Posted October 9, 2007

Italian students learn global business, American culture at Temple

Photo by Gloria Angel
(Left to right) Simonetta De Carolis and Simona Lenza, students from the University of Rome, were excited to participate in the American custom of donning caps and gowns to receive their certificate in international business from the Fox School.

This past summer, the Institute of Global Management Studies (IGMS) at the Fox School of Business taught graduate students from the University of Rome about international business and entrepreneurship. The program, which also immersed the students into the American way of life, is in its second year.

Students from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” one of the oldest and most highly regarded universities in Italy, participated in an integrated program of academics and corporate site visits. Students studied international marketing at the Temple Rome campus with Professor Aldo Patania and then crossed the Atlantic to reside in Philadelphia. For three weeks, they completed rigorous courses on globalization and entrepreneurship at Temple’s Main Campus. At the end of the program, they earned a certificate in international business.


Stanley Ridgley, lecturer of general and strategic management, taught a globalization course that focused on differences between countries, international business operations and the environment of global trade and the global monetary system. Ridgley, himself a graduate of Fox’s International MBA program, encouraged discussion and critical thinking in his classroom.

“I pursue a highly interactive style of teaching that engages the students to think analytically rather than episodically. We seek to discover global patterns and to look at complex causes and effects rather than jump to superficial conclusions,” Ridgley said.

One of the students in Ridgley’s course, Antionio Maiuri, said, “Starting with the first minute of each class, he kept my attention and was never boring. He helped me learn how business around the world is changing— in particular, I better understood the positive aspects of delocalization of production taking place in areas like China and Thailand. My only regret is that I cannot attend a full three-month course with him.”

The entrepreneurship course, taught by Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute Executive Director Chris Pavlides, introduced the students to entrepreneurship concepts including idea generation, opportunity assessment, intellectual property protection, fundraising and growth strategies. The class also explored differences between American and Italian entrepreneurial models.

“This was an intensive, full-day, one-week program. We went over the highlights of what we would normally cover in a 14-week course. The class was very interactive and the learning process was evident, as the students had never taken a similar course in Italy. By the end of the course, several students were thinking seriously about starting their own businesses, ” Pavlides said.

In addition to taking courses, the Italian students visited corporate sites such as the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and QVC Studios to get a flavor for the American business world, and Philadelphia’s City Hall for a historical perspective of the city. The students also got a firsthand look at U.S. culture when they attended a Phillies baseball game.

Summing up the entire experience, Kim Cahill, director of the Fox School’s Institute of Global Management Studies and Temple’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), said, “The overall goals of our International Business program are to provide an educational experience designed to equip students with the knowledge and global perspectives required to thrive in the global workforce of the twenty-first century. International student exchanges, like this program between Rome and Philadelphia, accomplish these goals.

— Written by Holly Otterbein

For the Fox School of Business