College of Business

Italy 2017 - Business Students Study Abroad

For the second year in a row, CSUMB business students traveled to Italy for two weeks in May 2018 as the culminating experience linked to BUS 332: Area Studies in International Business. Led by CSUMB Professor Dante Di Gregorio and Professor Pete Cullen from the University of Urbino, the program pairs one of the youngest CSU campuses with one of the oldest universities in the world.

Photo of Italy group at dinner

Eleven students participated, spending three days in Rome and ten days in Urbino. Known as a cradle of the Renaissance and the birthplace of the artist Raphael, Urbino is a thriving college town with 14,000 students and a regional economic hub.

The program consists of lectures by local faculty in the mornings, company site visits in the afternoons, and cultural exchanges with local students in the evenings. Site visits provide exposure to a diverse set of companies in terms of industry, company size, and company age. Visits included a hotel/spa, a coffee roasting and distribution business, a winery and food producer, a major manufacturer of heat exchangers, and a metal fabrication/pizza oven company. In each case, managers and entrepreneurs candidly and graciously shared their first-hand experiences and perspectives on doing business in Italy and Europe.

This was the second trip to Italy by BUS 332 students, resulting in new collaborations and projects. For example, CSUMB is currently working with the Urbino-based Rossofuoco to evaluate market-entry strategies in the United States for the company’s pizza ovens.

According to Professor Di Gregorio, two key features set the program apart. First, a strong partnership is developing between CSUMB and the University of Urbino, thanks to the leadership of University of Urbino Professor Pete Cullen. This partnership is expanding to provide opportunities for semester-long exchanges between the two universities. Second, the CSUMB students’ enthusiasm translates into a high-level of engagement. According to Di Gregorio, “Everyone we met remarked how much they appreciated our students’ enthusiasm. For a short-term program, it is especially critical that students are willing to embrace a new environment and new experiences; our students represent CSUMB well.”