June 28, 2007

Students make the most of chance to study abroad

by Christi Mathis

sum 2007

Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A group of Southern Illinois University Carbondale students experienced international business up close and personal during four-week summer intercession study trip to Europe. While there, students took classes at the prestigious Grenoble Ecole de Management (School of Management) in Grenoble, France, participated in professional visits to various multinational businesses and enjoyed cultural activities.

Suzanne A. Nasco, assistant professor of marketing, and Dennis G. Nasco Jr., lecturer, both from the College of Business and Administration, accompanied the group of nine graduate and 21 undergraduate students on the intense field seminar. After a couple of days in Paris, the group arrived in Grenoble, where it spent about three weeks in the French university classrooms. On previous shorter College of Business and Administration trips, the group spent time in various locales. At the request of the students, this time they stayed primarily in Grenoble.

French, British and American teachers at the school, ranked among the top five business schools in Europe by the Financial Times, instructed the students for six to seven hours each weekday, Suzanne Nasco said. The young people studied "Doing Business in Europe" and "Intercultural Management" as well as basic French. They traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to visit the World Trade Organization and took learning excursions to multinational businesses, including Hewlett-Packard and Xerox.

SIUC and Grenoble have enjoyed an exchange program for the past few years with students from each university spending a year studying at the other to earn dual degrees. In addition, each summer, students from the master's in business administration program at Grenoble come to SIUC for six weeks of summer class work. Undergraduate SIUC students have studied there for a semester, earning a "Certificate in International Business."

Nasco noted that since the SIUC group actually completed coursework in France this year, students earned three credits here for the Marketing 496 class and six transfer credits from Grenoble. In addition to the numerous hours of study abroad, students are writing papers comparing and contrasting French and American practices in relation to some element of their course of study and interests. Finance, marketing, political science and even grocery stores are among the topics chosen for the papers. The papers, each different based upon their majors, will be an important addition to the students' career portfolios, Nasco said. The class is open to all and some participants weren't business majors.

This year's trip was the first to be so immersive, she noted. Students lived in studio apartments and experienced daily living from doing laundry to shopping to attending regular classes and business excursions. With a scarcity of fast food restaurants and different culinary habits, one male student returned home 16 pounds lighter. Another 6-foot, 5-inch male student experienced the adventure of searching for crutches in a country where most men are considerably shorter, Nasco recalled. She said the students really enjoyed their time in Grenoble, a college community of about a half-million people known as the "silicon valley of Europe". During weekends, many of the class participants chose to travel around Europe, visiting Italy, Spain, and other French cities including Cannes and Nice.

"This trip really gave them more of a sense of what life and business is like in Europe," Nasco said. She said although there are many differences, there are also many similarities and the trip helped dispel some of the "us versus them mentality" that sometimes occurs.

"It's really a privilege to expose them to this kind of thing," Nasco said. As a first-generation college student born in an immigrant family, Nasco said she appreciated getting the chance to really get to know some of her students, form amazing relationships and see them experience such a valuable learning encounter.

"These are really great students, really amazing and so appreciative of the opportunity to go there and study," Nasco said. She also said it was quite an inspiration for the students to discover that the associate dean for international affairs and executive education at the Grenoble school is SIUC graduate Christopher Cripps, a Benton native.

SIUC students participating in the Summer 2007 Grenoble international business studies trip, listed with their major/degree, by hometown are:


• Antioch: Ryan C. Pilcher, management.

• Burr Ridge: Michael A. Dormincy, finance; Brandon W. Soltwisch, Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

* Carbondale: Alexander R. Taylor, finance; Elizabeth R. Taylor, MBA.

* Carterville: Ashley B. Gibson, accounting; Erica R. Vinyard, marketing.

• Champaign: Eric G. Eizinger, MBA; Janell L. Huckstadt, food and nutrition.

* Chicago: Genetta M. Hubbard, management.

* Crystal Lake: Rachel F. Enthof, marketing.

• Decatur: Jacob R. Tucker, management.

* Johnsburg: Matthew E. Boulden, MBA.

• Lake Bluff: James M. Farrell, accounting.

• Lisle: Kyle W. Strehlau, finance.

• Manlius: Emily P. Popejoy, marketing.

• Marshall: Lauren M. Bartnick, political science; Molly P. Guinnip, marketing.

• Monticello: Elliott J. Hayes, marketing.

• McHenry: Amy L. Peterson, MBA.

• Mt. Carmel: Jennifer L. Bader, health care management.

• Mt. Vernon: James P. Deaton, MBA.

• Murphysboro: Marin L. Eovaldi, marketing.

• Park Ridge: John M. Lagattuta Jr., marketing.

• Schaumburg: Lisa P. Bentley, MBA.

• Sullivan: Alexis M. Allen, MBA.

* Tilden: Brandon C. Vinyard, marketing.

• Trenton: Lauren A. Peppenhorst, marketing.

• Walnut: Heather M. Rollo, marketing.


• Alicia M. Doerr, MACC (accounting masters), Chilton.


Business Studies in Europe —A group of Southern Illinois University Carbondale students participated in a summer intercession international business field seminar trip to the prestigious Grenoble Ecole de Management (School of Management) in Grenoble, France. The excursion also included professional visits to various multinational businesses, and cultural activities. Suzanne A. Nasco, assistant professor of marketing in the SIUC College of Business and Administration, shown at far right in the picture, led the class.

Photo provided