This summer, 106 students in Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business are studying abroad on five faculty-led programs in Europe.

The programs, ranging from four to eight weeks, are among the ways the college prepares its students to join culturally diverse workplaces and do business around the world, says Reed Kennedy, director of Pamplin’s international programs. Employers, he notes, have cited experience abroad and an appreciation for multiculturalism as important factors in business and career success.

Pamplin’s study-abroad programs, Kennedy says, are specifically developed to give students rich learning experiences through coursework in management, finance, accounting, information technology, and hospitality and tourism management; visits to companies and cultural sites; and opportunities for intercultural interaction.

Students in the Barcelona program, for example, will take classes in international finance and business as well as Spanish art, language, and culture; visit businesses and cultural sites in and around Barcelona; and, live with local families — for the “ultimate in cultural immersion,” say the program’s faculty leaders, finance professors George Morgan and Dilip Shome.

Discussing the program’s philosophy, Morgan says that strong financial skills are essential for business success, but today’s finance professionals also need to be culturally informed and adept. “Particularly outside the U.S., business discussions often include non-business topics, such as art, music, and architecture; it is an expected part of the relationship between business partners,” says Morgan. “In Europe, many businesses are ardent supporters of the arts and are art collectors.”

Pamplin’s study-abroad programs this summer are: “The European approach to management: Study abroad in France,” led by Kennedy; “Event and technology management on the French Riviera,” led by France Belanger and Pierre Couture; “Doing business in Europe,” led by James Hicks, Lance Matheson, and Rodney Thompson;" “International business and culture in Barcelona, Spain,” led by Morgan and Shome; and “Hospitality and tourism management in Switzerland, France, Italy, and Austria,” led by Muzzo Uysal.

The college provides scholarship assistance for study abroad. It also offers students international internships, a global business minor, and programs at Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture in Switzerland and at other universities in Europe and Asia.

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