Global Spotlight: Chris Scherpereel’s Latest International Experience in Hungary

Posted: Friday, August 28th 2015 at 6:00 AM

Every year, the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program brings approximately 800 U.S. faculty to new countries on teaching and research grants to lecture at foreign universities. FCB’s Chris Scherpereel, professor of management, was one faculty member who received a grant and lived in Hungary during the spring 2013 semester to teach at the University of Debrecen.

Debrecen is the site of many technological developments due to Hungary’s largest medical school being located within the university. Scherpereel taught two courses during the semester: technology commercialization for graduate students and business strategy for undergraduates. He also worked  worked with their Technology Transfer Office to help develop commercialization strategies for the new technologies.

Being able to teach in Hungary was a great opportunity for Scherpereel. The students were engaged and interested in what he shared with them. Working in a different technology market allowed him to experience a more direct approach to commercialization.

In the United States, developers tend to be more secretive of their work in fear of the technology being stolen and then losing their rights to the product. This results in new technologies remaining in research labs for longer periods rather than being released into the economy.

“In Hungary they were much better at moving the technology out from the university laboratories to the marketplace,” Scherpereel said.

He had lived in Hungary before with his wife in 1993 and was glad to have the chance to experience more of the country with his family.

“Like going anywhere overseas, it’s different when you live there versus when you travel,” he said. “You interact with the people in a very different way– you get to live in that culture so rather than doing tourist things, you go to people’s homes, have conversations, and you get an opportunity to see more.”

Although the second largest city in Hungary after Budapest, Debrecen is a small city and the way people live is unique from how the average American goes through their day-to-day life. While there, Scherpereel lived with his family in an apartment in a small, residential neighborhood. They went grocery shopping every other day because the provided mini fridge didn’t allow room to stock-up on food for the long term. In the process, they learned that the food available at the store would change on a weekly basis.

Travel provides people with new perspectives of the world. Scherpereel has visited a number of countries including Slovenia, Montenegro, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, England, and more.

All these experiences have provided him with new ways of communicating ideas to his students.

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.

Categories: global spotlight global business program chris scherpereel fulbright core fulbright us scholar program abroad global faculty spotlight fall 2015 2015 hungary debrecen university of debrecen