09:34 AM

MDCOB Gators Get Down to Business Down Under


By Laura Wagner

January 2024 started off with a fair dinkum trip to Australia for 18 International Business majors in the Marilyn Davies College of Business (MDCOB). Faculty members Candace TenBrink, Ph.D., and Dietrich von Biedenfeld, J.D., accompanied the students, facilitating meetings with high-level political, not-for-profit, and business leaders. 

As part of MDCOB's International Business major requirements. students travel to a foreign country to learn more about how the technical information learned in the classroom during the semester works around the globe. For this semester, von Biedenfeld chose Australia. The trip included two weeks in Melbourne and Sydney to study law and the regulatory environment, international trade, strategic management, entrepreneurship, and supply chain management. Feel free to take the trip yourself via the photos below (with commentary from von Biedenfeld)! 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Study Abroad experience, contact Dr. Candace TenBrink, Associate Professor, Management and Insurance & Risk Management, or Assistant Professor of General Business, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management Dietrich von Biedenfeld.

IMG_8583Melbourne night market. “We examined the relationship between the city, vendors, and a coordinating entity that manages the market and relationships—relevant parallels to public-private partnerships (P3s) in the U.S.”



International Business Majors Visit Australia 2024

The U.S. Consulate in Sydney. “Students met with Stefan Whitney, a State Department Political and Economics Officer, and Eric Crowley, Deputy Regional Senior Commercial Officer and Commercial Consul with the Department of Commerce.” 

New South Wales Parliament. “We had a tour of Parliament led by the immediate past speaker (Patrick O’Dea) and a staff member. This provided lessons in governance, international relations, and historical context for the U.S.-Australia relationship.”

Cultural activities. “We visited the Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park and took a cruise around Sydney Harbor, plus we had a tour of the Sydney Opera House. The latter provided lessons in procurement, strategic management, contracts, and governance.”

Dining out. “We ate lunch at a local favorite spot, and some of the students tried kangaroo. We also had a farewell dinner at Skyfeast at Sydney Tower, a high-altitude rotating restaurant."

Trip photos courtesy of Dietrich von Biedenfeld; top photo credit: structuresxx/iStock

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.