Global Spotlight: Julie Mueller
FCB Business Division faculty member, Julie Mueller, associate professor of Economics, has traveled extensively and taught in three continents. While completing her PhD, she began teaching at Galen University, in Belize, Central America. Galen was an American institution associated with the University of Indianapolis. About 90 percent of the students who attended Galen were from Belize, while the other 10 percent were American study abroad students. Belize is a small country with a population just over 300,000. At the time, Galen was the only private university in Belize, so many of the students attended the school on scholarship. Galen had a small campus population numbering in the hundreds and students had a high work ethic and deep appreciation for university education. Per capita GDP in Belize is approximately $5,000, relative to $53,000 in the US. Thus, for students in Belize, a U.S.-equivalent undergraduate education was a uniquely valuable opportunity.
Mueller spent 20 months at Galen, where she taught courses including Sustainable Development, Environmental Economics, Econometrics, Macroeconomics, and Managerial Economics.
Mueller taught spatial econometrics to doctoral students at the University of Goa in India as a Fulbright Scholar for six months in the Fall of 2012. The Indian students also had a high level of respect for education and for their educators. (India’s per capita GDP is approximately $1,500.) She recalls a phrase she learned during her time there: "Teacher is God."
Dr. Mueller’s courses in Belize and India were taught in English. Students in both countries showed significant dedication to their studies despite the challenge of obtaining university education in their second, or in some cases for Belizeans, third language.
Mueller noted that the most difficult part of her experience wasn't in teaching, but simply in living in a foreign country. In India, outside of major cities, it is unusual for a woman to live on her own. Aside from cultural differences, India lacked many of the modern conveniences that Americans enjoy. Mueller recalls spending at least four hours each weekend washing her clothes in a bucket, or traveling for miles to get to a market to buy groceries. Belize offered more modern conveniences, but it was still uncommon for women to live by themselves; this was due in part to safety concerns as well as the culture.
Mueller's international experience also includes six weeks in China in 2011. She spent a week touring the city of Xi'an and gave a guest lecture on Sustainable Development at Xi'an University. The remainder of the time she traveled in Tibet.
This article is part of a series on FCB Business Division and SHRM faculty to highlight the international experience within the college and to promote our globalization initiatives, including the launch of the Global Business Program (GBP). Information on this program can be found HERE.
More About Mueller
Faculty profile HERE
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