UDC-SBPA’s STUDY ABROAD – UNITED KINGDOM PROGRAM
SUPPORTED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)
14 UDC Students Traveled to UK during Summer 2022 and Summer 2023
During Summer 2022 and Summer 2023, UDC School of Business and Public Administration (UDC-SBPA) offered the FIRST and SECOND STUDY ABROAD programs to Nottingham and London, United Kingdom impacting 14 UDC students so far. BGMT 395 (Study Abroad Course) is offered in Summer Session 2 during Late June – Mid August (6 weeks) every year @ UDC-SBPA. The STUDY ABROAD course is offered as an ‘elective’ for ‘Logistics & International Trade (LIT) Concentration’, and can be counted as a ‘Business Management elective’ for Business Majors across all SBPA disciplines / concentrations. The students can opt for this course across all schools and colleges at UDC. Engineering and non-business majors enrolled in LIT concentration can use this course effectively towards fulfilling LIT requirements. Study Abroad Course (BGMT 395) is offered by Dr. Anshu Arora (Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of LIT Center). Dr. Amit Arora (Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management), Dr. Pradeep Behera (Chair and Professor of Civil Engineering), and Dr. Tih Koon Tan (Professor and Department Chair of Accounting and Finance) are course faculty affiliates. The STUDY ABROAD (BGMT 395) course is supported by the NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION.
2023 Summer Study Abroad Participating Students:
Major / Concentration
|Ms. Ariel Stephens||BBA – Business Management; LIT & Marketing Concentrations|
|Ms. Lauren Herron||BBA – Business Management; LIT Concentration|
|Ms. Odessa Barker||BBA – Finance with LIT Concentration|
|Ms. Karina Abarca||BBA – Business Management; LIT Concentration|
|Ms. Fritza Marie Camille||BBA – Hospitality Management & Tourism with LIT concentration|
|Mr. Michael Courtland Smith II||Bachelor of Science – Computer Science + LIT|
|Mr. Joshua Valetine Valencia||BBA – Accounting with LIT Concentration|
|Ms. Wajiha Chaudhry||BBA – Accounting with LIT Concentration|
Study Abroad 2023 Video
2022 Summer Study Abroad Participating Students:
Major / Concentration
|Ms. Arlene Marshall||BBA – Business Management; LIT & Marketing Concentrations|
|Ms. Camaren Rogers||BBA – Business Management; LIT Concentration|
|Mr. Matthew Miller||BBA – Business Management|
|Ms. Lakesia Brighthaupt||BBA – Business Management; Concentration in Marketing|
|Ms. Meri Zakaryan||BBA – Accounting & Finance with LIT concentration|
|Mr. Daniel Orebiyi||Bachelor of Science – Electrical Engineering|
International Travel / Study Abroad Program in the United Kingdom
With regard to the international business perspectives, Study Abroad (BGMT 395) course has identified Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in Nottingham, UK as a targeted university to visit and stay for a 2-week period for our UDC students (as a part of Summer Study Abroad course @ UDC during Summer Session II). With the support of the National Science Foundation, five (5) professors – Drs. Anshu Arora, Amit Arora, Pradeep Behera, Tih Koon Tan, and Dean (Dr.) Mo Sepehri – are actively involved in the Study Abroad program for conducting research abroad with global academic collaborators, as well as, ensuring that the UDC students gain international exposure / immersion.
UK dropped all travel related restrictions on fully-vaccinated travelers during February 2022 (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19). Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the UK’s largest and most popular research universities (NTU is ranked in the Top 5 UK research universities), with about 40,000 students. NTU has received the Queens Anniversary Prize – the highest national honor for a UK university. NTU runs a Global Summer School with special programs on Design and Innovation in Business and International Fashion Branding, where UDC students enhanced their creativity by exploring techniques from design professions – product, service, user experience and more – to generate new and innovative ideas and solutions. On successful completion, 14 UDC students have successfully achieved 10 UK credit points / 5 ECTS and a certificate of achievement.
Operationalizing the Curriculum
Study Abroad – United Kingdom is the venue for the experiential learning program that is based on the need to: i) allow students to learn in a cultural setting that was foreign to them; ii) expose them to a nation different than theirs; and iii) utilize the prior experience of faculty with multiple visits to the nation.
Pre-trip (Weeks 1 and 2 @ UDC): The pre-trip study included disciplinary content, cultural learning, and reflections operationalized through seminars, assigned readings, films, and video clips. British philosophy, brief history, fine arts, beliefs and customs, economic and political systems, educational system, and environmental issues were introduced.
During Trip (Weeks 3 and 4 @ NTU): The visit to Nottingham and London in the United Kingdom is focused on cultural immersion, problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and application of interdisciplinary STEM and Business knowledge to issues in an authentic way. Students were expected to interact with local experts, lay persons and participate in on-site discussion with their peers and faculty about their observations and offer perspectives about the issues identified.
Post-Trip (Weeks 5 and 6 @ UDC): Students presented a written final report of his or her experiences, reflections, lessons learned and plans to share their experience with their family, friends and peers. Students made an oral presentation using technology while reflecting on the course, the learning process, and the integration of their cognitive, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
Course Content / Schedule
Place of Study
|Weeks 1-2||June 30 – July 15||University of the District of Columbia (UDC)||The students will conduct literature review in design thinking, innovation, global business, international finance, and sustainable entrepreneurship. Orientation sessions for UK trip.|
|Weeks 3-4||July 15 – July 31||Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham. UK||The program includes debates and discussions, lectures, seminars, practical workshops, and games.|
|Weeks 5-6||August 1 to August 13||University of the District of Columbia (UDC)||The students will develop a (unique) global research project report and produce a project piece to display their new-found expertise in design and innovation.|
UDC Undergraduate Student Research Projects – implemented in Nottingham, UK
Here is a glimpse of students’ projects’ video presentations showcasing their projects in product design and innovations while working with students from all over the world – Canada, India, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, and UK.
Lakesia and Matt’s Group
Ariel’s and Joshua’s Group Presentation
Lauren’s Group Presentation
International Collaboration Opportunities: Social Robotics at UDC and NTU
Dr. Anshu Arora (Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of Behavioral Research Lab @ UDC) shared her research on social robotics (https://www.udc.edu/sbpa/lit/social-robotics-research/) with NTU social robotics group, headed by Dr. David Brown (Professor of Robotics and Social Inclusion @ NTU – https://www.ntu.ac.uk/staff-profiles/science-technology/david-brown). There will be international collaboration opportunities possible for both UDC and NTU researchers in the future. NTU is ranked in the Top 5 UK research university (6th largest in the UK with around 40,000 students).
In Dr. Anshu Arora’s words:
At Nottingham, I met with Dr. David Brown (https://www.ntu.ac.uk/staff-profiles/science-technology/david-brown) and his team of social robotics researchers. They are doing some amazing work in social robotics and autism … similar to my NSF-Funded SMARTER research (https://www.udc.edu/sbpa/lit/social-robotics-research/) dealing with high schoolers diagnosed with autism and other learning disabilities in Washington, DC. NTU is conducting a massive scale research with their EU Funded Project – EDUROB – Educational Robotics for People with Learning Disabilities (https://edurob.eu/index.html). I was simply amazed to explore their work which mirrors my research work in social robotics, autism, and DC Public Schools (obviously, there’s much bigger across partners from UK, Lithuania, Italy, Bulgaria, and Poland). After discussing our research, we realized that there are opportunities for future collaboration along with international funding opportunities. I look forward to more fruitful future collaborations with UK and EU! Go ROBOTICS! Go UDC!
~Dr. Anshu Arora, Associate Professor, Director of Behavioral Research Lab, UDC-SBPA
Studying abroad in London has significantly transformed my views about the British host culture. Immersing myself in the daily life and traditions of the UK exposed me to a rich tapestry of experiences that challenged and expanded my understanding. Engaging with the British education system highlighted its emphasis on critical thinking, independent research, and interactive learning, offering me a fresh perspective on innovative pedagogical approaches. Exploring historical sites like the Tower of London and engaging with locals in everyday settings deepened my appreciation for the country’s rich history and diverse population. Interacting with British peers and building friendships allowed me to gain insights into the cultural nuances, values, and mannerisms that define British society. This firsthand exposure not only dispelled stereotypes but also gave me a profound appreciation for the depth and complexity of the British culture. From participating in local festivals to enjoying traditional cuisine, these experiences not only enriched my understanding of the host culture but also encouraged me to approach cultural exchange with greater curiosity and open-mindedness. Studying abroad in London has truly broadened my horizons and cultivated a lasting respect for the intricacies and charm of the British way of life.
~ Ariel Stephens, BBA Management (LIT and Marketing) @ UDC-SBPA
This study abroad trip has been one for the books. I want to thank NSF for sponsoring us. Without them I would not be able to travel and meet people and cultures from around the world. I was able to learn about how people from different countries interact and how cultures vary across the globe. Being able to work alongside people from India, France, Canada and others, helped me expand my knowledge and future horizons. I am truly grateful for this experience and it has been a once in a lifetime trip. I suggest everyone to take time and do study abroad if they have the chance in order to be more open-minded and explore world cultures. United Kingdom is a very interesting place and this trip had increased my passion for traveling!
~ Daniel Orebiyi, BS Electrical Engineering Student @UDC-SEAS
It was just an amazing experience and if you’ve never been abroad, then you need to take the trip. It will change your life forever and you will have a better understanding of other countries and cultures from around the world. To learn so many different languages and to be able to relate or understand through different language barriers is awesome! This has been the best trip in my life. I’ve never been out of the United States before this trip and now I want to visit more places abroad and meet a lot of other people. I felt like a celebrity since so many people wanted to take pictures and just meet me and be around me. Trust me, when I say my life has been changed forever! Thank you NSF and UDC for this wonderful opportunity! I am truly blessed! Thank you so much NSF and UDC for this amazing opportunity!!
~ Lakesia Brighthaupt, Undergraduate Marketing Student @ UDC-SBPA
Studying abroad profoundly influenced my thoughts on cultural differences. Residing in Nottingham offered an in-depth encounter with English heritage, enabling me to appreciate the nuances of regional British culture. Experiencing Paris, even briefly, opened my eyes to a culture remarkably distinct from both my home and Britain. It underscored that even within a shared continent, cultures can greatly diverge. My time in London, particularly at the Design Museum in Kensington, demonstrated how cultural backgrounds shape design approaches, reinforcing that cultural differences aren’t barriers but enriching nuances that foster creativity. Interacting with people from diverse cultures, I learned that understanding is not about making assumptions but about asking questions and listening with an open mind. These interactions cultivated my cultural sensitivity and competence, allowing me to navigate cross-cultural communication with more respect and empathy. Yes, I can confidently call myself more culturally sensitive and competent. Studying abroad underscored that appreciating cultural differences is key to effective global citizenship. It’s not just about knowing different cultures but about acknowledging, respecting, and valuing their uniqueness and contribution to the global fabric.
~ Michael Courtland Smith, II, BS – Computer Science @ UDC-SEAS
I would like to express my gratitude to the NSF for this “once in a lifetime” opportunity. The UK trip will definitely be one of the memories I will cherish my whole life. I have had 2 weeks of self-discovery and not only have learned new skills, but also realized that my imagination is limitless and I can visualize, create, and design all the things I want. The majestic Nottingham with its extraordinary architecture was another part of the trip that was very inspirational. I am one of the many students whose life has changed positively as a result of being a part of the trip. I really enjoyed my time in the UK meeting and spending most of the days working and collaborating with students who were representing other countries and cultures. I have definitely learned to be more considerate and empathetic with people coming from different cultures. The exhibition “Radical Arts” at the Harewood House was a great example of looking at things from different perspective and thinking out-of-the-box. The whole course was challenging and enjoyable at the same time. The professional skills, such as critical thinking, planning, strategizing, and product design have been acquired as a result of taking the course. Thank you again for inspiring, empowering and creating opportunities that help us to believe in ourselves and make the world a better place!
~ Ms. Meri Zakaryan, Undergraduate Accounting & Finance and LIT Student @ UDC-SBPA
My experience as a National Science Foundation Summer Research Scholar and UDC Ambassador has been invaluable. Although I’m a Business Management major, I had never considered the design and innovation process that produced the items I will be marketing or trading (likely internationally). I gained incredible knowledge into the design process during my UK trip. Having this insight will benefit me in my career. There are many aspects in the UK that the USA should adopt. At every fast food restaurant in UK, they had fountain drinks/soda that only had zero calorie or diet options. If you wanted a regular Coke or Pepsi in a bottle it cost more. Additionally, the regular drink that came with the meal was nearly half the size as in the US. During the trip, I interacted with 14 different nationalities. I visited my first ever country estate in Leeds. I have read about these in Jane Austen novels and historical dramas. There is much diversity in the UK. Overall, I feel that the UK is more liberal than I expected.
~ Arlene Fairley Marshall, Undergraduate Marketing and LIT Student @ UDC-SBPA
Cultural differences can occasionally cause misunderstandings or disputes. Studying abroad promotes the development of abilities necessary to negotiate such circumstances and tolerance and understanding. It should be noted, however, that more than just studying abroad is needed to ensure cultural awareness and ability. These characteristics need continual self-awareness, education, and practice. To become culturally sensitive and competent, one must study, comprehend, and value diverse cultures
~ Fritza Marie Camille, BS Hospitality and Tourism Management @ UDC-SBPA
After interacting and developing strong, lasting relationships with people from other cultures through this UK trip, I think I’ve become culturally sensitive. Opening my mind to so many different cultures and experiences has been so welcoming and provided me with a positive impact on a level I’ve never experienced in the USA before. Traveling to England and experiencing Nottingham as a student has incredibly inspired me to travel and visit the friends I have created in this course. From studying abroad countless opportunities, connections, and experiences are present to you that you could never imagine possible. These experiences are life changing and are more rewarding than you could ever experience from just staying at home. What I experienced while studying abroad was so much more than I expected from this opportunity.
~ Camaren Rogers, Undergraduate Management and LIT Student @ UDC-SBPA
Because of this experience I have made a galore of friends globally that I can visit. My compassion and understanding for other cultures have grown and the way I communicate with those persons has changed for the better. I also learned to relax a bit and not become overwhelmed with tasks.
~ Odessa Barker, BBA Accounting, UDC-SBPA
Studying abroad in Nottingham was a life-changing experience that introduced me to a diverse and inspiring team. Working alongside an individual from India and another from Mexico, we had a project where we designed a groundbreaking device to empower women’s safety. Our cultural fusion enhanced creativity, fostering innovative solutions to address real-world challenges. Combining technical prowess with cultural insights, we crafted a cutting-edge safety tool incorporating innovative technology and user-friendly design.
~ Josh Valencia, BBA Accounting and LIT @ UDC-SBPA
Nottingham Trent University allowed me to attend some exciting workshops. For example, cultural diversity workshop in which we learned the importance of different cultures engaging and working together to help make the world a better place. I feel as though on a personal level I have developed tremendously. I was away from my family for two weeks and It made me a lot more independent. I learned so many tools in the design and innovation class, It was fascinating to see what technology can achieve and how a product can be so innovative and altered as many times as possible using AI once I was introduced to Mind Journey, an AI manipulator. I gained a lot of knowledge about my classmates’ cultures and languages. I met so many people who I will stay in touch with.
~ Karina Abarca, BBA Management and LIT @ UDC-SBPA