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Cross-Cultural Knowledge, Business Practices, and Student Learning Via Study Abroad

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Global Business Languages
Volume 13 Bridging Language and Business Article 4

12-1-2008

Cross-Cultural Knowledge, Business Practices, and Student Learning via Study Abroad
Chad M. Gasta
Iowa State University

Recommended Citation
Gasta, Chad M. (2008) "Cross-Cultural Knowledge, Business Practices, and Student Learning via Study Abroad," Global Business Languages: Vol. 13, Article 4. Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/gbl/vol13/iss1/4

Copyright © 2008 by Purdue Research Foundation. Global Business Languages is produced by Purdue CIBER. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/gbl

Chad M. Gasta
Iowa State University

CROSS-CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE, BUSINESS PRACTICES, AND STUDENT LEARNING VIA STUDY ABROAD
In The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman points out that the technology revolution has led to a world economy in which the global competitive playing field is being leveled, or, as the title of his books suggests, “flattened.” There is greater competition for what he calls “global knowledge work”—working across cultures—on a scale never before seen. Friedman goes on to say that America should be ready for this new challenge. Within this increasingly competitive global economy there is—and will naturally continue to be—an increasing obligation to attain proficiency in languages other than English, and to gain competence in intercultural issues related to commerce, politics, and society. Study Abroad programs, especially those with substantive language and cultural training components, can be excellent tools to address these concerns. For the 2004–05 academic year, the Institute of International Education reports that 206,000 US students from colleges and universities participated in programs abroad, an 8% increase over the previous year (Appendix 1). In most cases, however, these programs were created for students in such areas as social sciences, the humanities, or business, and coursework was rarely taken in the language native to the country where the program is...

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