Study Abroad in Greece & Turkey Program
Business Mediterranean Style
Joint Managerial Sciences and Accountancy Initiative
This May marked the sixth time since 2006 that the Robinson College of Business – 19 students and two faculty – traveled to Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Kalambaka, Delphi, Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Crete and Santorini as part of the Georgia State University Business Mediterranean Style: Study Abroad in Greece & Turkey Program.
Emphasizing a collaborative learning environment, this joint Management and Accounting/Tax initiative explores the impact of economic, political/legal, social and cultural factors, linking theory and practice for cross-cultural business issues. Objectives include cultivating a global mindset and developing a richer understanding of global challenges. Company visits showcase evolving corporate profiles in the global marketplace. The interdisciplinary scope of this course facilitates learning from both strategic and functional perspectives.
Dr. Marta Szabo White and Dr. Tad Ransopher led the study abroad students on an integrated business/cultural experience with visits from the 125th birthday celebration of Coca-Cola in Istanbul, hosted by Ahmet Bozer, Eurasia & Africa Group President and long-time friend of the Institute of International Business, recognized by the Robinson College of Business during the 2009 Alumni Awards for his commitment to Georgia State University; to Kagider, a Women’s Entrepreneurship Group in Istanbul, started by Gülseren Onanc, a former Michigan State University student of Dr. S. Tamer Cavusgil, executive director of GSU-CIBER; to the vertically integrated, family-owned Mevgal, on the verge of being acquired by Delta, its major competitor in the dairy industry; to the National Bank of Greece, where students met with the chief economist of the group & chief of strategy/head of investor relations to learn about Greece’s liquidity problem, structural challenges, compliance issues, foreclosure suspensions on homes valued below €250,000, and interestingly their one bright spot – the profit stream from a Turkish bank acquired a few years earlier.
Cultural visits included St. Chora Museum; a legendary Byzantine church decorated with extraordinary late 14th century frescoes and mosaics – among the most significant in the world; the Eyüp Sultan Mosque, the first mosque constructed by the Ottoman Turks following the conquest of Constantinople in 1453; the Spice Market; the Grand Bazaar, the largest and oldest covered Bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,500 shops; the Bosphorus cruise; the Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer residence of Ottoman Sultans; the Hippodrome, one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire; the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616; St. Sophia, built during Emperor Justinian’s reign (AD 537), and known as the greatest church until the conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmet II, who converted it into a Mosque, until Atatürk proclaimed it a museum in 1934; the Babatzimopoulos Winery; the tomb of Philip of Macedonia in Vergina; Kalambaka to visit Meteora and the Varlaam Monastery; Delphi – the Center of the Ancient world, navel of the earth and renowned Temple of Apollo, where the famous museum houses the unique bronze statue of Charioteer; Corinth, the most important city in the days of St. Paul, the Acropolis, Parthenon, and the Agora (marketplace); concluding with a cruise to the Greek islands.
Rich in cultural visits, this rigorous academic program affords students a unique opportunity to examine worldwide businesses blending cultural, social, political and economic structures. The overarching theme of connecting theory learned in the classroom with global practices provides first-hand experiences that transcend traditional classroom learning, and in the words of one student, provides a life-changing experience!