The Dual Degree International Program at Florida International University (FIU) is on the grow. The innovative idea, which allows international students to receive a degree from FIU’s College of Business Administration while also earning a degree from their home institution—in almost the same time as it would take to earn only one degree—has enjoyed a substantial surge in popularity.
This fall, the Chapman Graduate School welcomed 78 Dual Degree International Program students to campus; the number is almost double the enrollment from the three previous semesters combined.
All were invited to a special welcome session on August 23, 2011. Seventy students attended the lunch event, a remarkable turnout for any function.
“I met new people, including professors, and learned much about FIU,” said Yinbo Cau, a graduate student from China. “I even learned about being a Panther.”
The welcome dinner was the brainchild of Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam and Jerry Haar, associate dean for international programs. Both spoke at the gathering as did Marien Castillo, coordinator, international student services.
“Two students who completed the program last spring gave tips to the incoming group about what to expect and how to make the most of the opportunities,” said Maria Pradilla, assistant director, international programs.
Incoming class includes students from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.
Continuing its leadership role in international education, FIU has agreements with 42 universities worldwide for dual degree programs. The newest graduate students arrived from China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy and the West Indies.
“Not only do we have the largest enrollment ever, but our program also is expanding horizontally,” Pradilla said. “In addition to the Master of International Business (MIB), the foundation of the dual degree program, dual degree graduate students can now earn a degree in the Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MSMIS), Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM), Master of Science in International Real Estate (MSIRE) or the college’s new Healthcare MBA (HCMBA).”
The students seem determined to make the most of their opportunities.
“I am meeting new friends, but study is very important,” Cau said. “Reading first, then hanging out.”