Skip to main content

A Summer Abroad: Spain, Marketing and Language

Last summer, the Poole College of Management sent 22 students to Sevilla, Spain for an immersive experience that provides insight on foreign cultures and business practices. From utilizing their conversational Spanish skills to Flamenco lessons to Cathedral visits, these students explored the customs of a society far different from our own, and they returned with a newfound global knowledge of how these deviations are valuable to society.

Over six weeks, NC State professors taught Marketing Methods, Intermediate Spanish, and Doing Business in Spain. Professors from the host institution, the University of Sevilla (CINECU), held guest lectures to supplement the Doing Business in Spain course, and the group was able to visit several local corporations, including Basilippo, Glamping Hub, and Bodegas Gongora.

Tom Driscoll posing with classmates at a fútbol game

In-program excursions included travels to Barcelona, Cordoba, and Granada, but students also independently explored surrounding cities and countries.

Perhaps the most unreproducible part of this program was the housing. Students were paired together and then participated in homestays, an arrangement where students stayed with various host families in the area. These families provided meals, conversation, and – most importantly – a first-hand representation of local culture. Tom Driscoll, a Poole student in business administration, recalled that “getting adjusted to a later dinner took some time, but the dinner table in any Spanish household is a special place. It is a place where family members come together to share about their day and bond over a great meal.” He also gave this remark on an aspect of the Spanish culture that he learned from his homestay: “The first time I met my host mom I was taken back when she greeted me with a kiss on either side of my cheek. I instantly remembered this traditional Spanish greeting that I had learned about in Spanish class and began to implement it.”

These members of the Pack Abroad will take the influence of their program and utilize it throughout their career and personal lives. Sophomore Tom Driscoll noted that “the program taught me to get outside of my comfort zone and be more adaptable to the changing itinerary and schedule. I am a very organized person and I love for things to go according to plan, however while abroad our plans would often fall through and we would be left to adapt on the fly. Many of my favorite memories from the trip were spontaneous things we did as a result of a change in plans.” Overall, this unique program offered by Poole has helped develop these 22 participants into globally-aware students who can confidently and positively contribute to the world of ever-changing international business.