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Real World Learning: Off Campus: Interims

Business Interims 2013

IDIS W41 -- China, Business & Engineering
Prof. Leonard Van Drunen

Calvin students in China 2011

China’s emerging economy has a large impact on today’s world, especially in business and engineering. During this interim students spend three weeks in China meeting with business and engineering professionals who are part of this reshaping of the global economy. The course includes major cultural and economic centers of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Students engage with professionals at approximately fifteen companies. In addition many important historic and cultural sites are explored, including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Students ascertain why China has a comparative advantage in many types of manufacturing and how some US firms have responded to that. Students learn what type of engineering is done well in China. Students discover some of the environmental impacts of China’s rapid growth. In addition students learn about the history and culture of China and how this has shaped modern events. Students are challenged to consider what China means for their future careers in business and engineering. Evaluation is based on participation and on a journal and a reflective essay. Preference given to students majoring in the business or engineering departments. This course may fulfill the Engineering department international designation. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.


IDIS W42 -- Leadership in Africa
Prof. Cal Jen

Cal JenThis course focuses on how leaders in East Africa (Kenya, specifically) develop business, provide health care, organize media and government, respond to crises, and conduct worship. Students hear lectures on Kenyan history, politics, and culture from leading African scholars, then travel to rural development sites to see leadership in action. Students see wild animals in the Masai Mara, Africa’s greatest game reserve. Students walk the streets of Nairobi and the dirt paths of the Kibera slum. Students worship with African Christians under roofs, trees, and sun. We make friends among the Maasai, Kikuyu, and other tribal groups. We learn to be smart travelers in Africa, with a modest ability at Swahili. Students will have the capacity to meet, befriend, conduct discussions, and assess leadership in the developing world. They will understand historical, cultural, and religious influences in East Africa. Evaluation will be based on daily de-briefings and team discussions, student journals and occasional de-briefings and discussion with African leaders. This course may fulfill an elective in the CAS and IDS majors. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.

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