Wheaton College Color Logo

Iron Sharpens Iron

Program Overview

Iron Sharpens Iron is an exciting eight-week immersion program uniquely blending the cultural, political, economic and business aspects of cultures around the globe. The program focuses on the interaction of political and economic policy, the effects of globalization on human flourishing, and the economic well-being of countries in the study area. Students take part in numerous site visits and hear lectures from business leaders and diplomats. This program features on-campus and off-campus learning, and as part of the course work, student teams, with faculty guidance, develop research projects designed to be presented at the corporate or policy executive level.

In 2019, The Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics and Economics (FPE) invites students to join us as we focus on the economics and politics of Southeast Asia. Students will observe how different political and economic approaches impact human flourishing in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore. This compact area contains the most populated Muslim country in the world, the most economically advanced country in Asia, one country that was at war with America for approximately 10 years and a country with the largest religious complex in the world. Students will meet with business, political and church leaders during this once in a lifetime study program. Retired U.S. Navy JAG Captain David Iglesias is the FPE Director and former United States Attorney for New Mexico; he will be leading the trip along with four Wheaton College faculty instructors.

  • Sponsoring Department: Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics & Economics (FPE)
  • Program Leader(s): David Iglesias, J.D., Director of the Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics & Economics (FPE) 
  • Term: Summer 2019
  • On-Campus Dates: May 13 - May 24, 2019
  • Travel Dates: May 24 - July 5, 2019
  • Estimated Cost: $6,000.00 (airfare not included)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Eligibility: Wheaton and non-Wheaton College students with at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Highlights: Site visits and lectures with business leaders, church leaders, and diplomats.

Course Offerings

Iron Sharpens Iron students register for a total of 8 credit hours.

IR 375/ECON 374: Globalization in Southeast Asia (4 credit hours - SI and GP tags)
Instructor: Dr. Timothy Taylor, Assistant Professor of International Relations
What are the causes and consequences of globalization?  Why do citizens divide on their support and opposition to globalization?  This course will examine the causes of globalization and its effect upon states and citizens.  Specifically, we will discuss international trade, migration, growth, development, and politics.  We will dedicate special interest to the political economy of Southeast Asia.

B/EC 382: Global Business Strategy (2 credit hours)
Instructors: Dr. Min Dong Paul Lee, Norris A. Aldeen Chair of Business and Associate Professor of Business and Dr. Hannah Stolze, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Globalization of economy has created unprecedented opportunities for organizations and individuals with a global mindset. Doing business internationally, however, requires unique skillsets such as knowledge of diverse legal and political contexts, sensitivity for cultural differences and ability to communicate and negotiate cross-culturally. This course is designed to equip students with a global mindset that is nimble and considerate as well as the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the global business environment. With this year’s focus on South East Asia, we will consider the topics of international management in the context of South East Asian countries.

IR 301: Foreign Relations of Southeast Asia (2 credit hours)
Instructor: Dr. Michael McKoy, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations
Southeast Asia stands at the crossroads of the two largest economies in the world: China and the United States.  Its foreign relations therefore occur in the “shadow” of these two great powers, but many have mistakenly only viewed Southeast Asian foreign relations through this lens.  In this course, we will explore Southeast Asian foreign relations through the viewpoint of the countries themselves: Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.  How have these countries developed in the wake of post-colonialism and the Vietnam War?  How have they worked together and competed with each other to ensure territorial security and national prosperity?  To what extent have they invested in the ASEAN vision of joint regional security and prosperity?  And how have they responded to the growing power of a resurgent China and the changing preferences of the distant superpower, the United States?  This class will explore all these questions and guide students in research to discover answers.

Program Fees

The estimated program fee covers tuition, room and board on-campus (three meals per day, Monday through Friday only), airfare and ground transportation within the program, country entrance fees, lodging, most meals, and group admission to historical sites.

Estimated Additional Expenses: Students are responsible weekend meals (Saturday and Sunday) and some evening meals during the first week for the on-campus portion of the program (total of 8 meals), weekend meals during portions of international travel (total of 7 meals), international airfare, visa expenses, and all personal expenses.

Expense       Estimate
International airfare              $1,300.00
Visa $55.00
Extra Meals (15 total) $300.00


Learn More

If you would like further information on FPE programs or to see past Iron Sharpens Iron programs, please visit the FPE; for specific questions about Iron Sharpens Iron, contact Heidi Leffler, FPE Program Coordinator at 630-752-5975.

How to Apply

To apply to be part of Iron Sharpens Iron, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.