Trip down under uncovers new vision of business learning.

Some call Australia the Land Down Under. Or Oz. Or Aussie.

Elizabeth Carril calls it “amazing.”

This summer, Carril joined a group of Florida International University (FIU) College of Business students on a study abroad trip to Australia.

“The trip was eye-opening right from when we first landed in Sydney,” she said. “I was immediately struck by the diversity of the population there.”

The FIU group at the Sydney Opera House

The excursion was designed to help students gain knowledge about conducting business in a different cultural environment, with an eye toward creating specific in-country experiences regarding international business and management opportunities.

“It was a standout experience—one where I learned firsthand how important it is to truly understand the culture of a country before considering doing business there,” Carril said.

Lessons learned.

Carril says that the trip directly supported her business management major, enabling her to take a required international business course as part of the experience.

“We added real situations to what you normally just learn from the book,” she said. “We were learning without even realizing we were learning!”

For Carril, trip highlights include meeting with business consultants, CEOs and U.S. embassy staff, who gave helpful advice and triggered some great ideas that inspired her to “finish my education and do my own thing in business.”

In particular, she found meeting with Richard Rains, CEO, Sanger Australia, PTY. Limited, a meat exporter, to be extremely motivational.

“He told us to be passionate, be honest and build relationships,” she said.

Carril highly recommends this kind of study abroad trip to all her friends and fellow students.

The study abroad offered unforgettable sightseeing opportunities as well as stimulating business visits.

“It’s a tremendous learning experience—and a great way to network and really get to know your classmates,” she said.

Several faculty members accompanied the students on the trip: Associate Dean Gloria Deckard, who teaches in the Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems, along with co-leaders Doreen Gooden—faculty director of the college’s study abroad programs—and Louis Melbourne, both members of the Department of Management and International Business.

FIU’s Center for International Business Education and Research (FIU-CIBER) provides the organizational and logistical administration support behind the business school’s study abroad programs.


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