The business world today is international. It is not uncommon for companies to have offices both here in the United States as well as abroad. These same companies are looking toward international markets for new business opportunities.
To keep up with the demands of a global market, corporations are seeking out potential employees who have the skills to navigate foreign cultures. They are interested in hiring young professionals with international experience, employees who are prepared for navigating the globalized marketplace.
The best way to develop these skills is to study abroad. By immersing yourself in another culture, you will learn how to communicate despite language barriers and adapt to customs other than your own.
If you are a business major, adding a semester abroad to your resume can give you a real boost come interview time. If you are interested in incorporating a study abroad program into your business education, you should select a program that is designed with business in mind.
Read on to learn how to pick a business study abroad program and some programs that may be the perfect fit for your goals and interests.
Finding the Best Business Programs for Study Abroad Students
To understand how to pick a study abroad program for business majors, you should consider all of your options and opportunities. Most students are primarily concerned with the courses offered and whether they will satisfy their major course requirements. While that is certainly a great place to start, there are plenty of other factors to keep in mind.
It’s essential to also consider your personality and desires when looking at where the study abroad program for business majors is located, what your lifestyle will be like at the institution, along with other factors such as language requirements and the specific goals of the program.
As you explore the available options, ask yourself the following questions:
What Are the Language Requirements?
The language of instruction should be your first concern when contemplating how to pick a business study abroad program. Through BCA, there are programs with English-only instruction and also programs in which the language of the host nation is used in class.
As an example, at the Universitat de Barcelona in Spain, you’ll take your courses in Spanish alongside local students. This ensures that at the end of the semester, you’ll have a deeper understanding of how to communicate in Spanish, a very important language for international business.
If you can’t study abroad for a semester, but are still interested in improving your Spanish-language and taking business courses, our Intensive Summer program in Valladolid, Spain is the perfect fit. During the program you can take a course on the business environment in Spain and have the chance to meet with business leaders as well as local company managers in the hotel and restaurant industry. You’ll also have the opportunity to interview and shadow some professionals.
If you don’t feel comfortable taking your courses in a foreign language, there are many locations where you can take business courses in English. However, don’t worry that a program with English instruction won’t provide you with an immersive experience — you will still have plenty of chances to engage with a foreign culture every day. For example, students on our program in Belgium can participate in semester long internships as part of the program.
What Kind of Living Situation Can I Expect?
Your living arrangement will depend on the program you choose. For instance, in Belgium, Ecuador or Spain you’ll move in with a host family, which will provide you with an immersive experience into local life. Being able to ask your host family about local news and events will help you stay informed and able to impress your professors in your courses and you colleagues and supervisors if you have an internship.
Other programs offer campus-based housing or international dormitories. Unlike living with a host family, you’ll buy your own groceries, make your own food and live with students who may or may not speak your language. If your goal is to use your business degree to connect with people throughout the globe, this could be an incomparable opportunity to connect with people from other countries . This is a great opportunity for engaging with a diverse student body and the skills you’ll gain in these social situations will become invaluable tools when you enter the business world.
What Sort of Immersive Opportunities Are Available?
Here’s a final thought when deciding on how to pick the best business programs: Look for a place where you can experience a new country, as well as business-related opportunities, too. BCA’s program in Brussels offers internships, but many other programs offer opportunities to engage with local campus clubs or volunteer with local organizations. These experiences also allow you to meet and learn from local people and organizations and can be rewarding and valuable parts of the study abroad experience.
Determining how to pick a business study abroad program isn’t hard, but it requires a little time. Do your homework upfront, and you’ll make the right decision for you! International experience makes you a more enticing candidate when you are searching for a job. Studying abroad, no matter where, just makes good business sense.
Here are a few programs that work well if you’re a business major looking to study abroad:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Brussels, Belgium
- Cheltenham, England
- Dublin, Ireland
- Dunedin, New Zealand
- London, England
- Marburg, Germany
- Quito, Ecuador
- St. Augustine, Trinidad