reasons previously stated, Gwynedd
students are not attracted to semester long
study abroad programs
Mini Study Abroad
• An intense experiential
learning program that
immerses students in a short
travel experience.
• The study abroad program is
set up as both a credit and
non-credit program.
• The credits are billed as part
of the regular undergraduate
tuition for the next semester.
Challenge #2: Ensuring we Provide a
Quality Program
• No study abroad or international program
• No support staff to coordinate efforts
• Partnership with a college/university tour
• Gwynedd Mercy University partnered with EF
College Study Tours.
– EFCS Tours has provided educational tours for
many years.
– They do all the trip planning so that faculty can
concentrate their efforts on the curriculum
Planning the Trip
• Timing
– Currently the School of Business is
running mini study abroad
programs every 2 years,
alternating with the School of Arts
& Sciences.
– Winter break has proven to be an
attractive time.
• The first trip offered in 2012/2013
filled in 4 weeks!
• Our December, 2014 trip is close to
being filled
– We have opened the trips to
friends and family of the
university community
Planning the Trip (continued)
• Setting a price
– The School of Business attempts to keep the trip
under $3500.
– Students do NOT pay any extra tuition for these
courses as they are scheduled during the spring
semester (the trips have run in late December to
early January).
– The University does not charge any fees for the
Planning the trip (continued)
• Selecting a Location
– The School of Business informally surveys students
– Locations that have been selected by the School of
• England
• France
• Scotland
– Other locations of university mini study abroad
programs have included:
• Italy
• Ireland
Structuring the Program
• Select Number of Days and
what you would like to do:
– Business Field trips and
lectures can be scheduled
– Guided educational tours can
be included (museums,
historical locations, etc.)
– Theater performances can be
– You can set how much free
time you want to include
– You can decide how many
group meals to include
Planning the Program
Tours include:
– All transportation (air and local buses, trains, etc.)
– All hotel accommodations
– All meals included in the program
– Acquire local tour director and guides
– Travel insurance
– Local business visits
Planning the Program (continued)
• Advantages of Partnering
– Company assist with any problems that may occur
during trip
– Dedicated tour director for entire trip
– Provides recommendations for free time
Campus Planning
• One faculty member is
designated as the university trip
– Responsible for working with
partner company
– Responsible for marketing
• Information sessions
• Campus communication
– Other Responsibilities
• Collecting emergency information
• Collecting copies of passports
• Organizing and providing a planning
meeting prior to departure
– It DOES take a good amount of
University Support
• The president has been very supportive of
increasing global opportunities for students.
– The president has an academic excellence fund and
she has provided a scholarship for each mini study
abroad program that has been offered through the
• This is awarded based on an essay competition developed by
the School of Business
– In addition, because of our continued successful
partnership with EFCS Tours they have also offered us
a scholarship.
Challenge #3: Funding faculty to
• The School budget cannot accommodate
paying for the faculty who participate on the
– EFCS Tours helps with this.
– For every 6 paying travelers,
you earn 1 free spot.
– The School of Business has used
this free spot to cover the costs
of the faculty participating in
the trip.
– Because of this there is very
little expense to the university
• The school budget covers travel
insurance and meals not covered
as part of the program
• The school budget covers paying
the faculty teaching the course(s)
Academic Planning
• Course Offerings
– The School of Business has offered 2 3-credit
courses as part of the trip.
• One class is specific to international business studies
• We designed the course to be specific to the countries
included in the tour, offering it as a special topics
business elective
• One class is a general education elective (we have
offered a themed literature course)
Course Design
• From Stonehenge to Versailles: The Six Pillars of European
Business Culture
• Course Description
• This course will explore, through experiential learning by means of a
mini study abroad in England and France, the six pillars of culture
(economics, political, legal, language, religion, and social issues) as
they relate to living and working in these two countries. This
course will provide students the opportunity to engage in
experiential learning by visiting each country and reflecting on what
they observe about how people live and work as related to the six
pillars of culture. The completion of the full 9-day study abroad is
required for this course.
• Co-Requisite/Prerequisite: BUS 101 (Business Theory) or
permission of professors
Course Design
Course Learning Outcome 1: Students will be able to compare
and contrast the economic and financial factors that impact
international travel and business.
Course Learning Outcome 2: Students will be able to identify
the political factors that impact international travel and
Course Learning Outcome 3: Students will be able to provide
a basic summary of the legal systems of the countries visited
and the impact that the legal systems have on international
Course Learning Outcome 4: Students will be able to discuss
the impact that spoken and unspoken language has on
international business.
Course Learning Outcome 5: Students will be able to recognize
and articulate the religious factors that impact international
Course Learning Outcome 6: Students will be able to explain
the social issues that impact international business.
Course Design
• Course Requirements
• Research Project – Students researched relevant topics related to the
countries being visited
• Journal - Students will be required to keep a journal of their experiences
of their trip (such as: customs observed, the manner in which business is
conducted, reflections of activities and excursions)
• Reflection Paper – Students will write a reflection on their experiential
learning as it relates to the course learning objectives
• Class Participation – students will be required to attend and participate in
the pre and post-trip class meetings as well as all scheduled class
meetings during the trip
• Blog –Students will contribute to a blog that will be set up on the
Gwynedd Mercy University web site. This blog will provide an opportunity
for students to share their experiences with the rest of the University
Course Design
Example of
Linkage to Accreditation and Strategic
• IACBE Principle 8: International Business
Short-term study abroad as part of the overall
plan to enhance international business
• School of Business Strategic Plan
• University Institutional Goal/Strategy
Lessons Learned
• Students have been very receptive to mini
study abroad programs
• Need faculty involvement
– We have 4 faculty participate in each trip
– Important – especially for large groups!
Lessons Learned
• Plan a year in advance
– It takes time to put the
program together and to
recruit students
• If at all possible have a
faculty member go on a trip
as a “learning traveler” first
– R.H. traveled on a philosophy
mini study abroad to learn
how it is done and than
served as the campus trip
director for the next two
trips offered through the
School of Business.
Readings For Additional Discussions
Study Abroad with AIFS
Discusses benefits of study abroad programs
Includes ideas for service learning and study abroad
Temple University
– Study Abroad Week aims to change Temple
cultureType: News Story
Last week, Temple’s Office of Education Abroad and Overseas
Campuses hosted its second annual Study Abroad Week. Events
included a meet and greet with the Education Abroad staff, a
Mini Study Abroad Fair and information sessions about studying
abroad at Temple’s Rome and Japan campuses, as well as at
other locations around the globe.
September 17, 2012
– Short-term study abroad offers concentrated global
experienceType: News Story
Temple CIBER, based at the Fox School, offers short-term study
abroad to attract students who are typically underserved in
study abroad: males, minority students, athletes and certain
majors that have lockstep curriculum that makes it difficult to
spend a summer or semester abroad. In addition, many
participants have never left the country before their short-term
study abroad experience but then
December 9, 2011
Questions and Answers
• For additional information please contact us:
• [email protected][email protected]
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