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.
The International Experience 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.
As requirements may vary depending on the student's program, all studetns should complete the International Experience Approval Form as soon as their plans start to form, and prior to staring their International Experience, to ensure their plans will satisfy their International Experience requirement.
Most IB students complete their International Experience by studying abroad, either through McCombs or Texas Global. These programs generally fall into one of the following categories:
Exchange Programs: These programs are built around an exchange of students between UT and the internaitonal institution. Tuition is paid to UT, many forms of financial aid can be used towards these programs, and classes are considered "in residence" so reviewed for equivalencies is usually straightforward. However, space in these programs is often limited, and application deadlines often come early.
Short-Term Programs: These programs are led by UT faculty and are between 3 and 10 weeks in duration, and include Summer Faculty-Led programs and May Term programs (see below). These courses are considered in-residence at UT, and some some forms of financial aid may be used towards these programs.
Affiliate Programs: These programs are operated by affilate organizations under agreements with UT Austin. Costs include a program fee paid to the operating organization, and courses are transferred to UT and just like they would be from any other college or university, although students may request review of a course to determine its UT euqivalnecy prior to travel. Typical forms of financial aid usually do not apply to affilate programs, but there are a number of other funding options available to students for these programs.
Unaffiliated Programs: 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. Anyone interested in pursuing study abroad through an unaffiliated program should speak to their advisor to facilitate planning.
Note About May Term Programs
May Term programs (formerly known as "Maymesters") are short study abroad programs that take place immediately after classes conclude in the spring term, and typically last four weeks. Due to their limited duration, some special limitations apply to if/how they may satisfy an International Experience requirement.
Minors in Global Management: Due to the significance of the international cultural experience to the coursework that is part of this major, only May Term programs that include coursework focused on a cultural aspect of the destination may be used to satisfy the International Experinece requirement. Click here to download a list of May Term programs offered this year that are approved for this minor.
Minors in International Business: A course taking as part of a May Term programs may count as the three optional hours of international expeirence credit.
Majors in International Business - Skills Track: A May Term program may satisfy the International Experinece requirement, but note the student may need to complete sufficient hours to meet the 120 credit hour total for the degree.
Majors in International Business - Language Track: Due to the significance of the international cultural experience to the coursework that is part of this major, only May Term programs that include coursework focused on a cultural aspect of the destination may be used to satisfy the International Experinece requirement. Click here to download a list May Term programs offered this year that are approved for this major generally, and note the location of the International Experience must also align with the geographic region on which the student is focused to receive approval.
Students looking to satisfy their International Experience requirement with an international internship should contact the Global Readiness Adivser as soon as possible to discuss their options and complete the International Experience Approval Form prior to starting their internship. Students looking to use an International Internship to satisfy their BA 353 requirement must also request permission to enroll in the course.
To satisfy the International Experience requirement, regarless of major or program, an internship must:
- last at least 6 weeks, and
- consist of at least 160 hours.
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.
Global Career Launch Programs through Texas Global
Global Career Launch programs put teams of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty together to work or conduct research abroad on an issue or topic related to the host country. These programs typically include a stipend, and students with demonstrated/documented financial need are automatically eligible for a stipend of $4,000, in addition to other available financial support. More information on Global Carer Launch Programs is available through Texas Global.
Students in Skills Track of the International Business Major may be able to satisfy their International Experience requirement through an “internationally facing” internship – one in wich 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.
Internationally-facing internships are approved on a case-by-case basis by the IB Faculty after an in-depth review of the position's duties, and interested students should complete the International Experience Approval Form prior to staring the internship to inquire if/how the internship may satisfy the International Experience requirement.
Alternative International Experiences
Occasionally students satisfy their International Experience requirement through an alternative experience, such as volunteering abroad. Any alternative Intenrational Experinece is expected to have sufficient structure and cultural exposure to ensure the pupose of the requirement is met. These alternatives are experiences expected to be in the form of a single trip abroad of at least six weeks, and will be reviewed and approved by the IB faculty on a case-by-case basis. Students interested in completing an alternative international experinece should complete the International Experience Approval Form prior to travellling to inquire if/how the experinece may satisfy the requirement.
Students Unable to Travel Abroad
In the event that a student is unable to travel abroad due to circumtances outside of their control (e.g. public health or other extenuating circumstances) they may be able to complete an research project or internationally-facing internship to satisfy the requirement. A student must be within 3 semesters of graduation and must demonstrate a good faith effort to go abroadto avail themselves of this flexibilty, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the IB Faculty. Students should speak with their academic advisor as early as possible to avail themselves of this flexibiltiy.
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."
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.
This 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.
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.
FIRST ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS
Texas Global awards First Abroad Scholarships of up to $3,000 to first generation students with a FAFSA on file. Scholarships may be used towards any credit-bearing or experiential learning opportunity abroad.
GLOBAL CAREER LAUNCH (with stipends)
Global Career Launch programs put teams of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty together to work or conduct research abroad on an issue or topic related to the host country. These programs typically include a stipend, and students with demonstrated/documented financial need are automatically eligible for a stipend of $4,000, in addition to other available financial support.
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.
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.
FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION FOR STUDY ABROAD
Financial aid may be able to assist with your study abroad experience. Click HERE for more information or contact the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid with questions.
REQUESTING CREDIT FOR STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCES
Students completing their International Experience requirement through an exchange or affiliate study abroad program will need to transfer their courses back to UT, at which time UT typically accepts the course in one of two ways:
Direct Equivalents to Existing UT Courses
A course that transfers to UT as the direct equivalent to a UT course can then be used to satisfy either a specific degree requirement or can count as elective hours
Unspecified Subject Matter Hours
A course that transfers to UT as undpecified subject matter hours is given a general course number within a UT discipline and can generally count as elective hours or towards other degree requirements that do not specifically .
Students interested in a specific program can review courses previously approved as part of that program by visiting the program's informational page through Texas Global (search here) and clicking on "My Credit Abroad courses" on that page. This will open a list of courses that previous students have completed as part of that program, and how they have transferred back to UT.
Students looking to satisfy a specific degree requirement or course should use the My Credit Abroad database to search by UT course number.
Students interested in taking a course abroad that has not previously been reviewed by the university should work with their study abroad advisor to request a course equivalency review for the proposed class. These request may be submitted prior to travel, and can provide assurance to students as to how the course they plan to take will be credited by UT.
Please Note: When taking classes abroad students should be aware about the following potential pitfalls.
1. Upper Division Hours: Many degree requirements can only be satisfied with upper division hours - i.e. course number with the second two digits of 20 or higher (for example IB 329s is upper division, but IB 319S is not).
2. Credit Hours versus Classes: Most classes at UT are 3 credit hours, but not all courses taken abroad transfer back to UT as 3 credit hours, so students should be careful when reviewing degree requirements that they do not equate "3 required hours" with "one class taken abroad." Credit horus are reflected in the first digiti of the UT course number.
BEFORE YOU GO
Take a minute to review CGB's International Experience Guidance. It will help you become familiar with cultural analysis and get the most out of your trip! And did you complete your International Experience Approval form yet?
QUESTIONS ABOUT IB @ UT?
Contac tus with any questions, or make an appointment to meet with an advisor today.