The International Experience is at the heart of the International Business credentials, and there are a few different ways in which a student can meet the requirement.
International Business students gain direct experience with diverse cultures throughout their course of their studies, but never more so than during their International Experience. IB students learn to analyze and work within different cultures by spending a significant amount of time in a cultural background that varies from their own.
Most IB students complete their International Experience by studying abroad, either through McCombs or Texas Global. Occasionally students complete a study abroad program that is unaffiliated with UT, although this does involve more administrative effort on the part of the student. The duration of the program must last at least 5 weeks, completing at least 6 credit hours while overseas (although students typically take between 9-12 hours). Note that this means UT Maymesters cannot be used to satisfy the requirement
To satisfy the International Experience requirement, internships must last at least 6 weeks and must consist of at least 160 hours. Students looking to use an International Internship to satisfy their BA 353 requirement must also request permission to enroll in the course. Students looking to satisfy their International Experience with an internship are responsible for securing their position, arranging for their own transportation and housing, and ensuring that all other documentation (e.g. visas) are completed in a timely manner.
NOTE: Students in the Global Skills track may be able to complete an “internationally facing” internship - one where the student is based in the United States but has a predominate focus on internationally-based projects. It is expected that these internship will include a substantial degree of international business responsibility including significant interaction with individuals and businesses outside the U.S.
For example, a student might work for an international company remotely, including significant interaction with the company’s foreign-based operations. Conversely, the student might work with a U.S. company, but with responsibilities that are focused on the company’s international activities such as sales and marketing to international clients, global supply-chain management, or transfer pricing.
Any “internationally facing” internship must be approved by the International Business Faculty Advisor.
Alternative International Experiences
Occasionally students satisfy their International Experience requirement through an alternative experience, such as volunteering or engaging in the performing arts abroad. These experiences are likewise expected to be at least 5-6 weeks in duration and require special approval from the IB Faculty Advisor.
Alternatives to Travel Abroad
As travel has been restrained during the global pandemic, students have occasionally needed to complete their International Experience without going abroad. Under these circumstances, a student may:
- complete a research project as part of under an independent study with an approved Faculty Advisor; or
- complete an "internationally facing" internship, in which a student works with international constituents and colleagues.
In order to avail themselves of this flexibility, a student must be within 3 semesters of graduation and must demonstrate a good faith effort to go abroad. This typically involves a documented effort to apply at least twice for study abroad programs in focus region (for IB majors in the Foreign Language Track) or in a varieyty of regions (for other credentials). Extenuating circumstances outside of the student's control may also factor in to the availability of alternatives to travel.