COBA students visit Australia, tour businesses

Posted February 26, 2014

Nearly two dozen students from ACU's College of Business Administration recently traveled to Australia with COBA professors of management Dr. Phil Vardiman and Australian native Dr. Ian Shepherd. The group embarked on the trip with two goals: to study business operations in a different culture and to empower Aboriginal children with technology in the classroom.

In Brisbane, the students toured various businesses and discussed the challenges associated with running businesses in countries with a high level of poverty.

“Touring Industrial Tool Service and Carba-tec allowed us to see the business environment in a new culture,” says Libby Sinclair, senior marketing major from Abilene. “It is always refreshing to get new perspectives on how operations are done differently in different settings.

While the first week of the trip focused on developing ACU students’ business skills in relation to poverty, the second week was about ACU students giving back to an impoverished Australian community.

ACU students witnessed the relationship between global poverty and lack of education when they traveled to Moree, a small town in the Australian Outback, to partner with missionary Brad Johnson in a local school. To further the education of Moree children, ACU donated 20 iPads to the school. ACU students taught the children how to use general iPad applications as well as Microsoft Word, Excel and iMovie while sharing the gospel.

“I was not sure what to expect coming into Moree. By the end of our visit, I had built strong relationships with many of the Aboriginal children,” says sophomore Austin Cotton, accounting major from Keller. " It was neat to know that I had planted a seed for the continuing of their education.”

For their final project, the children were divided into groups and given the assignment to make a video of a traditional Bible story using their iPads. Working with the ACU students, the children quickly learned how to apply their new skills.

Working with the Aboriginal children allowed ACU students to apply concepts they learned in the classroom. From Brisbane to Moree, the students left Australia with a deeper understanding of poverty and its relationship to global business.

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