Business Professor Heads Study Abroad Program

Photo courtesy of Martin St Amant, Wikipedia

The U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, also known as TPA, was signed in 2009 with objectives of eliminating obstacles to trade, integrating access to services and fostering private investment. As a result, Ramapo students can now take advantage of an opportunity to travel and learn about the symbiotic relationship between the two countries through a study abroad program titled “International Business Experience: Focus on Latin America” which will take place from May 15 to May 27, 2017.

“A study abroad experience opens your eyes to a whole new world where not only do things look different, but you might be surrounded by a different language being spoken all around you, new foods to eat, new landscapes, etc., and then all of sudden you start to be more attuned to what’s different about people in that new place and what is similar as well,” said Dr. Gladys Torres- Baumgarten, an associate professor of International Business and the faculty leader of the program. “Ultimately, it increases our global knowledge, develops our cultural competencies, heightens our sensitivities as human beings and makes us more attuned to global issues.”

Edward Petkus, the Dean of Anisfield School of Business, added that experience abroad could translate to working better with other cultures and fostering greater international understanding.

"Learning the facts about a country provides an important foundation for working in that country and with its citizens, but a deep, experientially-nuanced understanding of the culture — the sights and sounds and smells and everyday rhythms of life there — builds upon that foundation, creating a uniquely enriched perspective that will fortify and sustain the relationships upon which successful business operations are built," said Petkus.

Economic and commercial ties have deepened with the 2009 entry into force of the U.S.-Peru TPA. The volume and diversity of trade in both directions have grown with two-way trade increasing from $9 billion in 2009 to $14 billion in 2015. Agricultural trade was a bilateral highlight with U.S. exports at $1.1 billion in 2015 and Peruvian exports at $1.7 billion. Total U.S. exports to Peru were $8.8 billion in 2015. Approximately 500,000 U.S. citizens visit Peru annually for business, tourism or other studies. Ramapo’s study abroad program to Peru aims to educate International Business students on the challenges in further fostering these rising trends, by experiencing them firsthand.

 “It is a fascinating time to study the business environment in Peru,” said Torres- Baumgarten. “They have a president who will have been in office for just about one year when we visit, so we will likely get a sense of the progress he has made during that time both domestically and internationally.”

Throughout the course, students will observe how Latin America's recent economic and political history has shaped the current business environment for domestic and foreign firms. Emphasis will be placed on the opportunities and challenges for multinational firms in Latin America and for Multilatinas as global competitors. Students will gain firsthand experience on the complexities of business environments and challenges for multinational corporations operating in Latin America by meeting with university economists and business executives. They will reside in local hotels in Lima, Cuzco and the Sacred Valley.

The cost of the program is $4,950 for New Jersey residents and $6,805 for non-New Jersey residents. An additional discount of $500 will be issued to the first 10 completed applications. Students may also apply for additional scholarships for studying abroad.

The program is open to all sophomore, junior and senior International Business majors in good academic and judicial standing. The deadline to apply for the program has been extended to March 10.

For more information, please contact the Roukema Center in ASB-123, or email