By Brian Mitchell,
Brian Mitchell is a junior Marketing and IT Management major in the Stillman School of Business. Following a study abroad trip to Greece over Spring Break, Brian agreed to answer several questions regarding his study abroad experience.
Q: What is your name, year, major, and in which program did you participate?
My name is Brian Mitchell, and I am a junior majoring in Marketing and IT Management. I was able to study abroad for a week in Greece as a part of the Leadership Development Honors Program at Seton Hall University.
Q: Have you had any past experiences studying abroad?
Leadership runs this study abroad trip every year to a different place. During my freshman year, I also went on this trip, where we went to Barcelona, Spain.
Q: Explain the duration and courses of your study abroad in detail.
The trip in total was one week. The courses I will receive credit for from this trip are CORE and International Business. The name of the course that covers these credits is called “Doing Business in Greece.” While in Greece, the course consisted of two days of cultural visits: one to the Parthenon and the other to Delphi. The four other days of the trip involved visiting two businesses a day and meeting with executives from those businesses. Microsoft, Deloitte, SAP, and Ogilvy & Mather highlight the list of businesses we visited.
Topics that we discussed with these business executives included how their companies dealt with the ongoing economic crisis in Greece, how these companies were innovating, and how the United States influences their business in Greece.
Now that we are back, to fulfill the course requirements, I will be writing two separate papers. One paper is on the culture and economy of Greece. The other is on a business that I would like to start in Greece, and why the culture and economy of Greece would support this business.
Q: What prompted you to choose this particular study abroad?
The Leadership study abroad trip occurs every Spring Break. Last year, I did not go on the trip to Lisbon, Portugal and my Spring Break was very boring. This year, I knew that I wanted to go on the trip because college is such a great time to go see the world. In addition, I had the prerequisites to take the “Doing Business in Greece” course and receive credit for CORE and International Business.
Q: What was your most memorable or most rewarding experience thus far?
My most memorable experience was the free day we had on the trip. I was able to take a cruise with a few friends to go see three islands: Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. It was a spur of the moment decision, and it was the best decision of the trip. The sights on the islands were amazing, and that one-day cruise created a strong bond between a few of us that will last a lifetime.
Q: What was the biggest change between studying in the United States and in studying abroad?
The environment and the culture. In the United States, classes require lectures from professors. On this trip, classes were discussions with business professionals. The difference in the culture is incredible, and the learnings were much more practical and useful in our future business careers.
Q: If you could give some advice to students looking to study abroad, what would you say?
Do it. Learning about a whole new culture and experiencing life in a different culture makes you realize how big the world is. At times in the U.S., we sometimes become very narrow-minded when it comes to other cultures that are out there.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
The recession in Greece is real. We hear about it in the news all the time, but when you go and see it for yourself, it is shocking how drastic the effect on the area is. The past two years, the economy has shown some signs of a recovery beginning. I hope that this trend continues.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 24th print edition.
Contact Brian at