On Site (In Europe) Cultural/Retail Assignment Sheet

During your visit to Europe, you have several independent assignments to do.  These are potentially subject to inclusion on the final exam.

You should make sure you write at least one page in your trip diary addressing each of these questions (total of at least 11 pages addressing these areas…one page for each of 11 areas).  Your observations should try to avoid taking an ethno centric bias ie. avoid a culturally biased perception.  Differences are neither right nor wrong- they are just “different”.  You are to hand in these assignments after we return from the program to Europe.

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1)        Did you have any prior stereotypes about what you would see in Europe related to lifestyles, culture, etc?  Please fully identify these stereotypes and indicate how your perspective has changed (or not changed) during this European program.  Please indicate the elements/experiences that contributed to this perspective.

2)        In at least two of the countries visited on this European program, visit local department stores.  Observe differences and similarities between departments stores in these different countries.  Additionally, compare these department stores to departments stores you have visited in the US.   Compare the pricing, merchandising mix of the stores, merchandise layout (ie. product displays), and services provided.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

3)        In each country, visit a supermarket.  Observe differences and similarities between supermarkets in the different countries.  Additionally, compare these Supermarkets to Supermarkets you have visited in the U.S.  Compare the pricing, merchandising mix of the stores, merchandise layout (product displays), and services provided.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

4)        In at least two of the countries visited, visit familiar/unfamiliar fast food restaurants in each country (eating there is optional).  See if the menu is adapted to local tastes or standardized the same as in the U.S.  Compare the pricing, merchandising mix of the restaurants, merchandise layout (product displays), and services provided.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

5)        In at least two of the countries visited, visit some type of specialty store (men’s clothing, women’s clothing, hardware, toy…any kind of store.)  Compare to the same type of store in the U.S.  (You need only visit one kind of store.)   Compare the pricing, merchandising mix of the stores, merchandise layout (product displays), and services provided.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

6)        In at least two of the countries visited, what differences do you notice in “Dine In” restaurants compared to the US?   Compare the pricing, menu mix of the restaurants, atmospherics (atmosphere or feeing you have),  merchandise layout (display), and services provided.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

7)        In at least two of the countries visited, look at the vehicles.  How are the vehicles different between countries?  How about the condition and age of the vehicles?  Reflect on the driving styles?  Compare the vehicles to those you are used to the the USA.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

8)        In at least two of the countries visited, spend a little time watching TV.  Observe how the
programming may be different (except for the obvious language differences). Watch the advertising.
How are they different?  What are the similarities to the advertising in the U.S.A.?  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

9)        In at least two of the countries visited, observe people on the street.  How are they dressed?  How are the people at work dressed?  How do they interact. (in banks, stores, etc).  Observe business dress and compare to that in the USA.  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

10)      Describe some of the personal changes you have experienced because of your international cultural experiences.  To what do you attribute this change in perspective?  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

11)      Compare London and Paris or Rome or Athens (or other major city you will visit) to Saint Louis or Chicago.  What do you consider the same and what do you consider different?  To what do you attribute this evaluation?  Please provide your overall evaluation of these experiences.

Your observations should avoid taking an ethnocentric bias – i.e. avoid a culturally biased perception.  Differences are neither right or wrong – they are just “different.”

 

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