Germany: Cars and Parts - German Auto Innovation

Germany: Cars and Parts-German Auto Innovation



SUMMER 2020 ONLINE - July 6 - 31, 2020

Program Description 

Learn strategic management from a German perspective. Guest speakers from our partner university, Ingolstadt Technical University (THI), as well as leading German companies, such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes will provide onsite tours and discussions concerning relevant business approaches.

Based in the gorgeous college town of Ingolstadt (45 minutes from Munich), activities include:

  • Factory and museum visits (BMW, Mercedes, and Audi)
  • Guided city tour of Munich
  • Networking events with other international students (welcome dinner, farewell dinner, and excursions), as well as leisure activities.
  • Optional self-arranged day-trips to nearby attractions, such as Munich, Nuremburg, and Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castles at Disneyland resorts around the world
  • Great opportunity to travel to other European countries before and after program!


BUS3 189 Strategic Management (3 units)

Business 189 is a senior capstone seminar for business majors. The goal of the seminar is to learn the fundamentals of how to manage German luxury automotive companies strategically. Strategic management of German luxury automotive organizations is a complex undertaking, which starts with the central question: why do some German luxury automotive companies succeed while others fail? The course will require you to examine this question by integrating knowledge from prior business courses, while simultaneously learning and applying new strategic management concepts, principles, frameworks and methodologies to a German luxury automotive organization, in the context of the dynamic and complex European and Global environment. Applies multi-disciplinary techniques to diagnose and recommend actions appropriate to specific company situation, using the case method of teaching.

Prerequisites: Senior status (90+ units); passed WST and 100W


thomas shirley

Program Leader: Thomas A. Shirley

Dr. Shirley is currently a lecturer in the Lucas Graduate and School of Business and Department of Psychology at San José State University. Prior to his role at SJSU, he also held roles as a mergers and acquisitions advisor and executive with McKinsey, KPMG, and General Electric (GE) across North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

He has lived in 9 countries and visited more than 35 countries, and Germany is definitely one of his favorites! His travels have shaped his worldview, opened his mind, and developed his adaptability. Given Dr. Shirley has lived and worked in Germany, he hopes to share this knowledge and experience with you and together learn about the history and traditions of the German people, as well as their strategic management and leadership practices.



It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$750 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$1,000 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$1,950 Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included. Students will need to budget approximately additional $25-$30 per day for onsite expenses.  


lydia riojas"I was hesitant to go on a faculty led program to Germany, but I am so glad I did! It was my first time out of the country, and it was a great to experience a different culture. Going abroad helped me to get out of my comfort zone and gain confidence in my ability to try something new, work in a team, communicate and adapt to a new culture. I believe this experience has allowed me to have an open mind about traveling more in the future and I can’t wait to be able to show my children how traveling abroad can be so fulfilling. I studied strategic management, was able to meet other students from all over the world and go on numerous company tours. Professor Shirley did an excellent job preparing us for this trip of a lifetime. He gave us excellent advice on how to prepare before leaving, what to expect, how to adapt, and made sure we were all comfortable and safe. The knowledge and work experience the professor shared with us was invaluable. I also have to say that Professor Shirley is very passionate about teaching and ensuring his students succeed, not only in his class but in their lives. I would recommend that if given the opportunity to go on an FLP trip, you should definitely take advantage of it because there is no better way to complete this course while being able to sight see and meet with locals to learn about their culture. This was one of the best classes I have taken at SJSU and I have made some lifelong friends while participating." - Lydia


melanie han"The Ingolstadt FLP gave me my first opportunity to step on a plane and travel abroad. This experience along with the friends I made on this trip helped highlight my insecurities and challenged me to think more openly. It gave me a chance to be more instinctive, decisive, and it also unlocked my risk taking wanderer mindset. It helped shaped who I am today and hope that any student would take up the recommendation to apply for the program. It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience that many regret not ever having." - Melanie


olivia lam"10 out of 10 would totally recommend an FLP experience! I've always loved to travel but never had the chance to go to Europe until I came across the opportunity for the Germany FLP. You'll get to go on excursions/field trips, learn to work together with people with different personalities, try new food, and tons more! It was a great way to learn about the German culture and their way of life." - Olivia



Check out these additional resources for your program.

  • Itinerary - coming soon!
  • Info sessions - coming soon!