India: Technology, Economy & Society: Academic Features
While the highlight of the course is the field trip to India, there will also be a mandatory pre-departure orientation and online coursework that will begin midway through the Fall semester to introduce students to India and to prepare them to understand issues related to doing business in emerging markets like India. Prior to departure, there will be up to 1 hour of online coursework per week, and during the winter week, this increases to 2-3 hours of coursework per week. This pre-program component will consist of lecture notes, movie videos, and book readings.
Program in India
The faculty-led program to India is part of a 4-credit course which is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in learning about the culture, society, and commerce in India. Undergraduate students can earn credit for either AAAS 397 (Harpur) or IBUS 480 (SOM). Graduate students can earn credit for IBUS 580. This program is open to students in all academic disciplines. In the past students from SOM, Watson, and Harpur, have participated and found it to be a fruitful experience. Students will be exposed to many different aspects of India, using an eclectic mix of lectures, writ-ten material, movies, meetings and interviews, and books. The course will help students learn historical and contemporary trends in India, develop an international perspective, understand the opportunities afforded by emerging economies like India, and become familiar with a geo-politically very important, culturally-diverse country. A major aspect of the course is that students will get to interact with Indian students, scholars, and leaders in diverse fields. The integrated course-work and travel component will give students a theoretical and experiential understanding of an Eastern country that is different from the United States in many ways, yet also similar in other ways.
The India-tour component will will last for 12-14 days and consist of lectures, business
and cultural site visits, meetings with local executives, and formal and informal
time with local students. Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves
in the Indian culture to better understand the social, political, business, and economic
environment. Visits relevant for engineering and other majors are also arranged on
this program in accordance with student interest.
The course will be taught and directed by Professor Vishal Gupta. He has already led five successful India study programs for BU students in previous years. His area of expertise is corporate strategy and entrepreneurship; and his other area of interest is the study of cross-national issues related to history and culture. He has conducted several workshops and lectures for students at several Indian schools and universities, and is well-known for his motivational lectures and management talks for small business. Professor Surinder Kahai from the School of Management and Amanda Bailor, International Alumni and Career Connections Coordinator from the Watson School will both co-leading the program while in India.