This is an introductory personal finance course designed to help students make financial decisions that are aligned with the future life that the student desires to live. This course will leverage opportunities afforded by taking classes on a ship and visiting various countries while at the same time taking the course. In particular, this course is designed to provide students opportunities to make life goals, reflect on those goals, and re-evaluate those goals. The course will begin with coverage of macro conditions – things outside the students’ control – that influence personal financial decisions. These include: the general state of the economy, the cost of living, and taxes. Throughout the semester we will discuss each of these as it relates to countries visited. We then turn to skills needed to better ensure financial success – things that the student can control, and with practice can get good at. These skills include: decision making, negotiating, and networking, and budgeting. Finally, we will cover a number of personal financial topics that the student will encounter within five years of graduation (if not so already). These include: the use of credit, renting versus buying, and saving for retirement.
Field WorkCountry: Brazil
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 11 November
For this field lab students will first visit the Calabar community, a favela located in the inner part of Salvador. After a brief tour of the community, you will visit the primary school to observe and talk to the children and teachers. The program continues to a nearby secondary school to meet with older children and their teachers. Students will end the afternoon with a visit to the Steve Biko Institute, a pioneering educational institute focused on preparing students for the important vestibular or matriculation exam that allows entrance to third level education in Brazil. Lunch will be included. During the course students have been exposed to several issues that are difficult, if not many times impossible, for individuals to control; and these can impact personal wealth. One of these issues relates to education. Our objectives for these visits are to gain an understanding about how institutions, culture, history, and bias has an impact on education, and thus, personal wealth. Academic objectives: 1. To gain an understanding about how education impacts personal wealth 2. To gain an understanding about how institutions, history, culture, and bias can impact personal wealth