International Study Tour

Emilia-Romagna, Italy (October 2018) and Mondragón, Spain (October 2019)

Imagine spending 10 days exploring Spain or Italy, and seeing first-hand the benefits of a successful co-op economy. Our international study tours are an essential component of the Master’s program and the chance for students to gain valuable experience focused on models of co-operative excellence. The study tour is the in-person component of a 6-week, online course that includes readings, discussions, lectures, papers, and a journal project.

Non-student tour spots are available. You don’t have to be enrolled in the Master’s program to participate in the Spain or Italy tour. Contact Us for more information on how you can broaden your knowledge by joining us on one of our international co-operative tours.

 

Past tours:

Croatia Co-operative Tour (July 18-22, 2017)

Participants learned about co-operatives in Croatia while enjoying Istria - the 'Tuscany' of Croatia - with Roman and Venetian architecture, medieval towns and beaches, famous for truffles, olive oils and award-winning wines. This tour was organized under the expert guidance of Dr. Sonja Novkovic, co-operative economist and Academic Director for the CME programs. Sonja lead this tour, which was based in her home city of Pula, Croatia. Her expertise on the region provided valuable insights into the co-operative movement.  

Participants met with other co-operators and discussed current issues (policy, development, success and challenges) while visiting agricultural co-operatives, social co-operatives, and others.

Participants who attended the World Credit Union Conference hosted by the World Council of Credit Unions in Vienna, were invited to join us in Croatia as a pre-conference tour.

Click here for more information.

This tour is likely to be offered again. If you would like to hear about upcoming tours to Croatia, please email Erin at cme@smu.ca

 

Cuba

Ocassionally, a tour to visit Cuban co-operatives is organized (conveniently timed in February, a bonus to those escaping the winter weather). If you would like to be informed about upcoming tours to Cuba, please email Erin at cme@smu.ca

 

“A Life-Changing Event:” Study Tour Testimonials

"On our study visit to Italy, we witnessed how a co-operative economy can play a key role in a whole region. You can understand why the Master’s program was created and why it is so important."

Norma Babineau, CME Graduate, Canada

"When we went to Spain, it was a life-changing event. I remember thinking, 'What if we had this in the US? What if we had this partnering, this kind of concern for community, for helping other co-ops? A lot of the content of the Master’s program is not widely available here yet. To some extent, we are co-op management pioneers—helping to create and test the growing body of knowledge."

 Chris Miller, CME Graduate

National Cooperative Bank, USA

"My Master’s degree will further legitimize the professionalism I offer, because co-op managers need a different set of skills from managers of profit-driven companies. Yes, you still have to operate the business to make money, but you also form a whole set of objectives by which you measure your success. If you're making a profit but you lose 40% percent of your work force, are you a success? This is why we own the business. Like Mondragon in Spain, we formed the co-op to save a community. We have multiple bottom lines."

 Bernadette Dwyer, CME Graduate

Fogo Island Co-op (Newfoundland), Canada