Sauder students travel to Phalaborwa and Addis Ababa with the purpose being to learn and understand the dynamics of business operations and issues within the African context. Students stay with local host families and work in local businesses or organizations. The students have the unique opportunity to integrate themselves into the Phalaborwa or Addis Ababa community. From this vantage point students receive an education on social customs, trust building, and business practices prevalent in these regions of Africa.
The relationships formed provide the basis for development of the two-way bridge for knowledge sharing. This bridge extends beyond the internship time-line as these strong connections are leveraged within the ongoing relationships that the ARC has with the host community. The ARC’s philosophy is based upon a long-term horizon in which long-term relationships are created and sustained. The internships create a tremendously fertile arena for the creation of these relationships.
Internships provide a unique service learning opportunity in which students encounter myriad of cross-cultural elements and incorporate these into their understanding of business and economics. Students synthesize their course material from university with the business challenges of the local African setting. Students interact with local community and business leaders on a day-to-day basis and are active participants in the business skills workshop working side by side with participants in the solving of the business case.