What is an Executive Study Abroad Program?
Studying abroad used to appeal only to an adventurous few and the programs available were somewhat limited in scope. Students lived in dorms and attended classes, which offered a traditional student experience and the opportunity to advance their language skills. However, there was very little effort made to teach international students about the difference in the local business environment and industry versus their home country.
Executive study abroad programs have evolved significantly in the last few years. Today, they offer practical experience as well as schooling that benefits students in a variety of industries and careers.
Why Choose an Executive Study Abroad Program?
Thanks to the popularity of the internet and a more global economy, study abroad programs are booming. The demand for qualified employees has changed program objectives, and the way they are structured. What was once the chance to attend classes in a foreign land and gain cultural awareness has become an immersive learning opportunity in a business environment. Programs have been developed to prepare students for successful multinational careers in a variety of industries.
1. Develop In-Demand Skillsets
Traditionally, small and medium-sized companies conducted the majority of their business domestically. It was only multinational conglomerates that operated globally. Today, even a small organization can span countries and continents, selling their products and services. This shift means more businesses are looking for employees that can communicate well and operate in an international setting. Executive study abroad programs have changed to meet this need.
2. Learn Local Business Practices
Executive study abroad programs are designed to teach students about local business practices in the host country. They make on-site visits, meet with government officials and attend meetings where business matters are discussed, and decisions made. This hands-on approach has proven to be much more effective in teaching students about how cultural aspects affect business goals and objectives.
3. Experience Multi-Destination Programs
Studying abroad for a semester has benefits. Students become fluent in the local language, and they have the opportunity to explore outside of their immediate environment. However, many students tend to stay on-campus within their comfort zone and spend their time with other students from their home country.
A long-term program in a foreign land is not logistically feasible for individuals with family and job commitments. Non-traditional study abroad programs offer more benefits to participants in a shorter period. Instead of focusing on one area and one culture, a multi-faceted, multi-destination approach is used. For example, a student traveling with International Business Seminars visits as many as nine countries over just a few weeks. Since the programs are scheduled outside of regular semesters, it is easier for the student to complete without missing out on the regular school year.
4. Increased Learning Opportunities
Traditional study abroad programs rely heavily on classroom-based learning, while an executive study abroad program is filled with a range of learning opportunities. There are mentoring sessions with leading global executives, lectures by industry specialists and discussions with professors and professionals that are experts in their areas. Some programs also provide access to personal advisers. These individuals help students with concerns and questions about the course processes.
5. Meet New Friends
Most students begin the program knowing that they will be traveling with a group of strangers. Unlike traditional university experiences, typically there are no cliques, no knots of people that know each other. Everyone has the opportunity to meet new friends at each activity. The intensity of the program content and pace often speeds the camaraderie, resulting in life-long friendships.
6. Grow as an Individual
Executive study abroad programs not only impart business knowledge; they support and encourage students. Introverted personalities get a boost of confidence, extroverts improve soft-skills and the vast majority develops the ability to communicate in groups more easily. These valuable skills transfer to interviews, networking events and everyday life.
7. Develop a Broad World View
The interconnected world economy has resulted in the offering of globally focused courses. Students acquire the knowledge needed to develop into multinational business leaders. However, no amount of study can adequately prepare an individual for the nuances and understanding of life in another culture. By learning from educational partners in multiple markets and working in multi-cultural business environments, students gain a unique perspective that can only be obtained in an immersive experience.
8. Long-Term Benefits
For students who want to explore employment in other countries, IBS Executive Study Abroad programs offer an advantage. As a participant, there are opportunities to experience business best practices in a variety of countries. Students gain a practical understanding of perspectives and goals, from business and finance to marketing, consumer goods, technology, engineering and more.