Over spring break, a group of students led by Dr. Michael Barry, visited India to meet with a partnered university.
Although the Bolte School of Business has sponsored other trips abroad for students, this was the first time that they had ventured to India. Barry explains that he has been going to India to teach for six years, and had been hoping that the Mount would have the opportunity to partner with a school there.
His hope was realized when, then-Dean Karl Einolf asked if he thought that the school in India would be ready to partner with the Mount. This is the third international partnership that the Mount has, joining schools in China and Russia.
Before flying to India, students took a course, taught by Barry, to prepare them for the trip. “From my perspective,” Barry said, “the strength of the class is letting students learn with their own eyes.”
Brigid Flay C’17, was one of the students who was able to take the class and travel to India. She chose to go because of her love of traveling, and the knowledge that this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Joe Morton C’17, wanted to see how Indian cultured differed from the western cultures he had experienced.
Flay said that during class time before the trip, students learned some basics about the places they would be traveling to, Hinduism and other things to prepare them for their time in the country. She added that students were also taught about the failing infrastructure and poverty that they would encounter in India, but nothing she could have learned in class or from a textbook could have prepared her for the depth of poverty.
“The poverty was eye opening, to say the least, but an essential experience in order to fully understand how millions of human beings live on a daily basis.” Flay explained, “Seeing this made us grateful for all of the opportunities available to us as American university students, and made us more cognizant of the global issue of extreme poverty.”
While in India, students were able to do several things, including a bike tour of the city of Jaipur, which Flay and Morton agreed was one of the highlights of their time in the country.
Flay hopes that more Mount students will go abroad with the Bolte School of Business in the future, “It’s so important for everyone to know that the short excursions offered by the Bolte School are not only for business students. Every major is welcome.”
She added, “You learn more going abroad than you do in any classroom experience, especially if you’ve never previously traveled out of the country or if you’re hesitant about travel for whatever reason.”
Barry looks forward to the future of the foreign programs that the Bolte School of Business offers. “It seems we have great programs with colleges in Russian, China and India now. I think the plan is to alternate destinations.”
“It really is great for the school.” Barry stated, “And of course I like it, too.”