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### Reflecting on Winter 2024 Study Abroad Programs: Global Perspectives

Through the Winter 2024 term, students at Maryland Smith had the unique opportunity to participate in faculty-led, short-term study abroad programs. These programs, available to both undergraduate and MBA students, spanned the globe, offering a firsthand experience in international business and enhancing students’ comprehension of global markets and business methodologies.

Japan and South Korea

In collaboration with QUEST, Emily Marks, an Adjunct Professor and QUEST Program Coordinator, led 29 undergraduates on a journey through the technological hubs of East Asia. The focus was on industries such as electronics, automotive, and robotics, providing students with valuable insights into the cutting-edge innovations and industrial capabilities of the region. Through visits to 10 companies and cultural excursions, students delved into how businesses in Japan and South Korea are influencing the global economy and how their distinct cultures and histories foster innovation, contributing to their status as economic powerhouses.


Under the guidance of a Senior Lecturer, 29 students explored the unique business landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They examined the intricacies of Gulf economics, particularly how oil wealth has propelled the region into a global business center. The program emphasized the UAE’s strategic diversification efforts and its significance in international trade and finance. Reflecting on the experience, John Ikegwu, a senior participant, noted, “My time in Dubai revealed a multifaceted city beyond its reputation as a tourist hotspot. The thriving economy, government efficiency, and diverse expat community showcased a side of Dubai and the UAE that goes beyond its superficial charm.”


This program delved into the fusion of culture and commerce, shedding light on how French enterprises balance tradition with innovation while incorporating cultural values into their business practices. Led by David Ashley, 23 undergraduate students explored various regions including Le Havre, Rouen, and the Normandy beaches, gaining insights into the historical and cultural underpinnings of French businesses. Company visits to Schneider Electric, The Port of Le Havre, and Station F provided students with a deeper understanding of France’s role in the European economic landscape.

Vietnam and South Korea

Led by the Dean’s Chair of Operations Management, 21 MBA students embarked on a journey through key business hubs in Hanoi and Seoul. The program aimed to offer insights into diverse business strategies and operational models prevalent in the Vietnamese and South Korean markets. Students engaged with local entrepreneurs, participated in business symposiums, and delved into the cultural nuances that drive these economies, visiting prominent companies like Hyundai and Hanjin Logistics.

South Africa

Under the guidance of an associate professor, this program exposed 17 MBA students to the dynamic and challenging business environment of South Africa. Focusing on market development and social entrepreneurship, the initiative provided a comprehensive view of the African business landscape, highlighting the opportunities and obstacles inherent in operating within an emerging market.


Led by a clinical professor, 16 MBA students delved into Brazil’s business ecosystem, aiming to grasp the unique dynamics of Latin American business. The program explored how cultural, political, and economic factors intertwine to influence business operations and strategies in Brazil. Oluwaseun Badmus, a second-year MBA student, shared, “The experience provided me with valuable insights from successful entrepreneurs and established organizations, shedding light on their journey to remarkable success.”

The successful completion of these programs plays a pivotal role in equipping students with a global mindset essential for navigating the complexities of the modern business landscape. These immersive experiences have not only deepened students’ understanding of international markets and business strategies but have also honed crucial competencies such as cultural curiosity, adaptability, and self-awareness.

“The [center] is committed to offering students diverse global opportunities. Short-term study abroad programs provide invaluable cultural immersion, exposure to fresh perspectives, and global networking prospects. These programs, though brief, have a lasting impact, fostering personal growth, enhancing language proficiency, and broadening academic horizons,” remarked CGB Assistant Director Rachel McCloud.

As students return from these enriching experiences, they bring back not just knowledge and insights but a transformed outlook, prepared to apply their enhanced global mindset competencies in their future professional endeavors. This endeavor underscores the school’s dedication to providing a practical and globally-oriented business education.

For more details on study abroad programs, visit the provided link.

The programs received support from CIBE, a Title VI grant offered by the U.S. Department of Education.