Study abroad aids experiential learning, provides business experience

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Paul Hatch and Hunter Hutchins ride an elephant during an excursion on the Asia Pacific business study abroad in Thailand. (Paul Hatch)

Paul Hatch found himself in China one day and in Vietnam the next. Soon afterwards, it was Thailand and then on to New Zealand. Before he knew it, he had landed in Australia. Such was the experience of students who journeyed on the Asia Pacific business study abroad.

The Kay and Yvonne Whitmore Global Management Center partners with the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies on campus to offer seven study abroad programs. These programs range from a global finance investment internship to an Africa business internship, according to the Global Management Center

The programs are considered to be short-term, lasting from about 10 days to six weeks, according to the Global Management Center. During the trip, students focus largely on expanding their business exposure and broadening their eyes to cultures outside their own.

Hatch, a senior English major and business minor, said he went on the Asia Pacific business study abroad from June to July. He said the trip was a combination of business visits and cultural visits in each location. The trip gave him perspective and helped open his eyes to unfamiliar parts of the world.

“I think there are certain things in learning about business that you can convey in a classroom and there are certain things about international business that you absolutely can not just teach someone in a classroom,” he said. “You have to just go and experience it for yourself.”

Hatch drew excitement during his study abroad from learning there are many opportunities in the world for growth in business. He saw how he could take the skills he learned in a classroom and use them to bless and impact the lives of many.

“I think the advantage it gave me was experience and an understanding of culture,” Hatch said. “You could show video after video in a classroom but it does not equate to … going there and experiencing it.”

Flags from countries around the world in the Global Management Center represent the places students can explore on various study abroad programs. (Holly Ferguson)

Senior experience design and management major Madison Small assists with events in the Global Management Center. She served a mission in Argentina and said she believes visiting other countries, cultures and people diversifies skill sets.

“It helps you to be more understanding of people that are different from you and that is huge in the work environment,” Small said. “For BYU, the world is our campus and so we don’t want to stay here. We want to go abroad. We want to go out and make change in the world.”

Small said the only way change can happen is if people are tolerant of each other and are willing to travel, consequently helping individuals make a difference.

“To go to different places and to get these global experiences, it really makes you stand out,” she said.

Junior Camden Carter works as a student advisor in the Global Management Center. She helps to create travel guides and pamphlets for students and professors traveling on study abroad programs, among other things.

Carter said she believes study abroad programs are unique because they allow students to experience business in a new setting. She also said the programs give them the opportunity to see new cultures outside of what they know.

“People always come back and just have the time of their lives on the trips. But besides that, they come back with a lot of business knowledge,” Carter said.

More information about the study abroad programs offered at BYU can be found on the Kennedy Center website 

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