After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Richards College of Business can now proceed with their Study Abroad trip for spring break 2022. In the past University of West Georgia has sent management and marketing students around the world to give students the chance and ability to engage in local customs and cultural contexts. The Richards College of Business Study Abroad program gives each student a chance to help their career, add to their resume and increase their social skills.
“Richards College of Business has been doing the Study Abroad program for about 14 years uninterrupted until the last two years,” said Erich Bergiel, Professor in the Management Department. “We had a virtual study abroad last year due to COVID-19. This [school] year we are scheduled to go to South Korea during spring break in the spring of 2022.”
The program introduces each student to business cultures as well as the culture itself such as the people and the food. This trip is a short duration trip that works with a third-party provider to schedule visits with businesses and events during the seven to nine days.
“This will be the first time the Richards College of Business has gone to South Korea, and we are really excited for this opportunity,” said Bergiel. “We normally limit the trip to about 20 to 25 students and these students are a mix of both undergraduate and graduate students where they can earn up to 6 credits which is 2 classes.”
This trip includes roundtrip airfare, housing for the duration of the trip, travel insurance, transportation and assistance of knowledgeable faculty to help students get to know the site. Breakfast is provided as well as other meals for students.
“We used to buy a lot of meals and we just found out that students eat differently so we now let them figure it out,” said Bergiel. “Instead of buying them lunches, many students want to go to Mcdonalds.”
During this trip they plan on visiting local businesses like Samsung and cultural activities like the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Bergiel mentions that as of right now there COVID-19 vaccination requirement and a passport to go on the trip. Richards College of Business is not strictly requiring the COVID-19 vaccination but in South Korea vaccination is required.
“South Korea is still requiring a quarantine period,” said Bergiel. “We are hoping that that is going to change by the spring, and we are kind of gambling on that, but we have worked with a third-party provider to come up with a backup plan somewhere closer in Europe.
“We will stick with South Korea as long as we can and if nothing changes, we will have to switch countries or something in January,” continued Bergiel. “Of course, students will have the option to change and decide if they will go or not go depending on their interest.”