CSI Students Learn in Ireland that You Cannot “Find Culture in a Classroom”

Students visiting the countryside near Glendalough in County Wicklow during the 2010 trip.

Last summer students from College of Staten Island took part in the third annual trip to Ireland. This marked an innovation for the Business Department since students were participating in the first-ever travel abroad course included in the Business curriculum (BUS 420). CSI’s partner in this intensive program is the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). CSI and DIT have been involved in cooperative efforts for more than four years and the results have been better than expected. CSI business students looking for a study-abroad opportunity are beginning to choose Ireland as the “gateway” country to studying in Europe. DIT and CSI offer a full-semester program as well as a short-term summer program in Dublin.

During the summer course, CSI business students studying in Ireland were able to receive the full range of educational experiences as well as witness the unique history that Dublin, one of Europe’s oldest cities, has to offer. Because of its unique location, Dublin is a gateway to the European Union. In addition, although the culture is different from ours, the common language makes it easier for English-speaking students to acclimate themselves to a new country.

CSI students attend lectures at DIT and also visit important literary sites such as the home of James Joyce, travel to Belfast in Northern Ireland to see how the peace is working, and make company visits to firms like Intel and Google. The Google visit was especially significant since the company carefully guards its proprietary information and does not often entertain guests. Commenting on the Intel visit in 2010, Mary Beth Reilly, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management at CSI, who accompanied the students last summer, said “We were exposed to the inner workings of a company we otherwise never would have been exposed to.”

Recently returning CSI students all commented that they had a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience and they stressed the importance of learning cultural diversity. “As a manager, you may have a wide employee base,” said Naushad Mohammed, who has a BS and MS from the College. “You find people from all walks of life and as a manager you have to understand every single one of these employees. Studying abroad gives future business managers the opportunity to not only experience another country’s culture and practices but to meet new people and broaden personal horizons.”

Aside from being a practical learning experience and a good way to strengthen a résumé, the experience elicited the same response from all of the students who have returned from studying at DIT. They echoed the sentiment shared by Jared Desposito, a 2009 graduate from CSI’s MS in Management program, “I learned so much about what I don’t know about the world.”

To access the video link describing the trip:
CSI Students in Dublin

Ireland Group

Students and CSI and DIT faculty at a DIT lecture during the summer of 2011.

Article By Alan Zimmerman, Business Department

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