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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, ISI anticipates the program will focus on the economics and politics of Southeast Asia.

In 2017, ISI examined the economics and politics in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States.  Students participated in intensive on-campus study for four weeks; during this time they took part in site visits to American businesses in preparation for their international field study.  Students then traveled to the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia visiting businesses, NGOs, churches, government offices, markets, think tanks and points of cultural significance.  Upon their return, students presented group projects to a select group of faculty.

  • 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
  • On-Campus Dates:
  • Travel Dates:
  • Estimated Cost: TBD
  • Prerequisites: ECON 211: Principles of Microeconomics, ECON 212: Principles of Macroeconomics or IR 379: International Political Economy, IR 155: Comparative Politics. 
  • Eligibility: Wheaton and non-Wheaton College students with at least a 3.0 GPA, who have completed the prerequisite courses by May.
  • Highlights: Site visits and lectures with business leaders and diplomats.  Students have the opportunity to conduct guided corporate-level research.

Course Offerings

Iron Sharpens Iron students register for a total of 8 credit hours.  Courses offered in 2017 were:

ECON 394/IR 371: Globalization in the Eastern European and Baltic States (4 credit hours)
Instructor: Tim Taylor, Assistant Professor of International Relations

This course examines the history and effects of globalization throughout the world and with specific reference to Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. Students will study the economic, political and human impact of globalization on issues such as economic growth, international trade, population growth, the technological innovations of global communication, and human mobility. 

BEC 382: Global Business Strategy (2 credit hours)
Instructors: Min Dong Paul Lee, Norris A. Aldeen Chair of Business and Associate Professor of Business and Hannah Stolze, Assistant Professor of Marketing

IR 374: Central European Politics (2 credit hours)
Instructor: TBD
A comparison of the post-communist political development of the Baltic States and East European states.  Examination is given to both the common “Leninist legacies” of communism and the great diversity of political practice now found across the region.  Special emphasis is given to political institutions, European Union integration, and select contemporary political issues.

Program Fees

The estimated program fee covers tuition, international airfare, airfare and ground transportation within the program, country entrance fees, lodging, meals, and group admission to historical sites. Students will be charged an additional:

  • Room fee (on-campus housing in an apartment)
  • Board fee (three meals per day, Monday through Friday)

should they choose to remain on-campus and/or eat their meals in Anderson Commons. Students will also be responsible for the cost of any books, weekend meals (Saturday and Sunday) for the on-campus portion of the program, and all personal expenses.

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.