Study Abroad Program

What is OCU's Study Abroad Program in Italy?

Every other year, twelve traditional undergraduate students from the Business & Government Department travel with department chair, David H. Garrison, to Italy to study at the American University of Rome in Rome, Italy. The purpose fo the Study Abroad Program in Italy is to allow the students to experience a differenct culture where they can apply their learning through a comparison of the Italian business and government culture to the American culture.

The students are required to live in middle-class Italian apartments in apart­ment buildings. As a student, you will have the opportunity to travel on public transportation, purchase needs in local shops, and prepare your own food. As noticing Rome is a different culture, it is encouraged to learn basic Italian in order to communicate.

For more information, please contact:

Jenna Wood
Assistant, School of Business & Government
(740) 477-7726 or  jwood@ohiochristian.edu

 

Below is an article from the First Study Abroad Italy trip, taken with the OCU Business Department.

 

Ohio Christian University completed its first six-week Study Abroad Program at the American University of Rome in Rome, Italy.

Eleven OCU students and one Olivet Nazarene University student traveled with Business Department Chair, David H. Garrison, who led the students in a choice of four different courses, Negotiations, International Business, American Political Systems, and Business Law. The purpose of the Study Abroad Program in Italy was to allow the students to experience a different culture where they could ap­ply their learning through a comparison of the Italian business and government culture to the American culture.

The students were required to live in middle-class Italian apartments in apart­ment buildings where they were the only students in the building. The students had to travel on public transportation, purchase their needs in local shops, and prepare their own food. The result was that they learned rudimentary Italian in order to communicate. 

 The students traveled for various cultural excursions to Venice, Pisa, Florence, Viterbo, and Arezzo, Italy. Additionally, the students were invited by Dr. Garrison and the University of Rome to go on a business analysis trip to the Umbria area of Italy. On this trip, the students were asked to analyze the business conditions, in­novations, and health of three businesses. The students visited one of Italy’s largest wine making companies, Moncaro, New Holland tractor factory, and the Grand Hotel.

Additionally, the students were invited to visit Parlamento Italiano (the equiva­lent of the House of Representatives). They took a tour of the Parliament building, observed a legislative session (a debate on tax evasion by the wealthy), and listened to lectures about some of the differences between the U.S. government model and the Italian government model. At one point, the 635 Italian Ministers (equivalent to U.S. Congressman), stood up and cheered and clapped for the OCU students, as a way of recognizing both the students and to show their approval of the United States. The students were very moved.

The OCU students also visited numerous art galleries, museums, and archaeo­logical sites where they learned the history of Italy and, for that matter, Western Civilization. Some of the historical sites were the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum. However, the most moving tour was that of the San Sabastiano Catacombs where they saw where first and second century Christians buried their dead (the Romans mostly cremated) and saw where Christians hid from persecution.

As part of their studies in Italy, the students were assigned special projects where they had to visit different Italian businesses and observe how they marketed their products, handled customer service, and conducted their operations. These were eye-opening experiences for the students, and they were amazed at the dif­ferences in Italian commerce because the businesses are primarily small shops and run mostly as family businesses. There are no Wal-marts or other big discount stores in Italy. Even the large stores charge nearly full price for their products.

The students have all expressed how this was an experience of a lifetime. They have further commented on how much they appreciated how OCU provided something that was not only eye-opening, but educational and exciting.