Study Abroad for Breech Students
To enrich the learning environment of Breech business students by providing global experiences designed to enhance their appreciation and understanding of the global business community. Through first-hand observations of business operations in other cultures, Breech students will be made aware of diverse viewpoints which impact decision-making in other cultures.
All Breech students will enroll in a Course which involves foreign travel designed to provide an engaging, immersing international experience. Students may choose from MGMT 205, MGMT 206, or MGMT 207 to satisfy this requirement. In order to ensure that such travel meets the requirements of these courses, students need to complete the Breech Study Abroad Form and have it approved by the Director of the Breech School of Business. Note that not all study abroad trips offered through Drury University will meet the study abroad requirement for the Breech School of Business.
Students who believe that required travel would impose an extreme hardship may apply for an exception. Please note that the circumstances must be extraordinary. Contact Dr. Shirley for additional requirements and procedure.
Experiences: Breech Students Around the World
Students don't always get that excited about required college classes, but not every college class takes it's students out of the country. The Drury Breech School of Business is one of those exceptions because they require their students to study overseas to enrich their academic careers.
"The Breech School of Business has as it's mission preparing ethical leaders for the global business community and we do that everyday, but we recognize that's not enough. So this opportunity to go out and be engaged, to go out and experience in a study abroad environment is exactly what our students need," says Breech Director Michael Shirley.
Stories from Connections Abroad
- An Education in Egypt
- Living and Learning in Granada, Spain
- The Slovenia - Drury Connection
By: David Emnett
It was winter 2009. The day I was waiting for was fast approaching. Soon, I would turn 21 years old. Strangely enough, that's not what I was excited about. In fact, my 21st birthday would barely even exist.
We left for Egypt on December 26th, 2009. After 20+ hours of traveling, we landed in "Masr Om El Donia," or the mother of the world, just three hours before the end of my 21st birthday. I turned 21 in a plane on the way to Cairo. Now, just how many people do you know who can say that!? Thankfully, international flights offer all kinds of celebratory beverages. It was the beginnings of an experience I will never forget.
In the weeks to come, I would see the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Hatshepsut's Palace, the Library of Alexandria, Abu Simbel, the Temple of Luxor, and even visit a Nubian village. I rode a camel to the pyramids. (her name was Victoria) I watched the sun set while cruising down the Nile and smoked hookah on the rooftop of our hotel in Cairo. We walked the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and even held baby crocodiles. And yet, what I value most from my trip to these ancient lands, is not the tourist sites that I saw. What I really cherish is the perspective I found.
Fast forward 2 years. I had started reading BBC News because I wanted to know what was going on in the world outside America. A good friend of mine who had traveled with us to Egypt had just sent me an article from BBC's Africa section. It was titled, "Beer, cabaret and politics in a Cairo 'baladi' bar," and there, under the title, was a picture of the exact bar I had once sat. The article highlighted Cairo nightlife and discussed how this traditional 'baladi' bar had survived the wave of religious conservatism in the 1980s. The author of this article sat with revolutionaries when she was there, and featured words from those she spoke to: Ali, a young photographer and protestor and his friend a newly recruited conscript. Ali had been shot in the face a few months earlier when the army opened fire on and ran over demonstrators with tanks; and his friend had just spent his leave week throwing stones at soldiers guarding the interior ministry. By then, the Egyptian revolution was in full throttle. Revolutionaries leading the world's first Facebook revolution were sitting at what looked like the very table I had sat 2 years earlier.
I had been following the revolution, supporting from afar as students my age took to the streets demanding democracy. Still, I didn't feel connected. After reading the article, I thought back to my experiences in "Masr Om El Donia." I realized how the trip had changed me. I had been thrown into a completely unfamiliar environment and learned to adapt. I saw poverty not as we Americans know poverty, but as it exists in third world countries across the globe. I visited ancient mosques and came to understand the subtleties of a religion that a fifth of the world's population practices. I experienced Egyptian hospitality in Alexandria and visited with young Egyptians in Cairo discovering their view on politics and the development of their country. And, I had sat in a bar with revolutionaries. These experiences connected me. And that, is global perspective.
By: Morgan Atwood
We are taught to be "global citizens" in the Breech School of Business but I often question what that really means. In the last semester, I have concluded that it is a two part equation: the willingness to walk in another's shoes and being confident to jump into new situations. Throughout my semester I walked in many different shoes, and even wore through a few soles. I was faced with many new and sometimes scary situations but it made me a stronger, more confident young woman. Simply put, studying abroad is a chance to experience a different way of life, which can directly benefit ones future success.
The most beneficial experience during my time in Spain was my total submersion into a Spanish home. My housemother Pilar was both terrifyingly expressive and incredibly loving. There were many unexpected cultural barriers thrown my way within the first hour of my arrival. The biggest clash arose when she found out I was a vegetarian, and for weeks she attempted to transform me into a meat eater. The battle for me to eat meat was one of the very few arguments that the fierce sixty-year-old did not win.
After about two weeks, Pilar and I were the best of friends since we were both avid fans of politics and very active supporters of the feminist movement. Due to the economic depression in Spain, daily protests were commonplace. With Pilar's assurance that the strikes and protests were safe, I took to the streets nearly every week, soaking up all the raw political passion I could. The national strike on March 28 was one of the most powerful demonstrations of public dissent I have ever witnessed or read about. With participation of over three-fourths of the population, the Huelga General combating the conservative Spanish government taught me that it is possible to achieve unity across an entire country when people are willing to work together.
Every day, Pilar and I would discuss politics, ranging from John Edward's affair to the French presidential election - all in Spanish, of course. Our day-to-day discussions were not something I could have experienced in any classroom setting. Our in-depth chats went much further than talking about elections. The characteristic I admired most about Pilar was her courage to be bold. She had no problem telling me exactly what the Spanish thought about the United States and its citizens. She berated me about wasting natural resources and how the U.S. is always intervening in other countries affairs. She believed us to be warmongers always looking for a fight. There were so many different jabs she took towards the United States, but they never offended me because many of them rang true.
Stepping outside of one's comfort zone is the first step towards personal growth and becoming a global citizen. Traveling across the globe without the security blanket of parents, friends, cell phones, wireless internet devices and the English language forces you to rely on your own skills and courage. In Spain, I had to venture out on my own, navigating my way through bus stops, international airports and back alleys. I learn to rely on myself. Self-confidence and a sense of adventure are vital, both abroad and in the business world. I believe that my four months in Spain gave me a fresh perspective on the world and a sense of accomplishment for surviving and thriving all on my own.
Have you met any Slovene students at Drury this semester? Your chances are pretty good as there are now five students from Slovenia studying at Drury under our exchange program with the University of Ljubljana where Drury students can study at the University of Ljubljana and students from the University of Ljubljana can study at Drury University. Through the years, Drury students have spent a semester studying at the University of Ljubljana and experiencing important intercultural events.
The relationship between the two schools started back in 1993 when Dr. Stephen Good provided a scholarship for a Slovene student to study at Drury. In the early stages of the exchange the Slovene students were hand-picked by the faculty at the University of Ljubljana Economics. It is significant to note that many of these students have ultimately excelled in their fields. For example, the first Slovene student that was provided a scholarship was Andrej Kocic. Andrej entered the insurance industry and later became the Board Chair and president of the largest insurance company in Slovenia.
The relationship has also included faculty exchanges. Dusan Mramor has lectured at Drury several times. Andrej Kumar has provided courses at Drury on three separate occasions. Drury has had a visiting Fulbright professor from Slovenia and three Drury faculty have had Fulbright grants to Slovenia. Professor Jeff VanDenBerg recently returned from a Fulbright grant with the school of Political Science. Hopefully other Drury faculty, from a variety of academic backgrounds, will be involved in future exchanges.
As a result of the Slovenia - Drury exchange program, Drury now has graduates at the top of many organizations in Slovenia including: Sava Tire, Deloitte & Touch, the CEO of NLB Skladi, the Finance controller of Microsoft, and many others. It has been an enriching experience for me, and other Breech business faculty to meet, teach and work with many of these talented students.
As was recently reported in The Mirror, there is also an opportunity for Drury students to study at the University of Ljubljana for three weeks each July. The University of Ljubljana summer program provides Drury students an opportunity to meet with students and faculty from all over the world. Slovenia is a wonderful, friendly country with mountains and wonderful villages. The city of Ljubljana has a wealth of culture, sights, activities and good old-fashioned fun that would be the envy of a city twice its size. I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in the 2012 Ljubljana summer program, where I taught Corporate Valuation: What is a Firm Worth. It was an invigorating experience, working with students and faculty from around the world, and I look forward to participating again in the future.