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Founder and CEO of Techstars, David Brown recently wrote an article titled, “Why Understanding Culture Is Important to Doing Business Around the World” (Inc.com). Within this article, Brown argues that future businesspeople will make a better impression if they understand the cultures they interact with and travel to as their companies expand around the world. He goes over five areas key to understanding other cultures: knowing business customs, learning the language, dressing the part, expanding one’s palate, and seeing the world. Here at Young Americans Center for Financial Education, International Towne students gain hands-on experience in all five of those areas during their time in Towne.
During International Towne, students are broken up into different countries (a total of 16) where they run the world for the day. Each country’s station has appropriate attire from that specific region (hats, sashes), a one-page sheet going over business customs, and information on how to say hello and goodbye in that country’s native language. Some countries have native food—the Vegemite from Australia is quite the taste-bud shocker for students! Students get to travel to other countries in Towne throughout the day, learning about other cultures and their currency. The time they have here opens their minds to new places and people while understanding the reach businesses have all over the world.
This relevant and impactful program is available to all schools and students, regardless of ability to pay, thanks to Bank of the West and other Send-a-School sponsors. Bank of the West has sponsored the Send-a-School program for both International Towne and Young AmeriTowne for five years, ensuring all students have access to these proven and student-anticipated programs. Bank of the West focuses on the positive impact they can make in the world each day, transforming to meet the changes happening all around. Their continued support in the Send-a-School program for International Towne helps students who may never have the chance to travel or experience other cultures.
“As a leader in regional banking, Bank of the West is proud to support Young Americans Center for Financial Education’s Send-a-School program,” says Stephanie Tedy, Senior Corporate Social Responsibility Regional Officer at Bank of the West. “Programs like International Towne allow students to grasp complex concepts such as tariffs and currency exchange rates in a fun and impactful learning environment. What students learn in International Towne and AmeriTowne will help them lead healthy and successful financial lives while learning how they can positively affect their communities.”
Thank you, Bank of the West, for making interactive and fun opportunities like International Towne and AmeriTowne possible for these deserving youth!