Top Online MBA International Residency Trips


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Earning an Online MBA is meant to be convenient, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit behind a screen studying for the next two years. Take a break from the screens and step into an immersive international experience. Most international residency trips for grad school students are only a few days long but provide countless benefits and create memories that last a lifetime. In these residencies, students travel with classmates and faculty, so they have a built-in support system. Study abroad programs are excellent resume builders and can distinguish you from other candidates. Students who have studied abroad are more cultured and are viewed by employers as being better prepared for international business careers.

International residencies designed for MBA students feature unique opportunities to interact with foreign business leaders, tours of international corporations, and collaborative team building projects that take your leadership skills to the next level. Students increase their confidence by stepping outside their comfort zone, creating global business contacts, and developing or improving foreign language skills. Many travel plans were dashed due to the pandemic. Still, business schools are slowly starting to offer international immersion experiences again, so if you’re ready to see the world, check out this list of Top Online MBA International Residency Trips. Many of the experiences on this list are included with the tuition price, and bosses are also more likely to approve your vacation days for an international residency.

University of Michigan

University of Michigan logo

Get ready to cross international borders in 2022! Online MBA students are invited to join faculty and fellow classmates on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Shanghai/Hangzhou, China. Students can earn three credit hours for attending the Global Business Strategy residency, which will emphasize cross-cultural team projects. Projects will draw upon students’ previous knowledge of economics, foreign politics, organization behavior and hone their leadership skills while analyzing differences between China, India, Vietnam, and Singapore. Students will also have the opportunity to meet and network with local business leaders and successful Ross alumni. Ross School of Business covers lodging and meals, but students will be responsible for travel expenses to and from the excursion. If this sounds exciting, stay tuned for other upcoming international trips to major cities around the world. Residency themes may include Business Leadership and the Leadership Crisis Challenge, Business Transformation, and Business Innovation.

University of North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill logo from website

Online MBA students at UNC have ample opportunities to engage with their classmates and expand their business perspective through quarterly international and on-campus summits. All summit expenses, other than airfare, are included in your MBA tuition, so students never have to miss out on an experience. International summit destinations have included world-class business hubs such as Lima, London, Mumbai, and Taipei. In 2022, an exciting international summit is planned for Warsaw, Poland. This fast-paced trip is only three days long, making it easier for professionals to squeeze it into their schedules and minimize work disruptions. Global immersions are also available for students wishing to extend their learning experiences. During summits and immersions, students will have opportunities to interact with diverse business leaders and complete hands-on projects that will give students a new lens to view the world. Key lessons will focus on leadership development, management techniques, and consulting.

University of Washington

University of Washington logo from website

Second-year students in the Hybrid MBA program at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business are eligible to go on a global study tour, ranging from six to ten days. This tour is optional but highly recommended to enhance students’ graduate business experience. During this two-credit-hour tour, students will apply the business concepts they’ve learned in their classes and gain first-hand knowledge about the world economy as well as foreign trade markets. Some of the previous awe-inspiring destinations have included Machu Picchu, Singapore, Morocco, Munich, and Dubai. Students travel to cultural and historical sites, meet global business executives during field trips to major international corporations such as General Electric and BMW, and get an inside look at start-ups in other countries. These informative trips leave a lasting impression on the students who attend and often spark a newfound interest in living and working abroad!

Indiana University

Indiana University logo

Kelley School of Business challenges online MBA students to walk in the shoes of an international entrepreneur or executive through global immersions. These trips are usually seven to ten days long and give students up-close work experience with small businesses and Fortune 500 global corporations. During these trips, some of the business concepts students utilize include identifying new markets, pricing, and supply chain. In the Cuba Consulting immersion course, students learn about Cuban culture, laws, and government prior to departing for their trip and dive into consulting projects with two local private companies upon arrival. One company is in a rural community, and another is located in a capital city, so students can see how the environment affects businesses. Previous immersion locations have included Greece, India, Ireland, South Africa, and Vietnam. Students earn three-credit hours for completing an immersion experience and add an impressive accomplishment to their resume.

University of Virginia

University of Virginia logo

Global Study is an essential component for Darden School of Business students. EMBA students are required to participate in at least one global residency, and Global EMBA students participate in four international experiences. Week-long trips are scheduled for February, June, and October every year. A few destinations are offered during each travel period from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Estonia, Finland, Ghana, Germany, Japan, India, Israel, and Vietnam. The trip itinerary is jam-packed with lectures, leadership development seminars, networking opportunities, company tours, and consulting projects. Students learn how marketing, sales, and operations differ from the U.S. through university professors, data scientists, and highly respected business leaders. Alumni meet with students and share their international career paths. The first immersion is included with the price of the EMBA, and each additional trip is $4,200. Students who are interested in completing multiple immersions should pursue the Global EMBA, which costs an additional $11,000 but includes four immersions.

Duke University

Duke University logo

Professionals enrolled in the Global Executive MBA at Fuqua School of Business expand their global perspective through coursework exploring business relationships between Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America. Global immersions help students build a worldwide network by meeting with managers and taking company tours in countries that have been studied in the classroom. During these intense residencies, students will expand their horizons and globalize their business knowledge by participating in business activities related to the local economy, such as negotiating the price of produce at a farmer’s market. Previous countries that have been explored by students included Chile, China, Germany, and India. Duke has a regional team and advisory board for each country that connects students with Duke alumni who are able to offer exclusive experiences, such as a tour of NBA China and a meet and greet with the editor-in-chief of the popular German newspaper Handelsblatt.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University logo

Broad College of Business not only teaches from a global business viewpoint but also provides first-hand international encounters for EMBA students during their second residency. Students choose to either study International Culture/Strategy in East Lansing or travel abroad via the Global Marketplace. The Global Marketplace residency is a weeklong trip abroad in April. Students spend time leading up to the trip learning about business opportunities, cost analysis, and risks of operating a business in another country. After months of building this knowledge, students travel to the country they’ve studied and experience its business climate first-hand. The trip consists of presentations by local leading business experts and business site visits. A few of the destinations that have been previously featured include the Czech Republic, Japan, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, and Vietnam. In 2022, students will have the opportunity to travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota logo

There are numerous global enrichment programs for online MBA students at Carlson School of Management. These short trips are offered between semesters for elective business credits and will enhance what students have learned in their business courses. Students have gained practical experience while consulting for firms such as 3M and Thomson Reuters. A limited number of graduate fellowships are available for MBA students interested in studying abroad. International destinations students have explored Austria, China, Costa Rico, and Poland. Students who are interested in longer experiences can study at an international campus in Belgium, China, or Costa Rico. If you are unable to travel abroad but are interested in increasing your international business knowledge, online courses are offered. Course offerings include International Environment of Business, Global Sourcing of IT, Global Operations Strategy, and Global Valuation Lab. Prior to graduation, students must complete an international residency trip or in-depth global business course.

University of Florida

University of Florida logo.svg

The exhilarating global immersion experiences offered through Warrington College of Business ignite a passion for international business. MBA students can enroll in a two-credit hour course that meets throughout the semester to study the economy and political climate of a foreign country. The course culminates with a seven to ten-day international trip. During the immersion, students will sit in on real business meetings with executives, network with local students, and attend cultural events. Argentina, Brazil, China, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates are amongst the destinations students have been able to experience up-close. Students who have a different location in mind can work with an advisor to customize a study abroad program to match their business goals and interests. International immersions are required for EMBA students but an optional component for online MBA students. Trips cost between $2,200-$2,700, plus airfare. You won’t want to miss out on these eye-opening trips!

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Maryland logo

Robert H. Smith School of Business offers student-centric global immersion experiences designed to give students a realistic glimpse of how international markets operate. Students who attend these optional faculty-led global study tours will earn four credit hours. The trips consist of action learning projects that are based on problems faced by the local economy. The challenges build upon the knowledge students have already acquired throughout their online MBA program while working with cross-cultural teams to create innovative and sustainable solutions. Immersions provide opportunities for students to get a behind-the-scenes tour of global companies and network with international business executives. Smith SoB has more than 66,000 alumni worldwide who open their offices to share their personal experiences with students during their travels. Multiple global immersions are offered annually featuring different destinations and business sectors, so students are sure to find one that is of interest to them.

Action Plans

Now that you know about the top Online MBA international residency trips, what now? If you don’t already have one, it’s time to get a passport! It takes approximately three weeks to receive your passport, but if you already know you’re going to travel, it’s best to apply for it now. You will need to complete an application, which can be found online but must be submitted in person at a designated passport acceptance facility. When you submit your passport application, you must also bring your original birth certificate or proof of citizenship document, a photo ID such as your driver’s license, and passport photos. Passport photos can be taken at Walgreens, UPS, CVS, or the post office. Most allow walk-ins but check in advance to see if you need to schedule an appointment. You must also pay an application fee for a passport book ($110) or passport card ($30), plus a $35 execution acceptance fee. It is also helpful to research the cultural norms of the country you’ll be traveling to. Most colleges will hold a study abroad info session. Try to attend this meeting, talk to faculty who will be leading the trip, and students who have previously attended to get a better idea of what to expect. It is also helpful to download a language translator app and try to learn some common phrases you may need to know. Many countries and airlines require travelers to show proof of a negative COVID test before flying or entering the country. Make sure you schedule this appointment to fall within the required timeframe. Safe travels!

Related Resources:

Guide to an Economics Online MBA
Top Online MBA Programs

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