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The business of pleasure

As part of the University of Guelph-Humber’s international study initiative, students are enriching their learning experience through seven global study opportunities.

In part six of this study abroad series, we learn about North American vs. European conceptions of the good life.  Or, as they say, la bonne vie.

Photo of European cityscape

“France offers two very different qualities,” explains Assistant Program Head of Business and course instructor, Justin Medakiewicz.  “It hosts one of the biggest business centres in the world.  It offers a prominent stock exchange, Paris has a certain corporate environment, it’s home to a remarkable number of world-renowned companies with enviable histories.”

“But then – you take the bullet train to the South of France, where the climate is warm, and you find palm trees and yachts along the Mediterranean, and you’ve got the Grand Prix, the Cannes Film Festival, and the Monte Carlo Casino.”

“From a culture and tourism perspective, France offers an experience like no other.”

Prof. Medakiewicz points to a few staggering numbers.  France, the most visited country in the world in terms of tourism, attracts approximately 86 million people annually.

In exploring differences in North American and European business models and ways of life, UofGH students are seeing first-hand the many forms business can take.

“The South, in particular, offers a very different kind of business, with an emphasis on the good life, the high life.  How are these massive events executed?  What are all the strategic elements that go into creating the Cannes festival, for instance, from start to finish?  How is the wine industry managed?  The fashion industry?  The food and beverage industry?  How is the import/export business managed?”

He adds:  “With so many companies today operating in a global environment, having employees who have an understanding of international business is an invaluable asset.  New perspectives provide the necessary tools to understand cross-cultural communication, and to be able to see past differences in order to mitigate conflict.”

“The ability to manage a seamless international discussion, transaction or negotiation is an asset every business employee should possess.” 

Study Abroad at UofGH