TAMIU and Chilean Students, Faculty Dialogue
Dr. Jaime Ortiz
A group of Texas A&M International University business students and faculty members recently made full use of distance education technology when they participated in a teleconference discussion with fellow students and professors at the Universidad del Bio Bio (UBB), located in Concepción, Chile.
Undergraduate business students in the Regional Economic Integration class taught by Dr. Jaime Ortíz, associate vice president for International Programs, had a two-hour, virtual dialogue recently with UBB students about how the current global economic crisis is affecting Latin America and the role the United States played in such a crisis.
“This was our University’s first experience in connecting two classes located in two different countries live,” Dr. Ortíz said, “I think it was successful. The idea is to replicate this experience with our other partner universities in the future.”
The discussion was made possible through a Latin American Studies grant, which provides funding for universities to strengthen program offerings in language, culture and economics to promote a better understanding of Latin America.
“It is always important to know what other people think about problems and how it affects the issues that we tend to see in only one direction,” Ortíz said, “The way we see Latin America is not the way Latin America sees us. We need to get a balanced assessment of how each economy is being affected and by how much.”
Ortíz said students in his class were grateful for the opportunity to meet and discuss a timely issue with their counterparts in Chile.
“Just to think that they had a chance to interact with Chilean students, exchange different viewpoints and share ideas and thoughts was fulfilling and it allowed them to think in different terms, ” Ortíz said.
TAMIU and UBB have had a working relationship for over a year and have agreed to exchange students and faculty in the future.
“A group of seven students came here last Fall from UBB to take a full load of classes in English pedagogy and we are planning a study abroad program during the summer next year,” Ortiz said.
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