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Students gather outside University of Roehampton. Photo credit: ANU

Students gather outside University of Roehampton. Photo credit: ANU

Lauren's Global Business Immersion Experience

31 October 2018

Written by Lauren Weatherman

Global Business Immersion (GBI) is an exclusive program that is offered by the College of Business and Economics (CBE). It allows students to fully “immerse” themselves in the culture of a specific country and gain further understanding of how the environment alters the corporate culture.

I attended the UK and Sweden GBI in September 2018 along with 22 other enthusiastic students. I always wanted to do some type of overseas course but I knew that I would not be able to fit exchange into my degree plan. As soon as I saw the advertisement for the London and Stockholm GBI I applied to be on the trip, and after a few weeks of waiting I heard that I would be travelling to London.

This course took us out of the classroom away from the textbooks, taking the information that we have learnt over the past few years and putting our knowledge to the test in the real world. I also found the concept of learning about three cultures (UK, Sweden and Australia) and how their values and beliefs are displayed in their business culture really important for my learning.  

With great staff and an enthusiastic tour manager from CISaustralia, I knew this trip was going to be valuable for my future and that we would cram so much into two weeks!

In London we were able to experience a variety of marketing based opportunities. Visiting St Paul’s Cathedral and hearing about their experimental marketing strategy to encourage tourists from all over the globe to visit was fascinating. Climbing all the way to the top of the dome was frightening, though thrilling.

We also met with small start-up businesses and incubators such as Cockpit Arts and heard about the issues they are having in a saturated market. It was incredible to see the live broadcast of the contemporary play ”Julie” at the London National Theatre and we returned the next day to get a behind the scenes look and to hear from their marketing department, whichwas a priceless experience.

Travelling to Stockholm was amazing. It was great to actually see the cultural differences, such as Jantelagen (a Swedish social ‘law’ that encourages people to be a collective-minded rather than individualistic) and how this has affected Sweden’s innovative and creative business culture. We went to start-up businesses in Stockholm including Sup46 and it was interesting to compare and contrast the differences between London and Stockholm.

It wasn’t a trip to Sweden without a visit to the largest IKEA in the world. I was able to see where the blue chip business originated from and how it fits within the Scandinavian culture. My favourite part of the whole trip was going to the ABBA Museum in Stockholm. It was incredible to engage with the band on a new level and find out more about its history and relevance to Swedish culture.

The connections I have made on this trip are one of the most valuable things the course has to offer. The GBI program has allowed me to expand my horizons, gain unique information about these two cultures and develop my global communication skills. I cannot recommend this course enough!

Interested in doing the next Global Business Immersion tour? Check out the website to keep updated on where it’s heading next:

Global Business Immersion

Updated:   22 January 2019 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team