Bowie State Business Students Spend Spring Break in South Africa

By D. Thompson

 A group of Bowie State business students traveled to South Africa to study global digital finance and e-commerce in a collaborative learning effort with the Rhodes University School of Business.

Three students and two faculty members spent two weeks in Grahamstown, South Africa where they learned how technology supports business operations and allows organizations to grow.

“We were excited to go and delighted with what we saw,” said Dr. Kavita Kapur, assistant professor of management, marketing and public administration. “It was a very illuminating expereince.”

The students partnered with local co-ops in South Africa to share knowledge and help the organizations figure out how they can use technology to take their businesses to the next level. In addition, there were side excursions to Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“It was a life-changing event,” said Brandon Lee, a senior business administration major with marketing concentration. “We met a lot of people and made a lot of connections. We’re definitely planning a trip to go back. We feel like we need a lot more time there.”

The trip represented the next phase in a continued partnership between BSU and Rhodes University. The partnership, which started through the Entrepreneurial and Technological Empowerment Program (ETEP), began during the spring semester of 2022 with students from Bowie State and Rhodes collaborating virtually on projects that supported South African co-ops. The next step involved a group of eight Rhodes students and two advisors visiting Bowie State’s campus last October. Now, BSU students have travelled to South Africa to further add a global perspective to their business education.

“When you experience other cultures, it also makes you reflect on your own,” said Dr. Kapur. “You are able to learn, respect and work with other cultures.”

Dr. Kapur noted that there was a constant stream of learning going on between BSU and Rhodes students, as the groups compared their academic departments, what courses they take and other bits about their lives. Dr. Kapur hopes to take another group back to South Africa to continue building on the connection between the two institutions.

“It’s an exchange,” she said. “It’s not just us learning about them and coming back. It’s about an interaction which makes a mark on both sides.”