Global Week 2002 – “Asia and Europe in the 21st Century”
By Lynda Lopez, Public Affairs Specialist II
Posted: 11/19/2002
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It’s almost impossible to fire an employee in Britain – don’t ever be late to work in Germany – and Japanese are less likely to commit crimes than their American counterparts because of their collectivistic culture.

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Dr. Heinz D. Knoell, a professor at the University of Applied Science-Luneburg, Germany, spoke to students about “Doing Business in Europe” during Global Week 2002.

Those are some of the insights students at The University of Texas-Pan American were treated to during panel discussions on the first day of Global Week 2002, an annual conference promoting cultural celebration.

“The purpose is to expose students to different cultures and that makes the world smaller and smaller,” said Dr. Yong Lang, one of the panel moderators.

Dr. Gilbert Cardenas, assistant vice president for International Studies, has coordinated Global Week activities for the past three years, often bringing in respected authorities from other countries to participate in lectures and panel discussions.

Global Week seems warranted for a university that has been home to students from 55 different countries over the past three years. Most of the foreign students at UTPA come from Mexico. India, Turkey, Canada and South Africa round out the top five countries represented on campus.

Among the speakers featured were Political Professor Dr. Sonia Alianak, on “Leadership and Religion in the Middle East;” Dr. S. George Vincenthathan, on “Crime in the U.S. and Japan;” and Dr. Heinz D. Knoell, who spoke on “Doing Business in Europe.” Knoell is a professor at the University of Applied Science-Luneburg, Germany.

“In Britain, we say it’s easier to be divorced than to be rid of an employee,” said Knoell in stressing the power of trade unions abroad. “In France and Germany you have to be careful not to even scold your employees.”

Lupe Chavez, a UTPA student in Social and Behavioral Sciences, said Global Week is off to an interesting and informative start. “Dr. Cardenas wants us to be aware of the rest of the world and its differences,” Chavez said. “It’s been interesting to find out how other countries do business and to find out what they think of the U.S.”

Activities for Global Week 2002 continue through Thursday at the Business Administration building and the Social and Behavioral Science buildings.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Consuls from Korea, Japan and China are scheduled to take part in a session on culture, education and trade. Thursday, Nov.21, panels will include, “Immigration in Europe” - “Engineering in Mexico” and “Doing Business in Asia.”

Also as part of the festivities, a Chinese art exhibit, Asian food festival and a European film festival are scheduled this week on campus.