Personal Finance

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Kolbe
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Work: Day 2 - Wednesday, 25 February | Myanmar (Burma) Download Syllabus

This course is designed to give students an understanding of contemporary wealth-enhancing strategies, such as best borrowing practices; investment alternatives for short-, medium- and long-term goals; and tax and timing considerations required in the general design of an investment portfolio throughout an individual’s life cycle. Guidelines are reviewed for insurance coverage and best investment management of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other vehicles. Current tax-deferred and tax-exempt are explored, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, as well as municipal bonds. The differences in personal finance arrangements in various cultures and regions will be examined. (Open to non-business and business majors).

Field Work

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Day: 2 - Wednesday, 25 February

On arrival to Yangon, students will visit Pomelo fair trade ship. Pomelo offers small Myanmar producers the opportunity improve their social and economic situation by selling their products. The cooperative is a social venture which offers handmade products with a contemporary design. Next, continue to the Bogyoke Aung San Market, still commonly known by its old British name of Scott Market. Undoubtedly offering the largest selection of handicrafts in Myanmar, the market is a great place to discover a bargain and have fun haggling with the local traders. Then drive to Shwe Sa Bwe for lunch. The restaurant doubles as a social enterprise as it offers young Myanmar students classes in preparing and serving high-end dishes using industry-standard equipment and techniques. Applicants to the free program are chosen based on need, fit, and commitment to working within Myanmar after their nine month program. Many graduates go on to work at local high-end hotels and restaurants. Next pay a visit to Helping Hands Helping which is a business that helps street kids, the unemployed, the underprivileged and vulnerable men and women build a new life by training them to restore amazing teak furniture or teaching sewing, design and tailoring. On your way back to the ship make a final stop at Su Htoo Pan Orphanage, a non-government organization located in Thanlyin Township, outside of Yangon. The school is home to 200 students, from 5 to 10 years old, and provides basic education as well as traditional Buddhist teachings, which are still considered an important piece of early childhood development in Myanmar. The school serves as a residential facility for many students as they come from many parts of the country.  You will learn about the educational system and the students’ daily life. During the visit, you will have time to interact with the children. Academic Objectives: 1. To understand the challenges in personal finance for people in poverty. 2. To learn how residents respond to crises and donations. 3. To appreciate how NGOs assist the fight against poverty.