From freshman year to trotting through Europe my first summer of college, I took the less conventional route of summer school to study with CEA in Barcelona. I wanted to make the most of my time abroad so I decided to take two courses, International Business and International Marketing abroad, two courses that counted for Junior year marketing elective credits at the University of Arizona before I became a Sophomore. The class of predominately juniors and seniors, accustomed to regular presentations and seasoned in business intensive courses, I needed to exert my fullest academic rigor in order to keep up.

My International Business class started every morning with a discussion of an international event that involved more than one country. Unlike traditional class layouts, our desks were in a horseshoe creating a classroom environment that encouraged classroom discussions where students faced their peers.  Topics ranged from falling coffin prices in Venezuela to India’s growth in manufacturing and distribution of tile flooring.

The curriculum for International Business consisted of analyzing international case studies, class presentations and research papers on the various aspects of globalization and its effect on the world economy. Our case studies discussed the competition between Boeing and Airbus, the failure of EuroDisney in France, on Disney’s lack of culture awareness of French norms and preferences. My final presentation was an overview of China’s economy, where we conducted an in-depth SWOT analysis, a scope on the economy’s means of production and explored the economic activities that compose China’s GDP.

The curriculum of International Marketing was fairly the same in having to analyze international case studies and write research papers but with a distinct emphasis on advertising and the various types of marketing communications. Our professor reiterated the amount of research and time that international marketers conduct to be able to successfully advertise the products and services of one country for sale to another in a way that the message can be received by a consumer with a differing cultures.

We had the chance to design our own marketing campaign in a foreign country of our choice, outlining the decisions we would make to effectively design our advertisements that would appeal to our target market and that would connect consumers from that culture. We took class excursions to the Estrella Damn Brewery outside of Barcelona where we toured the factory and meet with the Marketing the team where they discussed their approach when advertising Damn products throughout Europe.

The most challenging aspect of the program was the caliber in which the presentations were held. How we presented our findings was just as important as the content of our presentation. This experience helped me develop professionally and helped me improve my presentation skills. Three years later, I find myself in my second semester of business school with six upper division credits from CEA, pursing a minor in international business with hopes of returning to Barcelona! I’ve been a Senior Ambassador with CEA for over a year now and part of the Ambassadors program for over two years. Since studying abroad, I have kept close connection with my experiences and colleagues, who like me, continue to pursue ambitions to return abroad.

Dylan Jorde is an Alumni Ambassador at CEA Study Abroad, he is currently a student at University of Arizona and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

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