Bruce KlineSenior Instructor, Finance
London Business Seminar (London, England)
Did you study abroad as a student? What was your international experience like?
Yes. My study abroad experiences changed how I view the world. Having traveled very little prior, I studied in Vienna, Austria for the fall semester of my sophomore year and Nürnberg, Germany for the fall semester of my senior year. I had the opportunities to truly live in a foreign culture, not just pass through as a tourist. To this day, I maintain contact with friends, host families, and business associates from many parts of Europe.
Why should Business majors study abroad?
Although we have an instantaneous advantage with English as “the language of business”; just because someone is speaking our language does not mean that we are thinking alike. It is critical to get out of our comfort zone and figure out how to relate to people from different cultures. I cannot remember the last time in my HP career (certainly decades ago) that I was last working on a project or talking on a teleconference exclusively with Americans.
Why is London such an excellent location for your Global Seminar?
While the language (English) makes maneuvering around much easier, London is a crossroads of the world. Walk down the street and you will hear ten different languages being spoken in ten minutes. For travelers, the air and rail connections are unsurpassed. Arrival in central Paris – an entirely different culture and language - is literally within three hours of walking out the door of our flats.
What is your favorite British food?
When I first visited London as a student, cucumber and banana sandwiches on white bread were considered a delicacy. All that has changed. London is a center of world cuisine. Some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten was in London. The Jamaican jerk is outstanding. I am particularly fond to eastern Mediterranean and I have favorite Greek and Lebanese restaurants.
What aspect of this program do you look forward to the most?
The program is truly in three parts for me:
- I find the guest speakers fascinating and insightful. I learn a lot from them and feel like I have my finger more on the pulse of the UK and the world.
- I enjoy teaching International Finance, especially in an environment where it can be more “hands-on” and obvious to students. The United States is terribly insulated from understanding the impact of worldwide economics.
- I love exploring London and the surrounding area, by myself or with students, on the weekends. I really like being a local instead of a tourist.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The simple experience of listening to others is world-view-changing. One of the first things to notice is how little actual news we get in the United States. There is a lot happening in the world - it can be amazing to hear about it.