Florida Tech International Business Study Abroad Prepares Students for Global Success
By Maria Sonnenberg // April 23, 2021
Study Abroad program Features Experienced-Based Comprehensive Curriculum
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – No man is an island, and neither are businesses. Global industry and competition impact businesses big and small in every country in the world. In any career in business, working across countries is not an option. It is a requirement.
“All businesses now are global businesses,” said Dr. Charles Bryant, assistant professor of international business and director of Bisk College of Business’ International Study Abroad Program.
This ever-changing global business environment is ripe with exciting opportunities for students interested in working across international boundaries and cultures. The study of international business can lead to an exciting, well-remunerated career where the world is literally the limit.
The International Business majors offered by Florida Institute of Technology’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, together with the school’s exciting Study Abroad program, provide students with a valuable international perspective that prepares them for success on a global scale.
“We open students’ eyes,” said Dr. Bryant.
An experienced-based comprehensive curriculum is among the reasons interest in the university’s international business studies has doubled in the past five years.
Students can earn a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration with a focus on Global Management and Finance, which prepares students for careers in domestic or foreign-based companies involved in international trade or finance.
The curriculum offers an understanding of how different cultures, languages, political systems, geography and socio-economic factors can influence global business practices. The undergraduate International Business degree, currently under development, will further sharpen skills necessary in the global business arena.
Florida Tech’s MBA in International Business, available both online and on-campus, take studies to the next level. Students apply critical thinking to evaluate global financial issues related to currency fluctuations, exchange rate risk and multinational investment and capital budgeting. Included in the course requirements is a three-credit course that revolves around an immersive experience in Europe.
Students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels are also encouraged to participate in the College of Business’ annual Study Abroad program to Spain and Austria. The program, established in 2011, focuses on the marketing aspects of conducting business in Spain, Austria and the broader EU market.
“The Study Abroad program is the pinnacle of what we do,” added Dr. Bryant. “We partner with excellent universities.”
In Spain, Florida Tech students connect with ESIC, Europe’s largest business school. The Austrian portion of the program closely involves students with the faculty of the highly-respected Upper Austria University.
“We look for full engagement with the faculty and with (in-country) executives who represent global as well as local business,” said Dr Bryant.
This international experience affords students the opportunity to engage with global firms in unique settings. Class lectures present cultural influences of Spain and Austria as well as marketing issues in a global context. The presentations may include Ted Talks-style seminars presented by internationally known experts such as Dr. Mario Weitz, advisor to the World Bank.
In the travel portion, students experience the two countries first-hand and engage with executives from global firms who present their global strategy and introduce students to personnel working on real-world strategic issues.
Dr. Bryant notes that part of the experience includes challenging students outside their comfort zone so they can better grasp the nuances of doing business in unfamiliar cultures.
A new partnership with Upper Austria University will further augment student knowledge of global business. In the fall of 2021, the Bisk College of Business will launch the initiative, which presents Florida Tech students with the opportunity to spend one semester at Upper Austria University to study a specially designed curriculum in global sales and marketing.
Students from Upper Austria will also spend one semester at Florida Tech. Upon graduation, students will receive a degree from both universities.
Florida Tech’s student population, which currently represents 97 countries, fosters cultural engagement within and outside the classroom. Courses such as Global Business Perspectives, International Marketing, and Global Corporate Social Responsibility promote cultural diversity within the context of team projects.
Both campus and online business students become versed in global business via the required freshman-level Global Business Perspectives class, which introduces them to various aspects of doing business in a global market, including cultural and language aspects, financing and corporate structure, marketing and management considerations and regulatory, legal and environmental issues.
The school also participates in X-Culture, a global team learning competition that attracts more than 5,000 students from more than 50 countries. Each semester, students join a Global Virtual Team (GVT) composed of students from several foreign universities.
Their goal as a group is to develop a market entry plan for a multinational organization. Projects are judged and the top 20 highlighted. Florida Tech boasts students on several Top 20 teams.
In 2019, a cohort of six Florida Tech students participated at the X-Culture Global Business Week Symposium in Calgary, Canada. Prior to pandemic restrictions, plans were underway for student representation at the 2020 Symposium in Singapore.
A global perspective is critical for a successful business career.
The multi-faceted approach to learning international business skills at Florida Tech’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business’ multi-faceted approach to international business management helps energize not only business leaders but also world leaders.
“We are leading academia in the field of international business,” added Dr. Bryant.
For more information on the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, visit fit.edu/business