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April 21, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – In 2020, Eastern Oregon University business professor Michael Fields created a bridge for his students to connect with Japanese students on a group project. Today the relationship continues to grow.
Fields and Kansai University/Institute for Innovative Global Education (IIGE) took up an official partnership in early 2020 to expose both universities to global cultures. So far, Fields has completed multiple projects with the school since spring 2020.
Recognizing that this connection expanded his students’ cultural awareness, Fields and his class met late at night to accommodate the time difference between Oregon and Japan.
In the fall, Fields’ Business in a Global Environment class worked on a project that utilized the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. EOU students grouped up with Japanese students and each group created a website or app and marketing plan that showcased one of the 17 goals.
“The formal partnership actually allows anyone at EOU to work with any of the partners through the Institute for Innovative Global Education. So, we are now a member of that institute,” Fields said.
Excited for the potential this partnership has, Fields explained that the opportunity is available to all EOU professors. In the future, his Japanese colleagues have voiced interest in forming connections with the English department at EOU.
“For a lot of the students it’s their first time really interacting with students or anyone from another country and so it’s really just that lightbulb moment, that ‘ah-hah’ moment that the world is a lot bigger than La Grande and EOU. [It shows that] even here at EOU, Oregon’s Rural University, we still forge these global partnerships and have international work,” Fields said.
For more information about the College of Business, visit eou.edu/college-of-business.
By PR Intern Emily Andrews
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