So you know where we’re heading for the upcoming Global Learning Opportunities, but have you wondered how we decided our destinations?
The criteria for selecting locations includes, in no particular order:
- Role/relevance in global economy
- Faculty expertise and connections
- Student interest
- Logistical complexities
- Presence of alumni/friends of the college are a plus
Conversations with faculty and previous programmatic experience helped us create a list of possible destinations. Both Full-time and PM students were asked for feedback on those locations through an interest survey in late spring.
One of the most important factors for us in determining destinations—safety—was also a priority for the students responding.
The survey indicated a wide range of perspectives on how potential destinations were rated. Some students stressed that they were interested in going to a developed economy; others wanted an emerging economy. Some wanted to go where they were likely to do business in the future, while others wanted the opposite—places they might not otherwise have a chance to visit. These students used words like a ‘stretch experience,’ ‘getting out of the comfort zone,’ and ‘once in a lifetime opportunity.’ To be honest, I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t greater interest in South Africa or Vietnam!
Here’s how the interest and strong interest ratings broke down (combined totals for incoming, 2nd year and PM students):
In an effort to balance competing interests, offer geographic diversity, and provide information early for planning purposes (both for the student and the program), we created the following two year cycle:
|January 2015||Argentina and Chile|
|January 2015||United Arab Emirates|
|May 2015 (after finals)||Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary|
|January 2016||South America (destinations TBD)|
|January 2016||Asia (China + a second Asian destination)|
|Spring 2016 (Spring Break or May TBD)||European Union (Turkey + European country)|
To give us some flexibility to respond to world events, we have listed the 2016 destination by region and aim to have exact locations determined by late spring 2015. (Although I have to say, the Turkey label was a bit difficult—we couldn’t just say Europe since the majority of Turkey’s land is actually in Asia, hence why it’s considered the crossroads between Europe and Asia. This geography has also been used by a lot of Europeans arguing that it should not be part of the EU. As an associate member of the EU, there are still many changes that Turkey must make before it will be able to become a full member, so even the European Union heading may be misleading!)
In the event of political upheaval, civil strife, natural disasters or other events that raise flags about the safety or relevance of a particular country to the global economy, these destinations may need to shift in response (although we hope that will not happen).
Second year students who have not participated in a GLO before will have priority for the January GLOs, followed by 1st years and then second year repeaters (who will be required to pay the program fee). The timing of the May GLO will allow first year’s an additional opportunity to fulfill their GLO requirement and is also available to second year students, although at a lower priority.
Full-time students have a menu of other options to enhance their global experience—whether that is in addition to a GLO or as an alternative to fulfill the global requirement. Check out the options here, which include:
- a “winterim” in India
- coursework in Italy (CIMBA) or Germany (WHU) in May before heading to your internship
- an exchange to Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands (8-week module or full semester available in fall or spring of your second year).
Now, isn’t it time to go check your passport expiration date?