Intercultural Business Challenges in Latin America Course at UFT, Chile

By: Emmy Tran

Intercultural Business Challenges in Latin America course is one of my study abroad courses at Finis Terrae University (UFT), Chile. It is interesting to me because I can deeply explore Latin American economies and their challenges in intercultural business. This course is a chance for me to input my knowledge of doing global business for my future career. Fortunately, I do not worry about Spanish because the professor uses English. The class started last week, so I have not learned much about it. However, my Chilean professor gave me detailed information about the course, and I am also excited to study this course as a team group.

Beginning the class, the professor explained the purposes of the course. In the Intercultural Business Challenges in Latin America course,  I will have a better understanding of the business environment in Latin America. Then I can identify cultural issues affecting stakeholders on the region’s business. In addition, this course provides me with knowledge of the impacts and dynamics of globalization and the changing nature of the global economy. Through the history, politics, culture, attitudes, and economies of nations, I am able to realize the importance of culture in international business. I will learn more about how and why different management styles around the world and lead different relationships in navigating cultures and economies on this course. It helps identify cultural barriers as they occur in Latin American countries. This course is broad as it teaches in both global and Latin American economies. It was more than my expectations for this course.

This course style of teaching is similar to Millikin University courses, but it is also slightly different. During the first days of class, the professor invites other professors or guest speakers to present the globalization economy and Chilean history and economy. Then he requires students to do the reports from these presentations on that day with the teammates. This course’s grades include mid-term, written reports from speakers, team presentations/cases, and a final team project. For this class, everything will be done by a team of two members.  There are four primary books and some articles that need to be read before class. He also gives us the links to find these articles. Millikin University also does so. Therefore, it is helpful for me to adapt to the Chilean professor’s teaching style. The differences are in the ways they deliver the material or lesson to the students through “Documents,” used as Moodle in the U.S. I get used to following lessons or assignments on Moodle at Millikin University. However, this course does not assign the lessons followed by dates on “Documents.” That is why I feel a bit inconvenient in the first few days. Now, everything else is good for me.  

In short, my study journey seemed very adventurous as I have experienced American and Chilean cultures and now gain knowledge of Latin American economies and globalization. Many people have never had many opportunities to explore other countries like me. In Intercultural Business Challenges in Latin America course,  I can understand why cross-cultural barriers pop up more often in Latin American countries and identify and manage the different cultures for domestic and foreign businesses in these countries and globally.

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