The UTSA College of Business hosted two faculty-led immersion programs this summer to Ireland and Spain.
As part of the Ireland immersion program, 16 business students learned about Irish culture and business practices as they studied at the National University of Ireland at Galway. The students also visited Dublin during the 11-day program.
“We heard from leading experts on Brexit,” said Sharad Asthana, immersion leader and chair of the Department of Accounting. “Immersions open up students’ world views, and they discover how to appreciate the differences in business among different cultures.”
While in Ireland students participated in academic lectures and toured businesses including Hewlett Packard, the Port of Galway and the PwC Dublin office.
“For someone who has never traveled internationally, this program opened up my eyes to better appreciate and understand the definition of diversity,” said Daniel De La O, a recent graduate from the college’s M.S. in Business program. “This experience is one I am very grateful to have attended, and one I will never forget.”
As part of the immersion in Spain, 17 business students learned about Spanish business practices and cultures while attending classes at Instituto Internacional in Madrid.
“The immersion program allows students across disciplines within the college to gain practical business exposure,” said Daniela Sanchez, assistant professor of accounting. “The program delivered both rich and well-rounded information about business and cultural aspects of Spain. Students attended high-quality classes on the history and climate of Spain, as well as gained practical advice on doing business in Spain, including issues related to being part of the European Union.”
Led by accounting faculty members Daniela and Manuel Sanchez, the students’ 14-day immersion included visiting one of the most successful Spanish firms, El Corte Ingles, the stock exchange, a local winery and the Madrid airport. Cultural activities such as Spanish cooking classes and outings to the Real Madrid Stadium and learning about bull fighting rounded out their experience.
“Being able to participate in an international immersion program was a great experience,” said Adryanna Coy, a senior majoring in marketing. “It helped me get out of my comfort zone, try new things, new foods and experience a different culture. I got a glimpse of the opportunities that are out in the world after college, and it even helped me decide what I wanted to pursue after graduation this fall.”
In addition to the immersion programs, the college’s International Business Programs Office sponsored five students to participate in internship opportunities in Chile and Ireland this summer. An additional 10 students were also chosen to attend the European Innovation Academy program in Portugal.
“The college’s immersion programs allow students to stretch in terms of personal responsibility in a different country,” said Daniela Sanchez. “But, more importantly, students will be able to offer this experience as an asset to employers who are seeking well-rounded individuals.”