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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2008

F C 345 • Doing Business in France

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37190 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
CBA 4.344

Course Description

Doing Business in France: An Introduction to Contemporary French Culture This course will be taught in English. The trend of internationalizing business and services forces companies to cope with cultural differences inside a company and when sending executives and their families abroad. With the increasing number of executives, as well as students, going abroad each year, it is critical to recognize that there are more than language barriers to overcome when living in a foreign country. Methods that work at home can lead to failure abroad.

This course is designed to help you cross cultural boundaries, whether you are planning on going abroad as a student, an intern, or an employee. It is not a technical business course, but rather an interdisciplinary study of the French, with an emphasis on their lifestyles, customs, and behaviors, and how these reflect French cultural values and attitudes.

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary.

May not be counted toward fulfillment of the foreign language requirement for any bachelor's degree.

Includes cross-cultural content.

Grading Policy

  • Course Exams (30%)
    There will be 2 exams during the semester. The exams will be essay style. There is no final exam in this course.
  • Presentations (30%)
  •      The first presenttations you will prepare this semester will treat an important event or person in French history (May 1968, Charles de Gaulle, François Mitterand, etc.), or something you find interesting and want to learn more about (i.e., organization of the French government, the impact of the euro in Europe and abroad, how the creation of the EU has impacted France, etc.). Presentations will be between 5 and 7 minutes in duration, and will be accompanied by visual aids.
         Later in the semester, you will be required to locate a newspaper, magazine, or Internet article that illustrates issues in French (business) culture or cross-cultural interactions. You will present your article beginning with a summary of the article, followed by an analysis which delineates the relevant cultural elements.
         For your third presentation, you will analyze a French advertisement, pointing out the elements that make this particular ad appealing to French consumers.
  • Attendance and Participation (15%)
  • This grade is based on student preparedness and the quality of participation in class discussions. You will be graded on your participation and how well you apply the cultural elements learned in the course.
  • Final Report and Presentation (25%)
  • At the end of the semester you are expected to have completed a project on one of the following:
    I. You may contact and research an American company of your choice with operations in France. You will report how that company prepares its American employees for living, working, and successfully functioning in France, or how a particular French company with US operations and how their employees are prepared before coming to the US.
    II. You may create a negotiation-simulation exercise on the model of those we used in class.
    III. You may create two ad campaigns of a single product to be sold in both the American and French markets.
    You will give a presentation to the class on your findings AND submit a written paper. Your presentation should last between 12 and 15 minutes. Your paper should be 8-12 pages, typed and double-spaced. This is a group project. Groups will consist of 2-3 members.

    There is NO FINAL EXAM in this course.


    Asselin, Gilles & Ruth Mastron. 2001. Au Contraire! Figuring Out the French. Intercultural Press. REQUIRED

    Course Packet (Speedway Copies on the ground floor of Dobie Mall)- Spring 2008 REQUIRED


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