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Trip to Panama; Exploring Panama's Canal, Commerce and Information Systems
Global Map of Panama's Location


Panama:  Exploring Panama’s Canal, Commerce, and Information Systems - INT 3350

Spring 2013

This course is in support of a degree program at the UHD College of Business that has earned professional accreditation by AACSB International. AACSB International is an association of more than 11,000 business educational institutions, and other organizations in 70 countries that are dedicated to the advancement of management education worldwide.  Less than 5% of business programs worldwide have earned this distinguished hallmark of excellence in management education.


COURSE NUMBERS AND TITLE:  INT 3350 Foreign Study Tour Panama: Exploring Business and Enterprise Information Systems in Panama


PREREQUISITES:  ECON 2301 and ECON 2302 or approval by Department Chair and the College

INT 3350 is a special topics course dealing with the impact of the Panama Canal on business and economic development in Panama. The course will emphasize how the Panama Canal has helped develop Panama into one of the most economically dynamic countries in Central America.  The students will be introduced to a range of topics: how the Panama Canal changed the country; how commerce is changing the canal; how the new canal, may again, affect the country; how information systems to track and facilitate commerce through Panama; and, how the Colon Free Trade Zone, as well as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, affect Panama’s economic development.

The second half of the course will be conducted in Panama City, Colon, and an additional Panamanian city. We will tour a number of businesses and trade-related facilities to learn about the interdependent roles that the businesses and canal play. If possible, we will travel within or alongside the Panama Canal to appreciate the engineering marvel that it is.


Dr. Houghton Brown

Office phone:



452 Shea Street Bldg

Office hours:


Undergraduate students must meet ALL of the following minimum requirements to apply for financial Award (scholarship) of up to $1100:

  • Student must have completed at least 30 in-class hours of college-level credit and 12 of those in-class hours must be completed at UHD prior to the beginning of the semester in which the study-abroad course is offered.
  • Student must have a minimum UHD GPA of 2.5 at the time of application.
  • Student must be in good academic/financial/disciplinary standing at UHD at the time of application.
  • Student must be enrolled at UHD for at least 3 semester hours at the time of application.



To provide students an affordable study abroad experience by traveling to nearby, but exotic and economically dynamic Panama. To expose students to the commercially critical Panama Canal: to witness a technological marvel that is a product of an identified need, a grand vision, government cooperation, engineering, and business acumen. 

To provide students with knowledge of how businesses must adapt and changes as technology and market forces change. To give students a study abroad adventure by traveling to Panama and visiting many companies that do business in the USA and Panama and nonprofit organizations.  The student will learn from a current perspec­tive, the trials and tribulations of firms moving from an agrarian and slow-moving economy to operating in a fast-moving global economy.  Material throughout the course will focus on current articles in the popular press with exercises, examples and presentations. 


  1. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914.  David McCullough  ($20.oo).
    1. ISBN-10: 0671244094
    2. ISBN-13: 978-0671244095
  1. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Thomas L. Friedman ($11.oo)
    1. ISBN-10: 1598956418
    2. ISBN-13: 978-1598956412 
  1. Students will pay for a class pack consisting of articles.  The price is to be determined. 

Cell phone interruptions will not be tolerated during any of my classes.  If you carry a cell phone, you are hereby held responsible for turning off the ringer before class.  You can always check your voicemail after class.



  • Students are expected to The Path Between the Seas (or assigned/announced chapters) during Winter Break in order to be prepared for class discussions and subsequent assignments.
  • Students are expected to read article assignments before class in order to be prepared for class discussions.  Class involvement through discussion is a major portion of your course grade. 

3. Attendance is essential for earning a good grade.  There is a strong correlation between attendance and success in the classroom.  A student’s attendance is mandatory and will be considered at the time of final grade assignments.
4. In order to receive participation credit, readings must be read prior to class and students must be prepared for discussion appropriate for college-level students. 
5. Quizzes will be based on materials from the articles, lectures, handouts, classroom discussions, and presentations.  Everything to be presented on these tests will be covered in class or in readings given in preparation for these Quizzes.  Quizzes may be essay and/or objective, will be taken during the scheduled meeting time, and will be explained in class.  There will be no make-ups: each must be taken on time. Quizzes will be given the first 20 minutes of class.
6. Article Readings- Will be used to achieve awareness of the relevance of your study of marketing and other business topics to the business world.  In addition to reading assigned articles for discussion, students must prepare a summary of the article to submit. Professor may assign specific questions that must be answered based on the article. A total of 5- 6 articles will be given
7. Project: Students will form small presentation groups.  Each group will select a course related topic and prepare a PowerPoint presentation. In the latter part of the course, presentations will be presented to the class with mandatory attendance for all.  Presenters will share the success or failure of each group presentation equally, as it is in business.
Class Participation:  Will be based on attendance and how well you participate in the class discussions.  An attendance sheet will be passed out.  At the end of the class, I will mark on the sheet whether or not you participated in the discussions for the day.

Tentative Trip Itinerary

University of Houston – Downtown -   Panama Itinerary, May 2013
Depart Houston: 10 day trip:  Dates to be determined. 



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Last updated or reviewed on 9/24/12

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