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.
FUNDING FOR INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES
Funding for international experience is available from a variety of sources. Some assistance is based on financial need, while other options are based on where you plan to travel or what you plan to do while you are there. The below list is not exhaustive, and students are encouraged to contact the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid with questions.
UT GLOBAL ASSIST FOR STUDY ABROAD
UT Global Assist is a collection of scholarships, primarily for study abroad experiences, with a variety of criteria for eligibility. But all students planning to study abroad should take advantage of awards like the "International Education Fee Scholarship." More Info
GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP TO STUDY OR INTERN ABROAD
The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness.
The Scholarship is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a college or university to participate in study or intern abroad programs. More Info
FUNDING FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND AREA STUDIES
A number of centers at UT offer scholarships for international experiences via Department of Education grants for undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines to study foreign languages and cultures at UT and elsewhere in the US and abroad. Participating centers include:
- Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
- Middle Eastern Studies
- European Studies
- South Asia Institute
- Latin American Studies
Applications for these fellowships generally open in early to mid-November and close in early to mid-February. More Info
TEXAS CAREER ENGAGEMENT UNPAID INTERNSHIP SUPPORT
As paid employment can complicate visa status in many regions, students planning to pursue an internship abroad may find themselves in an unpaid internship. Texas Career Engagement's Internship Fund offers support for students with financial need who will be completing an unpaid internship. More Info
FREEMAN STIPEND FOR INTERNSHIPS IN ASIA
Freeman Scholars is a prestigious award that provides generous funding to undergraduate and graduate students completing internships in East and Southeast Asia. Upon their return to campus, each Freeman Scholar designs a project to share their experience in Asia with their UT community. More Info