Interview: Dr. James Allen

Dr. James Alllen
is an assistant professor in the School of Business.

In what countries have you taught? I have only participated in Austria.

What programs did you teach in and how long? I have taught a Sport Industries course within a Hospitality and Tourism Management Master’s degree program at FH Johanneum University in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria.

How has study abroad as a professor influenced you? Being able to interact with students from another culture has been very beneficial. Also, to see how my field, the sport industry, differs in other countries. For example, a majority of the opportunities in athletics is provided by the national government in Austria. There are a few independent and privately funded organizations but a majority are owned and regulated by their federal government, which is very different from the United States.  It has been very informative for me to see that different model. Also, I have enjoyed the opportunity to interact with Austrian students who have different perspectives.

What would you say to the student who is contemplating studying abroad? Find a way to do it. I did not study abroad while I was a student; however I had a friend who did, and I made a trip to visit him in the Netherlands. Although I was only there for ten days, that small window was really eye opening and definitely provided me with a new perspective of the world and how other societies are organized. Even simple things like different foods and different music can be really enjoyable and you bring that back to the United States. People in our country say that this is the best country in the world, but traveling gives you a more well-rounded view and teaches you that there are other places that have certain strengths and weaknesses.  Some things they actually do better than we do. I would say the same thing about teaching in Austria. There are certain things about their culture, country, society and economy that are actually superior to things that are going on in our country, and vice versa. We have more freedom, more social mobility. So you take the good with the bad, but it’s nice to see how other people live so students on the fence just need to find a way! CBU will help you. We will make it happen.

How would you persuade a professor to offer a study abroad course? I think one way that has been effective is to offer a course that provides general education credit. This helps ensure a group is large enough for a specific study abroad program. I think many professors are willing to travel, but they know that it’s hard to get a large enough group to cover the cost.