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Walsh College Study Abroad Students Contribute Donation to Local Urban Farm

Recently, seven Walsh College students and the professor who traveled with them to Europe earlier in the summer devoted a morning to Earthworks Urban Farm, bringing with them a contribution from the C&A Foundation.

Led by Linda Hagan, Ph.D., professor and chair of Walsh’s Business Communications Department, the study abroad program to Europe brought Walsh students to a variety of companies to learn about international business and culture. The Walsh course was an opportunity to see how the various disciplines taught at Walsh come together in practice.

Students visited the following sites:

Bilfinger GVA in London, England’s largest commercial property consultancy
Hult International Business School in London, for a lecture on the impact of culture on international business success
SAP Solutions in Paris to learn about information technology practices
Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest newspaper, learning about news-gathering and supply chain management
C&A, a major global clothing retailer based in Zurich to learn about sustainability
The C&A Foundation, the nonprofit arm of C&A, was created in 1841 by Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer. The C&A donation (75 euros, equivalent to approximately $82) was a challenge to the students to keep the learning going, and the impact of their hard work, once the course ended. Two months after returning from their trip, the tight-knit group is still engaged with one another, continuing their learning and building new relationships with far-reaching impact.

C&A leaders challenged Walsh students with the task of taking the 75-euro grant and growing it by devoting it to a worthy community organizations. The students selected Earthworks, which not only feeds homeless individuals but also sells its organic, locally-grown produce to Detroiters and empowers volunteers with the knowledge and experience to replicate the process in their own backyards.

Dr. Hagan joined these students at Earthworks: James Gerrity of Southfield (MBA graduate and Walsh adjunct faculty member), Adam Hanson of Troy (Master of Science in Finance student), Delsean Littlejohn of Ferndale (Master of Science in Management graduate now pursuing his Master of Science in Information Technology), Selena Passeno of Lenox (in the MBA-MSF dual degree program) with her 12-year-old daughter Rachel, Angela Boesler of Clinton Township (Master of Science in Management student), and Anika Calhoun of Farmington (MBA student).

They presented the check to Patrick Crouch of Earthworks, who said it was the first donation in euros he has ever received.

More On Walsh College’s Study Abroad Program…

At a time when many colleges encourage foreign travel, Walsh College gives quick immersion opportunities to graduate business students, many of whom have never traveled abroad.

Learn more about Walsh College’s study abroad program here:

Some people say they learn the most about themselves, the world, and their priorities when they travel. This program immerses Walsh students in foreign business operations, thought processes and conversations, so they gain insight into how business operates around the world.

Perhaps that’s why so many colleges and graduate schools encourage and offer study-abroad options for their students. Walsh College believes in the power of international travel to enhance education – except a semester abroad is not always possible for Walsh students, most of whom work while furthering their education and many also have families.

This is the second consecutive year Walsh students had the opportunity to travel for two weeks with Linda Hagan, Ph.D., professor and chair, Business Communications Department, to learn about business and commerce overseas – without jeopardizing jobs or abandoning families. Walsh recently announced its 2016 study abroad offering, a two-week program next spring taking students to Israel with Richard Chasdi, Ph.D., associate professor, Management Department.

Walsh students are primarily older than the average college or graduate school student, often concurrently attending graduate school while entrenched in a career. Experiencing other cultures and different economies is profound, and can transform a person and a career, Dr. Hagan says.

“Colleges today are promoting that global experience,” says Dr. Hagan. “It is so important to have a global perspective. We want our students to have that opportunity without sacrificing too much. This is a way to have it all.”

The class is IB 590, an 11-week course culminating in two weeks of travel. This is one of the final classes of Walsh’s MBA program. Students can choose from a strategy course, a case study immersion or a study abroad opportunity.

This year, Walsh partnered with EF College Study Tours to immerse in the business and culture of London, Paris, Zurich and Milan. Eleven Walsh students traveled alongside students from Sonoma State University.

At the end, students wrote papers about an aspect of business, comparing what they learned in Europe with American approaches.

“Travel experiences are highly memorable; you learn so much about yourself – you test your own patience, travel tests you emotionally, physically, mentally, and that’s where the growth is,” Dr. Hagan says. “Plus, you learn about different people and gain awareness and insight.”

Travelers range in age from 21-49, including single people and married individuals with children, representing all disciplines taught at Walsh College.

“We really have to increase our emotional intelligence,” Dr. Hagan says. “When you travel and spend time nonstop with people you don’t know, your awareness of your personal limitations and your strengths becomes clear. You deepen your adaptability, being able to work and get along with others.”

Course Requirements:

Personal Journal – Daily on the trip, students are expected to journal their experiences, sharing personal accounts of their learning and observations of the influence culture has on business practices. Students will contribute at least one entry from their journal to include in the Walsh Study Abroad Travel Blog.
Class Engagements & Participation
Professionalism & Participation on the Trip
Oral/Visual Presentation – After the trip, students will present about their experiences, highlighting an aspect of their final paper and study abroad experience.
Final Paper – Related specifically to one industry, involving scholarly research, analyzing an area of business and the professional practices of one of the countries visited. Students should include discussion of the impact of EU policies and legislation on business practice.