Programs & Projects

Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum (USA, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon)


WDI is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary organization. As a result, it often engages multiple sector and services teams in our work. The following project undertaken by both our Education sector and Performance Measurement and Improvement service demonstrates our holistic approach. The Education sector implemented Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum — a classroom-to-classroom, action-learning course on international business cultures that brings together undergraduate students from Egypt, Libya and the U.S., supported by the Stevens Initiative. The course ran five times at the Ross School of Business, starting in Winter 2020. Participants attended lectures by international faculty, worked on interregional teams through synchronous and asynchronous exchange, employed field research methods to learn about one another’s business cultures and created a final project that captured their cross-cultural learnings. The program equipped young people in the U.S. and MENA region with the necessary competencies to communicate, problem-solve and collaborate in a global team environment—all essential 21st century skills in an interconnected world. The Education sector collaborated with the Performance Measurement and Improvement service, which led the design and implementation of an impact evaluation of the program on students in the U.S., Libya, Lebanon and Egypt. In addition to assessing the impact of the program on student outcomes (e.g. empathy, cross-cultural communication skills, business skills and knowledge), the data was used to improve the course and develop generalizable knowledge on how to increase the impact of virtual exchange courses.

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