Trading places

February 27, 2018 | Business

Faculty exchange broadens business professors’ teaching practices at home and abroad


Dr. Lyle Benson (left) and Dr. Felipe Martinez (right) swapped classrooms last semester.

You’ve probably heard about international exchange programs that allow you to study at a university overseas for a term or two. But did you know that profs can do the same?

In the Fall term Associate Professor Dr. Lyle Benson from the School of Business traded places with Dr. Felipe Martinez, a visiting professor from the University of Economics (VŠE) in Prague, Czech Republic.Four years in the making, the primary purpose of the exchange was to allow Lyle and Felipe to gain insight into teaching students from different countries and cultures. It worked.

“I had students from the Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Germany, India, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Argentina,” says Lyle about his classes at VŠE. “I learned that much is lost in translation, which I’ll be able to use to improve my teaching here at MacEwan when I have international students.”


Busting myths about studying abroad 

Student exchanges, field schools, international summer programs, internships and conferences … the world could be your classroom. Every year, students from across the university take part in education abroad opportunities – exploring new places, experiencing different cultures and expanding their horizons in countless ways – while collecting credit toward their MacEwan degree or diploma.

Think studying abroad is too expensive/frivolous/complicated? Think again, and check out this story that busts five of the biggest myths about studying abroad.


One of the highlights for Lyle was introducing VŠE students in his courses to a new kind of in-class experience. “VŠE students are used to lectures—they’re not used to interactive experiential action learning. They find it an exciting way to learn. They really enjoyed the applied practical leadership skill mini-assignments.”

Back in Canada Felipe taught courses on supply chain negotiations and international business, as well as guest lecturing on international management. In addition to his work in the Czech Republic and Europe, Felipe, who hails from Colombia, has teaching experience in India. As this was his first visit to Canada, he also been looked for examples of Canadian companies that he can use to expand the breadth of his knowledge.

“I said to my students that I have a super list of examples of companies in the Czech Republic and Europe, but I don’t have Canadian examples,” says Felipe. “I had to explain the context of what I’m trying to teach and get the students to give me examples. So I learned too.”

Read more about international experiences at MacEwan:

Get MacEwan University news delivered to your inbox.
Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter