International travel rounds out IMBA program.

For the final quarter of their 12 months of study in the International MBA (IMBA) program in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU), many students choose the “study abroad” option for earning the last three credits.

“This opportunity was one of the main reasons I was attracted to FIU’s program,” said Ryan Harvey, one of 18 IMBA students who participated in international study this past summer.

Participants reported such enriching experiences as conversing with locals on an 11-hour train ride through China, enjoying starfish and other interesting cuisine, touring international companies and exploring the host country’s culture while taking classes at an FIU partner university.

Latika Sharma at the Eiffel Tower in Paris with EDHEC program coordinators. She noted that “the heterogeneity among European countries makes it imperative for anyone doing business in the continent to understand subtleties in the cultural differences.”

“An intriguing part of one class was learning how different grocery store chains are tailored to certain economical classes within Spain—and then actually visiting those stores,” said Christopher Freeman.

“The president and CEO of Mane, a worldwide leader in fragrance, gave us a tour of the factory,” said Latika Sharma, who studied at EDHEC Business School in France. Her class also visited IBM Forum La Gude and Moet & Chandon, a prominent champagne house.

In China, Tatiana Kasimtseva learned about the economy, ecological issues, currency trading, entrepreneurship, advertising and more.

“This trip made my MBA degree truly international and complete,” she said.

Meeting people of other nations is a strong appeal of international study.

“Chinese residents would frequently wait patiently while I struggled to speak Chinese,” said Jared Leichner, describing his two months studying at Qingdao University.

Benefits are on-going.

As she proceeds to earn her PhD in management, Brittany Mercado said her international study was quite valuable.

“I am grateful to have gained more insight into the process of building successful cross-cultural teams,” she said.

“Studying abroad is a wonderful résumé-enhancer,” said Anita Sambor, program coordinator, International Graduate Programs in the Chapman Graduate School of Business, who reports that about 20 percent of the IMBA students study abroad, including those who receive scholarships. “Plus, these opportunities create international connections.”

“The beauty of the French Riviera provided the perfect location for a European study abroad, being at the crossroads of several diverse cultures,” said Jeffrey Rubenstein, who studied at EDHEC Business School in Nice/Lille France.

“I made friends for life with people from Armenia, Australia, Canada, China, Korea and Poland,” said Jeffrey Rubenstein.


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