Summer Immersions

Regional Summer Immersions

An integral part of a student’s Program of Concentration – Africa, Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, or South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa – is the summer immersion which spans eight weeks in June and July of a student’s first year in the Lauder program. Students travel to multiple sites to learn about the culture, history, social customs, and business practices in the target region.

The 8-week summer immersion program is divided into two segments:

  • Regional Component: 3 weeks
    During the regional component, students explore literary, political, economic, historic and institutional dimensions of the region. They will interact with scholars as well as community and business leaders through a mix of lectures, group exercises, readings, corporate and non-corporate visits, and interactions with local communities
  • Language component: 5 weeks
    The Lauder Language and Culture Summer Immersion aims to develop superior-level language proficiency for informal and formal contexts through daily and systematic formal language instruction and through active engagement in planned activities. Students study texts highlighting selected topics and genres. At the same time, they acquire cultural knowledge and practice culturally appropriate behavior. Outside the structured language classroom, students complete field-based language tasks and keep notes on academic lectures by invited lecturers. Selected themes in the language syllabus will overlap with symposia, lectures, corporate and non-corporate visits, and interactions with local communities.

2017 Summer Immersion information provided below.

AFRICA 2017 Summer Immersion

Regional Component
Locations: Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
Themes: Varieties of financing, technology and innovation, sustainability, varieties of consumption and well-being, ethnic, and geographic diversity; Social innovation and entrepreneurship, regional integration; Role of higher education institutions; Migration/Mobilities, and demographic and economic inequalities and transitions.
Student blog posting

i. FRENCH Language and Culture Component
Locations: Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Themes: The literary heritage of Senegal; Economic perspectives of Senegal and Africa; Political comparisons: Senegal and Ivory Coast; Social perspectives: Family in Senegal; Trade, commerce and markets of Africa.
Student blog posting

EAST-SOUTHEAST ASIA 2017 Summer Immersion

Regional Component
Locations: Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Themes: Relationship between the state and the market, and the state and society; Interplay of market and nonmarket factors for businesses (political, regulatory, security, and cultural factors); Varying developmental paths and explanations for growth in East Asia; Economic and trade integration at bilateral, multilateral, regional and global levels and discuss the implications for East Asia and beyond.
Student blog posting

i. CHINESE Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Beijing, China
Themes: Economic and political developments of China; Societal Issues in China: impact of urbanization and aging population; Innovation and Globalization in China; Emerging industries in China and around the world; Trade and political relationship between China and other countries.
Student blog posting

ii. JAPANESE Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Tokyo, Japan
Themes: Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Japan; Examining the impacts of G7 on the Japanese economy; Entrepreneurship in Japan; Cutting-edge Technology in an Aging Society; Unique Solution to Environmental issues in Japan.
Student blog posting

iii. KOREAN Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Seoul, Korea
Themes: Colonial and post-colonial histories of Korea; History and contemporary politics of South and North Korea; construction of monolingual ideology and ethnic nationalism; Economy of South Korea; Marketization of K-pop culture and tourism industry
Student blog posting

EUROPE 2017 Summer Immersion

Regional Component
Locations: Brussels, Belgium; Strasbourg, France; Frankfurt, Germany; Krakow, Poland
Themes: Cultural, ethnic, and geographic diversity; Institutional diversity within the European Union; Specificities of trade and transnational agreements; Insights into business practices; effects of migration and interculturality on identity; The populist backlash in the region and various national perspectives
Student blog posting

i. FRENCH Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Paris, France
Themes: Economy and Labor laws; Politics and Institutions of France; The Media and its effects on the modern and contemporary period; Arts and Literature providing an overview of the different artistic movements and schools of thoughts from the Age of Enlightenment to present day.
Student blog posting

ii. GERMAN Language and Culture Component
Primary Location: Berlin, Germany
Themes: German Contemporary Politics and Culture; Energy Economy, Trade Politics, the Transatlantic Relations; Transformations in the German Business and Investment World; Diversity, Immigration in Culture and Business; Germany’s Future Challenges, and Program Conclusion
Student blog posting

iii. RUSSIAN Language and Culture Component
Primary Location: Moscow, Russia
Themes: Russian government and politics; Russian economic crises and business and impact of economic sanctions, drop of oil prices, and new government regulations; Religious and ethnic diversity and its impact on Russian business and society
Student blog posting

LATIN AMERICA 2017 Summer Immersion

Regional Component:
Locations: Lima, Peru; Sao Paulo and Rio, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico
Themes: Peru and the Andean Community in Latin America; Perspectives on the Impact of Brazil in Latin America; Mexico and Latin America: An Economic, Social and Political Overview.
Student blog posting

i. Portuguese Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Themes: Diversity, History and Brazilian Culture; The Labor System in Brazil; National Identity through Arts and Culture; Political crisis and perspectives; Educational system and its reflection on Brazilian society
Student blog posting

ii. Spanish Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Bogota, Colombia
Themes: Diversity in Colombia; Social relations and the national project; Histories of violence; Contemporary portraits of Colombia; Colombia in Latin America
Student blog posting


Regional Component:
Locations: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE; Mumbai, Delhi, India
Themes: South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa: tracing cross-regional connections and global networks; City life: urban landscapes, infrastructures, and business cultures; Consumption and innovation in the global economy; Religious cultures, nation-states, and social diversity.
Student blog posting

i. Hindi Language and Culture Component:
Primary Location: Delhi, India
Themes: India’s Linguistic Diversity and role of Hindi in the realm of media, government, business and education; Tracing Diversity through History and Religion; Political and Economic Diversity in colonial, post-independence and post liberalization period; Social Diversity: Issues of Gender, Caste and Identities; Role of Hindi literature and aesthetics in fine arts, folk arts/music/paintings.
Student blog posting

Global Program of Concentration Summer Immersion

For students in the Global Program of Concentration, the summer immersion is a multi-country introduction to leading issues in global business, international politics, cross-border transactions, and intercultural communication. Students will gain exposure and understanding of these matters from the summer immersion through a combination of classroom lectures, corporate visits, practitioner engagement, field exercises, and intercultural activities. While immersion locations may change year-to-year, students will visit no less than 5 countries in 2-3 different continents.  Time in each locale can range from a few days to one week depending on program needs.


Classroom lectures will provide students with contextual knowledge and historical background to enhance their critical thinking skills and their capacity to engage corporate, government, and non-government practitioners effectively in their field.

Corporate Visits

Corporate visits have two main purposes: first, they aim to introduce students to leading and new industries of global and country-specific significance; and second, to provide students with a “lab-like” setting in which to examine how competitive, macroeconomic, intercultural, and geopolitical factors affect management policies and practice.

Field Exercises

Field exercises are geared to enhance the global business leadership capacity and knowledge accumulation of our students through self-directed and shared tasks that require team participation, intercultural communication, public presentations, and self-assessment.

Other Global Program Activities

Cultural immersion is infused throughout the above three activity areas, as well as, more conventionally, through the introduction of country-specific cultural icons and exposure to museums, music, marketplaces, and neighborhoods that make explicit the socio-cultural origins of differences in values, tastes, and economic organization and practice.

The Joseph H. Lauder Institute
256 South 37th street
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330