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14 Asper students and 8 students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel

Asper students prepare to welcome 8 students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel.

Asper students build relationships on study exchange program in Israel

July 4, 2017 — 

For the ninth year, the Asper School of Business hosted the annual Arni Thorsteinson Study Exchange Program to Israel from April 30 – May 25, 2017. Thanks to a generous donation from the Schwartz-Reisman Foundation, 14 Asper students and 8 students from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel, are able to participate in this academic, business and cultural exchange.

This intensive program allows all participants to learn about each others’ culture and to build strong business relationships and lifelong friendships.

“The friendships that we made are so unique,” says Asper student Teghan Kublick. “From the way that all of us bonded during this experience, I don’t doubt that we will all be friends for a long time.”

The first 10 days of this life-changing program were spent in Winnipeg, where students from both schools began coursework in INTB 2200 International Management, co-taught by Asper instructor Nicole Barnabé and BGU instructor Dr. Uriel Haran. In addition to the academic work, students visited a range of businesses in Winnipeg, including Palliser Furniture, New Flyer Industries, and Conviron. The group spent a fun weekend at a teambuilding retreat in Buffalo Point, Manitoba and took in many different cultural sites in Winnipeg, including the Royal Canadian Mint, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a trolley tour, and the Forks. Students were also graciously hosted for dinner at the home of honorary degree recipient Arni Thorsteinson, after whom the program is named, and honorary degree recipient Ms. Susan Glass.

The group then travelled together to Toronto, where they were kept busy with many different meetings, including with the Israeli Consul General, the Canada-Israel Chamber of Commerce, and Aroma, an Israeli coffee chain that has expanded into Canada. An annual highlight of the Toronto portion of the program is a meeting at ONEX, a private equity firm founded by honorary degree recipient Gerry Schwartz and who is the program donor along with honorary degree recipient Heather Reisman.

“The company visits, such as the visit to Onex, were extremely beneficial in showing how international business applies to the real world. Learning international management in school is one thing, but actually being able to see and hear real experiences from successful companies gave me an entirely new outlook on the business world,” says Asper student Dasha Lazepko.

Jetlagged but excited, the group travelled to Beersheva to finish the coursework and to prepare their final presentations and for their exam. Students visited Teva, an pharmaceutical company and Hishtil, a global nursery corporation. The group was also able to explore many of Israel’s famous sites, including the Old City in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Masada, the Dead Sea, Machne Yehuda, and the legendary beaches plus a walking tour of Tel Aviv.

“One of my cherished memories from Israel happened one morning in Tel Aviv. A small group of us rented bikes from the hotel, and biked around Tel Aviv. We biked for quite a while along the board walk, giving us an excellent view of the beach and the Mediterranean Sea, before making our way to a local market,” says Asper student Breanne Timlick. “This was a very enjoyable way to explore such an incredible city.”

Saying goodbye after such an intense month was hard for everyone, but all participants have made memories to last a lifetime and will always be connected to their friends and future business partners. Visit here to see a slideshow of this year’s program.

Recruitment for the May 2018 program will start in October. Eligibility requirements are:

  • Enrolled in the Asper School of Business
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of minimum 24 credit hours at the time of application
  • Has not taken INTB 2200 International Management and has space within degree requirements for this course (i.e. may not take this course as extra credit)

Interested students should drop by 268 Drake or email Asper Exchange Coordinator amber [dot] pohl [at] umanitoba [dot] ca for more information.

Enjoying Old City in Jerusalem

Enjoying Old City in Jerusalem

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