University of Southern California The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering

iPodia Students Meet in Israel

by Danielle Mitrak


The spring section of an iPodia class, Principles and Practices of Global Innovation, concluded the international and multicultural course in an appropriate way: a week in Israel. The course included students at five universities around the world in two sections for the lecture. Students from Technion University in Haifa, Israel; Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) in Hyderabad and Goa, India; and the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California, USA attended class weekly together. Additionally, students from Peking University (PKU) in Peking, China; the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea; and another group of USC students attended a separate section of the same course. Two sections of this class were needed because of time-zone differences. Even with two section options, these courses were held outside of usual class hours in most of the participating universities.

The course was concluded with an international experience to a nation well-known for it’s innovation: Israel. Students from three of the five universities (PKU, USC, Technion) attended a week-long session in Israel at the end of May 2014, learning about Israeli history, culture, and innovation. Historical and cultural knowledge acquired on the trip was used in lectures at Technion University to discuss principles of innovation. Particularly, students learned how Israel has created and fostered an environment that is conducive to developing new technology and products.


The international experience was beneficial for students by providing first-hand knowledge of an innovative culture. Additionally, these students spent a full semester learning together and the week-long session of ‘in-person learning’ solidified the relationships they formed prior to their final meeting. It provided students with close contacts and relationships with a wide variety of people around the world.