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Columbia Classroom
The Columbia Classroom Program targets college and graduate students by providing them with fresh perspective to enrich their learning experience during summer or winter school recess. The students will have opportunity to experience advanced classroom teaching methods in elite universities (e.g., Columbia University), to work with professors, field experts and follow participants in field research project, to visit historical cities for culture experience in the United States.

The program is hosted at Columbia University, one of the Ivy League institutions. The training is taught by university faculty and subject experts. The program aims to increase the students’ cross-cultural awareness and improve their effective communication capabilities in the global context. Participants will be prepared for challenges they are most likely to face in their careers after graduation. Students will be trained to collaborate on team-based field research project, practice field and on-line research techniques, conduct information analysis and integration, as well as deliver team-based presentation to panel of judges who have over twenty or more years of corporate experience. The faculties will assess the performance of each student based on completion of pre-course reading assignment, classroom engagement, and team projects. The program’s academic session is consisted of two areas in the following:

Cross-cultural Communication (in-classroom teaching: building foundational framework)

To fulfill the aims of this program, students are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes: (1) explain how cultural expectations influence perceptions, behavior, and responses to others; (2) explain models for understanding culture and cultural factors; (3) describe their own cultural assumptions, gain awareness of those of others, and (4) effectively use communication skills for managing cross-cultural interactions. The course schedule is elaborated as following:

Team-based Field Research Project (In-Classroom Critique & Field Research)

Students will be organized into sub-groups and work as cohorts throughout the program to complete given project assignments, classroom activities, group discussions, and team presentations. At the beginning of this program, faculty will set aside a fictitious seed grand to award the group that receives the first prize. The seed grand will be used to help the group to “start the business”. The group members are expected to apply what they will learn in program, including research techniques, analysis tools, business proposal structure, marketing strategy, public speaking skills etc., and then formally present their project proposals to a panel of “venture capitalist”, business angels investors. This course highlights the following areas:

  Team formation and team building

   Business research and analysis techniques (on-line and field research)

   Action research task based on teamwork

   Effective communication and collaboration: art of questioning and listening techniques

   Public speaking and presentation skills

   Marketing and business proposal writing

   Persuasive communication about the business plan


Besides the academic session, the program covers a wide range of field activities, reflecting the gained knowledge and applying it in cultural practices. Such activities include, (1) visiting museums to enhance students’ active learning and problem solving capabilities by assigning group tasks and encouraging teamwork; (2) visiting elite universities to experience campus life in college and the education concept nurtured in the background of American history and culture; (3) visiting different cities to explore the urban development and historical sites to appreciate the natural landscape and modern architecture.


The program normally extends for 14 to 16 days. IESC can adjust the training topics and sightseeing routes based on school’s specific request and group’s learning needs. The program can cover both east coast and west coast visits. Here following is a sample agenda from a 16-day program.

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