Preparing Business Students for the Global Market

by Public Relations

A strong curriculum is vital for students to be competitive in an increasingly global market, but learning continues long after class ends.

It happens when your friends adjust the chopsticks in your inexpert fingers. It happens when a store attendant yells because you didn’t remove your shoes to try on a shirt in a dressing room. And it happens when you’re an intern hard at work promoting your company and its newest line of products.

Because education is more than just books and lectures, Cedarville University’s Department of Business Administration provides students with study abroad opportunities.

Cedarville worked with Brethren Colleges Abroad and China Neighbor to send a group of students to China for an intensive four-week experience.

“To understand how to best serve global customers, you have to understand customers from their perspective,” says John LeBlanc, chair of the department of business administration at Cedarville. “That’s why we give students opportunities like these.”

Jordan Doyle, a junior marketing major, recalls his opportunity to visit a Chinese manufacturing plant. “I’ve always been aware that most of our goods are imported from other countries,” says Doyle. “But actually visiting a plant gave me a deeper appreciation for just how influential China’s economy is on our own.”

“Students get an entirely different experience when studying international business in a different country,” adds Ryan Matthews, a senior finance and accounting major. “It is hard to really experience a culture until you’re actually in it.”

The business department also works with the International Business Institute (IBI), a cooperative program involving selected colleges in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

Germany, France and Switzerland
As part of this 10-week program, students toured the factory floor of a John Deere plant in Manheim, Germany; visited with the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany; and met with an American ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, France, as well as the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Academics and business visits were central to the trip, but there was plenty of time to explore. “We climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, swam in an Alpine lake, and biked from the Netherlands to Belgium,” says Morgan Reese, a senior who double majors in global economics and international business and in finance. “Nothing beats biking through the Dutch countryside!”

Cedarville also offers a semester-long experience in Ireland. Students studying at the Dublin Business School take business classes as well as classes in Irish culture and politics. They also participate in internships with local companies.

“For my internship, I was able to take what I learned in class and apply it directly to real-world situations,” says senior marketing major Rich Williams. “It’s great to see how all the theories you learn apply in a real-world setting.”

The whole experience — the travelling, the touring, the classes — is something that can’t be replicated in a classroom. “IBI made learning real for me,” Reese adds. “Learning in a classroom is essential to our lives as college students, but studying internationally provides a level of experience that no classroom could ever provide. IBI taught me that both areas are equally valuable.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at