An indian winterim

Debora Biasutti


With the partial funding of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Business and International Education Program, the UW-Eau Claire College of Business was able to create the GLOBE CHINDIA program — a study abroad opportunity for students to go to China and/or India.

A group of students went for the first time, through this program, to China last winter, and another group to India this  past month.

“It is very important, particularly for business students, to have a first-hand experience of being in those countries and learning how to interact and how to do business in those countries,” said Dr. Rama Yelkur, director of Eau Claire’s International Business Programs. She also went to India with the students.

Twelve students were in India from Jan. 2 to Jan. 17, where they had classes at Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce, a top ranked business school, and stayed at the Delhi University guest house. Besides staying in Delhi, students went to Jaipur, Agra (the site of the Taj Mahal) and a Honda factory.

Dr. Yelkur said each American student was paired with two local Indian  students, where they had to collaborate on a group project and give a presentation on the last day of classes.

“It was a good kind of cultural shock because they worked in cross-cultural teams,” she said. “They made friends for life among Indian students.”

Dr. Yelkur said the process of getting in contact with Indian universities started in 2009. Prior to the trip, she said students were put in contact with the Indian students through Facebook so they could get to know each other before hand.

Dr. Yelkur also said they will be offering the same program to India next winter, and that applications are open to all students through the Center for International Education until April 2.

“The whole experience was a great learning opportunity for students,” Dr. Yelkur said. “Nothing was good or bad per se, but it was moving and life changing — these students will never be the same after their visit to India.”


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