Term in Asia Alumni Enjoy a Reunion in Texas

2013 Reunion with Prof. Robert Harris
2009 Participants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia standing in front of the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world

CEDAR HILL, Texas – One very unique opportunity that students are offered at Northwood University is a study abroad tour in Southeast Asia. For the last thirteen years, Prof. Robert Harris, Associate Professor and Division Chair of Arts and Sciences on the Texas campus, has taken students from the Michigan, Florida and Texas campuses on a trip of a lifetime to explore Asian history, culture and international business practices.

Each year near the end of June, Semester in Asia participants gather on the Texas campus for an orientation before departing for their trip. Students learn proper cultural etiquette and have the opportunity to meet with the professors they will be working with for their courses, for which they can earn up to 15 credit hours. Course options include Marketing, Humanities, Economics, Finance and more.

Over the past several years, groups have toured Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, The Phillipines, and China, to name a few. Some of the main activities of the tour include visiting national museums and historical sites, Buddhist temples, Thai businesses, beautiful beaches, elephant rides, and even have the opportunity to collaborate with students at Burapha University in Thailand and the Northwood’s Malaysian campus in Kuala Lumpur. The tour concludes each year in Hawaii, where students visit Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian cultural center.

This past Memorial Day weekend, four out of the eight partakers of the 2009 tour had a reunion in Dallas, TX. Ian Butters of Columbus, Ohio (‘10 MI); Brett Granger of Detroit, Michigan (’09 MI); Edgar Macias of Dallas, TX (’10 TX); and Natasha Elder of Dallas, TX (’11 TX) bonded while abroad and came back together four years later for a “Term in Texas.” The Dallas Museum of Art, the Bishop Arts District, Fort Worth Stockyards, Billy Bob’s Texas, and some authentic Texas barbeque were on their agenda for the weekend, as well as time to reunite everyone together with their trip leader, Prof. Robert Harris.

“Term in Asia had a lasting impact on me in regards to my global perspective and cultural awareness. We really dove into the Asian lifestyle, history, and business culture, all while developing lifelong friendships. I could not have asked for a better group to tour with and I know the experience would not have been the same without Prof. Harris’ guidance and direction for our trip. It was such a treat for part of our group to get together again and we are already planning our next reunion! I would encourage every student at Northwood to explore this incredible opportunity,” shared Natasha Elder, current Director of Alumni Relations for the Texas Campus.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Prof. Robert Harris at harrisr@northwood.edu. Application deadlines for Northwood students are in April.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.