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Seminar combines study, travel

Feb. 9, 2001

Students get hours, make connections during Europe visit

By ANDY JACOBS

Reporter

Since 1983, Hankamer School of Business has offered a unique international business experience during the summer. Students who attend Baylor's European business seminars get to see firsthand how business is done in many European countries.

The program involves faculty and 50 students touring large companies in six different European countries from May 20 through June 14, 2001. This year the students will travel through Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom. In these countries, they will visit some of the most prominent corporations in the world, such as BMW, Rolex, Motorola, Nestle and others.

The seminars usually take place in the mornings, when a high-level executive from the company speaks and fields questions from students. Dr. Dan Rajaratnam, associate professor of marketing and head of the European program, said the trip allows business students to make many contacts overseas that have even led to job offers in the past.

'We meet with senior executives who teach the students many aspects of their business,' Rajaratnam said.

Robin Dusek, director of Student Foundation, attended the seminars in the summer of 1998 and is going again this year as a chaperone. Dusek said experiencing cultures and meeting the executives were her favorite parts of the trip.

'You are able to experience highlights of each country and see many different cultures in such a short time period,' she said. 'Hearing the expertise of the executives is amazing.'

After the seminars, the students get a significant amount of free time to tour the countries and have some fun. In London, Baylor rents a cruise boat on the Thames River, and a disc jockey keeps the students dancing into the night.

'London is a beautiful city at night, and being on the river is a great way to see it,' Dusek said.

The seminars have traditionally sold out very early in the school year, but this year, eight spots still remain. Rajaratnam said he thinks people this year have confused it with the sold-out Baylor in Great Britain summer program.

The difference between the programs, Rajaratnam said, is the way the students learn.

'Our instructors are the executives, where other programs they are Baylor professors,' he said.

Kelly Haile, a graduate student from Uvalde, attended the seminars in the summer of 2000. She said she learned a great deal from the trip about European economics and its new form of currency, the euro. She recommends the trip for anyone who is interested in international business.

'It's a great opportunity for anyone who can afford it,' Haile said.

Expenses total $4,714, and include all airfare and other transportation, as well as hotel accommodations and the costs of the seminars. The students stay at business-class hotels during the trip. The trip offers up to six business credits, depending on what kind of independent studies the student chooses to take.

For additional information about the European Business Seminar, contact Rajaratnam at 710-4545.