Though we had the date of the trip nearly a year in advance, the destination wasn’t announced until about 5 months in advance. So the anticipation for this year’s International trip location was high. The initial reaction to the announcement that we would be traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was met with some reservations, however, and the announcement spawned a number of discussions about physical safety, health concerns, and other topics.
We would spend a fair amount of time researching the country and KL itself, but as a class we had many unanswered questions: How developed is Malaysia? What form of government exists there? What role does religion play in business and society at large? After a little research and a case study centered on Malaysia, the discussion began to focus on the regional business environment and what we could learn from this experience. After nearly a year of case studies, response papers, and discussions, traveling half-way around the world to directly see how business operates in another culture, without relying on case studies and biased news stories, opened up lots of possibilities and the opportunity to enrich our courses, our careers, and the way we think about ourselves.