How to Combine Your Classes With a Study-Abroad Program in Italy
“EIA is experiential, challenging, and rewarding,” says Professor Douglas Carter of Texas A&M University, San Antonio. Those three descriptors help to explain how EIA has more faculty members joining the summer program every year.
The Biggest Motivation for Douglas Carter
Professor Carter teaches International Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the College of Business of Texas A&M University. Since 2017, Douglas has brought a couple of groups of students to experience EIA’s summer program; one to Italy, and one to Hong Kong in 2019.
According to Carter, the program is where his two true passions are combined: International Business and Entrepreneurship. During our interview with him, we could see how thrilled he was with the experience – play the video above and watch it!
The opportunity for international experiential learning is one of Carter’s biggest motivations for bringing students every year. “It’s a new environment for everyone on my trip,” he says. “They have to be innovative and learn how to adapt to the society in which they find themselves now.”
During the three-week program, students have to move forward from ideation to creating a product. Then they have to pitch it like winners. They have to address the problem and build real customer opportunities. However, EIA’s summer program is not just for students.
According to Carter, the primary takeaway of the program for faculty members is about being truly experiential. He highlights the important challenges of working with people from all over the world and dealing with new issues. Added to that, he must learn to engage students in the school of business negotiation and to demonstrate the importance of learning the rules within their five-member teams.
This is Not Just a Study-Abroad Program
Introducing students to a foreign country is not an easy job. Especially when they have to go from a concept to a real product within a three-week deadline.
“This is not a study abroad where you visit a church and a museum, and maybe you read a book,” Carter warns. “It’s more than 150 hours of contact in 3 weeks. It’s exhausting for faculty and for students, but they thrive on it.”
All this positive energy creates incredible startup ideas and individual growth. There’s a thrill in turning a concept into a real product in a new, complete environment. There’s a mission to accomplish, and students can’t slack off. “They don’t want to let their new friends, faculty, and university down,” Carter says. “They want to go back and be proud of what they accomplished here.”
Want to learn more about the program and how your university can be part of it? Check out this link!
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