International Business, International Students

Many universities offer undergraduate courses in international business.

But not every university’s classes are, themselves, a lesson in international experiences.

At Pacific University, business is one of the most popular majors, especially for international students who have come to the Forest Grove Campus for their studies.

In Fall 2016, the 300-level international business course was comprised of fewer than 10 students — but they represented at least four different countries, while professor Krishnan Ramaya, chair of the undergraduate department, is from a fifth.

Leonie Kirchner ’18 is from Ludwigsburg, Germany, and came to Pacific for the semester, taking courses in international business, public health and behavioral management.

“I wanted to get good grades in all of my classes, make new American friends, meet as many new people as I could and explore the beauty of Oregon,” Kirchner said. “I think I exceeded those goals.”

The international business class, she said, opened her mind up to new perspectives.

“It was very interesting to see and learn about business from an American point-of-view. It was cool to see things from the other way around,” she said. “The class did broaden my mind, though. You hear things you have never even thought about and you begin to understand why things are the way they are.”

Tran Hoang ‘17 is originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, and plans to graduate from Pacific with an international business major.

She too has noticed how her perspectives vary from her American peers.

“I often have varied views from almost everyone in the class,” Hoang said. “But I don’t think of this as a disadvantage or hard to handle. Others are usually open, and I can understand their point of view as well.”

Both Kirchner and Hoang said the variety of perspectives in their international business class has given them a leg up and prepared them for real-world experiences.

Whether at Pacific or elsewhere, they said getting international experience is important.

“I think everyone should study abroad if the opportunity ever presents itself,” Kirchner said. “Of course it may be scary, but you should definitely take the chance. It’s a really good time.” 

Friday, Feb. 3, 2017