March 17, 2009

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), will introduce a new degree, the Bachelor of Science in International Business (BSIB), in the Fall 2009 semester. The main focus of this new major is to provide students with the practical skills to work in international business in a multi-language/multi-cultural environment. To achieve this, TUJ has developed a curriculum that not only includes the required language components and technical business subjects such as accounting and finance, but also a range of electives that offer a wider international perspective.

The new major was developed in response to the contemporary needs of global businesses for personnel with the knowledge and skills to work in international markets, encompassing a general knowledge of cultures, economies and societies; the business skills to work in different industries; and the language abilities to be able to work across borders. The degree program aims to equip graduates with the skills for effective and efficient management in a multi-language/multi-cultural business environment.

As language and communication skills are critical in global business markets, in addition to fluency in English, International Business majors are required to take four semesters of an East Asian language such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Japanese-native students are required to be fluent in English at the time of admission (minimum TOEFL score 525), and can receive a waiver from the language courses. However, they may study Korean or Chinese as electives.

In addition to the normal micro-level studies of industries and companies, the new major will emphasize macro-level studies such as geo-political issues that affect all businesses through required courses that include international affairs. The degree also includes courses of business topics such as macroeconomics, international trade, and international corporate finance.

Another feature of the new International Business major is a highly practical approach to business. Students are required to undertake an internship or business practicum during their junior or senior year, in which they work on a project related to international business. Internships at TUJ typically require about 10 hours a week of on-the-job experience for the duration of a semester (approx 3 months). Practicums can include the development of case studies, corporate or industry analysis, or the writing of a comprehensive business plan. These credit-earning, semester-long internships are a unique feature of TUJ programs, and have long been compulsory for other majors such as Communications and International Affairs. TUJ will take advantage of this tradition to provide students of the new major with attractive on-the-job training opportunities.

Undergraduate enrollments at TUJ, especially the number of non-Japanese students, have grown steadily over the past five years. Among them, an increasing number of non-Japanese students are seeking employment in Japan after graduation, which is driving a need to learn about Japanese companies, and Japanese management and business practices. At the same time, many of our Japanese students plan to work in global enterprises, which creates strong demand to learn business in a multi-national environment.

The introduction of the new Bachelor of Science in International Business provides a more finely tuned response to these needs, by adding the study of language, more general knowledge, and international skills to the curriculum. The program is an upgrade of the existing Bachelor of Business Administration which was introduced in 2007 and will be superseded by the BSIB in Fall 2009. Current Business Administration major students can complete their study course until graduation, or if they wish, can transfer to the new degree program.