International Perspectives in Financial Trading and Investments

International Perspectives in Financial Trading and Investments

Netherlands / United Kingdom


The OIL Project between Saxion University and Coventry University is designed to bring students from both Universities together to enhance intercultural learning and engagement. The project seeks to achieve the following intercultural outcomes:

Learning Outcomes

  • Students should be able to demonstrate awareness of their own position and perspective on ‘risk-taking’ and attitudes toward risk following cross-border interactions. This includes recognising new perspectives about their own investment/trading rules and biases that ultimately inform and impact their decision-making/strategies.
  • Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of underlying factors that inform trading and investment decisions of people from different backgrounds/countries – economy, politics, communication styles, beliefs, history, values and practices – and how these motivations manifest in decision-making behaviour, negotiation and decisions.
  • Students should be able to demonstrate the skills necessary for engaging in trading and investment decisions within globally-dispersed cross-cultural teams. This includes intellectual and emotional dimensions, awareness of verbal and non-verbal communication, managing (in)directness in response/critique, speed of decision-making.

Interactive Activities

2 hour time-constrained international trading game as follows:

Students are distributed into teams that will act as ‘firms’ and are expected to carry out the following activities over the next week (find grouping below).

Communicate with other members of team and agree a communication strategy, e.g. time and frequency of communication as well as medium e.g. Skype, email, telephone, Facetime, Whatsapp and so on.

Communication should include at least one voice medium.

A series of discussions must be held in preparation of the final trading event on the 18th of March. These should include:

  • Familiarise themselves with the other members’ investment and finance knowledge and how this can be useful to the activities.
  • your understanding of the trading game and how you believe you could make gains from your trading activities
  • Strategies for the final trading day, including who will be the Trader and who will be the Investment Analyst and plans to swap roles if possible.
  • Strategies should also include how long you plan to hold assets for before taking profits as well as how diversified you would like your portfolio.
    Means of communication on the day e.g. Skype or telephone.

Students are expected to converge at 2pm GMT (3pm Dutch time) for the final day of trading for the following activities.

  • A 15 minute initial test trading activity that helps students test their strategy and communications as well as prepare them for the final round of trading.
  • A 1 hour trading activity comprising of 5 simulated trading days with each day lasting 10 minutes.
  • A short recap of how the trading activity went and identification of winning teams/strategies (more details to be available on the day).

Students that would like to obtain a certificate of participation from the Centre for Global Engagement at Coventry University will be required to submit a short reflective piece on their experience participating in the OIL project.

Intercultural Development

At the end of the trading game students are asked to write a reflective piece on their intercultural experience working synchronously with international peers under timed trading conditions to achieve optimal financial returns/results.

Students receive prompts for reflection:

  • Consider differences and impact of expectations and perceptions on role and responsibility of trader/investment analyst
  • Consider impact of communication challenges encountered: speed at which critical or counter responses were provided, method and approach of disagreeing with peers, approach to reaching compromise, directness of response – impact of difference in communication and behaviour/body language/reactions (on Skype) given the ‘timed’ nature of the task
  • Impact of using silence/non-verbal signals to make an decision (to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’) – responsibility and consequences of decisions
  • How did you manage each of these challenges/surprises/similarities positively (if at all) to achieve the aims of the trading game?
  • How did you change your own style of communication, behaviour and thinking (if at all) to manage these differences and achieve the aims of the trading game?
  • Was there a contrast in achieving group results versus individual success?
  • How will this experience help you in working with cross-cultural teams in the workplace (internship/graduate job)?