ITM Practicum

During winter session, ITM students travel abroad for International Trade Practicum. This is an an international field trip to observe, learn, and understand a country's fashion markets, trade, people, and history. Under the supervision of a FIT professor, students work individually or on small groups on a research project related to their majors or career plans. Each person or team makes a presentation at the end of the field trip summarizing research findings. Participants learn to source international contacts, conduct international field research, develop safe travel skills, and handle travel emergencies. Several pre-trip planning sessions in New York City are required. Applications are due a semester prior to the trip.

Winter 2023

IN 492 International Trade Practicum: Peru
January 4–19, 2023

In this practicum, students will travel to Peru, located in western South America. The name "Peru" is derived from a Quechua word implying land of abundance. Currently, Peru is renowned for its fine fibers and alpaca.

Participants will be immersed in Peru's growing textile and apparel industry with visits to factories and fabric mills. Students will also learn about advantageous trade opportunities and continuing COVID-19 challenges facing this country and industry. This will include a deep dive into Peru's two large sub-sectors:

  1. yarn, fabrics, and garments: covering the initial stage of cotton ginning to the production of finished fabrics, including spinning, weaving, and dyeing
  2. clothing: all activities related to clothing manufacturing

Students will benefit from a first-hand understanding of the ongoing influence manufacturing has on driving global economies to create a clear path toward economic prosperity. Day trips will include visits to Machu Pichu and local communities to experience the rich Peruvian culture and native traditions.  

Contact: Yelena Mogelefsky, ITM faculty member, [email protected]

FAQ

These are the questions we receive most often about ITM Practicum.

Students participating in Practicum select their topics in the fall semester prior to the field trip and they have a choice of doing their projects individually or in teams.

Starting early in September they develop a project outline, use library and Internet to obtain secondary data, contact and visit local companies and agencies in New York to conduct preliminary interviews. They also contact companies in the target country to schedule interviews and visits.

After arriving to the target country, students learn about its economy, markets, business practices, and people and complete their research projects. Their findings are presented to the group, and graded by the professor, in a formal session the day before coming back to the United States.

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Each country has its own visa requirements. You must have a valid passport that will not expire within a year of the practicum date and you must obtain a tourist visa at the consulate in New York City. Be aware that some countries take a month or longer in granting visas. FIT's Office of International Programs will issue instructions in October on how to apply for a visa.

It is always recommended, before an international trip, to research the health environment of your destination. A good place to start is the website of the Centers  for Disease Control (CDC), which maintains heath alerts for all countries. Print the information and bring it to your personal physician at least three months in advance of your trip in case she recommends vaccines or other precautions. Note: a three-month lead-time is needed because some vaccines are not stocked by physicians offices or pharmacies and they have be ordered from the manufacturer. Also, most vaccines need to be injected at least 2-3 weeks in advance in order to activate their defense in the human body. In general, each person's medical conditions are unique and only your personal physician can best determine how to prepare for a safe trip abroad.  

Register as early as possible and meet all deadlines. As long as you apply before we reach maximum enrollment, your research topic is approved, and you meet all deadlines, you can count on participating on the next practicum.

Yes, ITM welcomes students from all majors to participate in the Practicum. In the past, we have had students from FBM, Fashion Design, AMC, and other majors. In fact, they make this field trip more exciting with their different professional perspectives. They should enquire in advance with their academic advisors in their departments about whether they can use these three credits as an elective course.