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Marketing prof heads to Italy

Fitzgerald

Paula Fitzgerald is heading to Paderno del Grappa, Italy, for the spring semester.

Dr. Fitzgerald will be teaching consumer behavior and introduction to marketing classes to students from 31 schools in the United States that participate in a consortium for international studies administered by the University of Iowa.

Ten B&E students are participating this coming semester, the largest group since the College joined the consortium in 1995, according to Dr. Clifford Hawley, the College's program coordinator and chairman of the Department of Economics.

Fitzgerald, who taught in Italy in 2001, said she is pleased to return.

"I'm looking forward to the trip," said Fitzgerald, the College's Nathan Haddad Professor of Business Administration. "I'm just now opening my copy of Rosetta Stone (language course). Paderno is in the 'real' Italy, in the countryside, and it's not just a tourist area. So, one needs to know some Italian. Elsewhere, there is usually someone who can speak English."

Classes are taught in English and have an international business focus, and the undergraduate semester program offers some core non-business courses as well. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to study in Italy for either a semester or summer session.

Graduate students can study in Italy for a four-week summer session or for an even shorter time in a certificate program. The graduate program is held in Asolo, Italy, about three miles from Paderno.

Housing and some meals are provided. Students are expected to travel during their stay at the Consortium. "The Italy program is known for its academic rigor and its experiential learning," Dr. Hawley said. "It's our most popular undergraduate study abroad choice, not only because it is in Italy, but also because its courses and program meet our accreditation standards."

students

   
  WVU students in the study-abroad program at the Trevi Fountain, Rome, in 2008.  

Created in 1985, the Consortium of Universities for International Business Studies is a non-profit organization committed to international business education. Semester and summer programs are organized and coordinated by the University of Iowa on behalf of the consortium.

"As we move to a four-year college, we must develop more global opportunities - international internships and study abroad experiences - for our business students," Hawley said. "Unfortunately there is very little financial support available to students for going abroad. Many students finance these educational and eye-opening experiences by increasing their student loan amounts."