Biennale 5
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Accelerating the experiential learning process of the student : One Business School's Experience in the Internationalizing of the Curriculum

Auteur(s) : BRYANT Michael, SHEEHAN David, KARNEY Dennis

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Thème : La professionnalisation des enseignants et des éducateurs
Groupe thématique : Professionnalisation dans les écoles d'ingénieurs et à l'université
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Mots clés : internationalization, curriculum, management educatio

bull2.gif (117 octets)   In this paper we describe how one experiment in internationalizing the business curriculum has created a unique learning experience both for students and faculty. Typically, our institution has provided students with the 'classic'opportunities to gain international experience : internships or study programs arranged with partner institutions abroad. In 'International Immersion Week', however, the learning process which takes place when the student goes abroad is inverted. Business professors from partner institutions around the world offer one-week intensive courses in their discipline and in a language different than French (to date - English, German and Spanish). Under these circumstances, students are confronted with a teacher from a different culture, using different pedagogies and speaking a different language. Moreover, the teachers must quickly come to terms with very different primary student learning models. Thus, a unique cultural encounter is created in which teachers, students, and administrators must help one another to bridge cultural and language gaps in order to succeed.
bull2.gif (117 octets)  First, we intend to describe briefly the historical context and the educational background within which 'International Immersion Week'was developed. We will then explain how we were able to expand the program into its current structure, discussing the pedagogical, logistical, and financial problems we encountered on the way. In fact, at the time, we were unaware that we were creating a catalyst which enabled us to accelerate the internationalization process with numerous unforeseen and unplanned outcomes.
bull2.gif (117 octets)  Finally, we consider what we have learnt and how we can build on this experiment in the future. By sharing our findings with our colleagues, we seek to broaden awareness of the benefits of collaborative learning through a fundamentally experiential approach to pedagogy. We also feel that our discussion may be useful to other institutions also interested in furthering the internationalization of their programs