Summer Immersion Programs at The Lauder Institute

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 for region-focused programs of concentration:

  • 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.

2019 Summer Immersion information provided below.

AFRICA 2019 Summer Immersion – This year, the Africa Program of Concentration included two cohorts: a General track Africa Program & French language and culture Africa Program.

Three-Week Regional Component
Locations: Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
Regional Thematic Units: Macro-economic political and social issues – comparative perspectives; Regional Economic and Political Institutions; Contemporary Perspectives on Culture and Identity in Youth Culture
Student blog posting

i. Five-Week FRENCH language and culture Africa Program  
Locations: Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Thematic Units in Language: Multiculturalism in Senegalese society; Governance and the Political System of Senegal; Informal and Formal Sectors; Business Topics: Women Entrepreneurs, FinTech, Agribusiness, and Mining; Comparative Perspectives: Ivory Coast and Senegal
Student blog posting

      ii. Five-Week GENERAL track Africa Program
      Locations: Harare, Zimbabwe; Kumasi, Accra, Ghana; Kigali, Rwanda; Kampala, Uganda
      Thematic Units: Entrepreneurship, Impact of tech accelerators and incubators; Tourism and Development; Agriculture and Development
      Student blog posting

EAST-SOUTHEAST ASIA 2019 Summer Immersion

Three-Week Regional Component
Locations: Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Regional Thematic Units: The State and the Market; The State and Society; Interplay of market and nonmarket factors for businesses (political, regulatory, security, and cultural factors); Developmental paths and explanations for growth in East Asia; Economic and trade integration at bilateral, multilateral, regional and global levels – implications for East Asia and beyond.
Student blog posting

i. Five-Week CHINESE Language and Culture Program:
Primary Location: Beijing, China
Thematic Units in Language: Beijing and China’s Changing Society; China in the Regional and Global Context; Social Media and Urbanization; China and Globalization; Emerging Industries in China
Student blog posting

ii. Five-Week JAPANESE Language and Culture Program:
Primary Location: Tokyo, Japan
Thematic Units in Language: Cultural Heritage and Japanese Spiritual Foundations; Tradition and Innovation in Japan; Global Business and Societal Change; Cutting-edge Technology in an Aging Society
Student blog posting

iii. Five-Week KOREAN Language and Culture Program:
Primary Location: Seoul, Korea
Thematic Units in Language: The Market and Economy of South Korea; Modern History of Korea; Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Korea; Korean Society and People; Political and Diplomatic Relations of South Korea.
Student blog posting

EUROPE 2019 Summer Immersion

Three-Week Regional Component
Locations: London, United Kingdom; Strasbourg, France; Frankfurt, Germany; Athens, Greece
Regional Thematic Units: European Integration and Disintegration; Politics of Multiculturalism; Financial Markets and Economic Institutions; Migration and Social Integration; The Eurozone Crisis and its Aftermath
Student blog posting

i. Five-Week FRENCH Language and Culture Program 
Primary Location: Paris, France
Thematic Units in Language: French Identities; Innovation in France; France in the UE; Negotiating Traditions: multiculturalism, globalization, produits du terroir and French soft power
Student blog posting

ii. Five-Week GERMAN Language and Culture Program
Primary Location: Berlin, Germany
Thematic Units in Language: German Political System; Social Diversity – Past and Present; German Business and Energy Investments; Transatlantic Relations and Trade Politics; Contemporary Social Challenges
Student blog posting

iii. Five-Week RUSSIAN Language and Culture Component
Primary Location: Moscow, Russia
Thematic Units in Language: 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 2019 Summer Immersion

Three-Week Regional Component:
Locations: Montevideo, Uruguay; Sao Paulo and Rio, Brazil; Lima, Cuzco, Puno, Peru; Mexico City, Mexico
Regional Thematic Units: Regional Integration and Institutions; Non-State Actors: Connecting the Local and Global; The Andean Region and Natural Resources; The Retrievals of a National Project
Student blog posting

i. Five-Week PORTUGUESE Language and Culture Program:
Primary Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Thematic Units in Language: Diversity, History and Brazilian Culture; Art, Culture and Identity; Contemporary Government Reforms; Perspectives on Political Institutions in Brazil; Education and Society
Student blog posting

ii. Five-Week SPANISH Language and Culture Program:
Primary Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Thematic Units in Language: Fundamental Dichotomies in Argentina; Borders and Immigration; Political Identities; Economies of Argentina; Argentina and the World.
Student blog posting


Three-Week Regional Component:
Locations: Tunis, Tunisia; Cairo, Egypt; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE; Colombo, Sri Lanka
Regional Thematic Units: The Arab Spring and its Legacy; Comparative Perspectives on Political Systems in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa; Entrepreneurship and Role of the State; Gulf Exceptionalism and Global Flows; Contemporary Challenges in Sri Lanka
Student blog posting

i. Five-Week HINDI Language and Culture Program:
Primary Location: Delhi, India
Thematic Units in Language: Linguistic Diversity and role of Hindi in 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; Literature and Art
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
2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330