Global Initiatives

Graduate Programs

The Smith School’s graduate international opportunities offer students the opportunity to earn academic credit for courses that include an international travel component. These programs seek to imbue students with a global mindset and global business savvy so they are well positioned for leadership roles in an increasingly interconnected world.

Why participate in a Smith MBA global course opportunity?

  • Employ discipline-based knowledge acquired in the classroom to solve real-world problems faced by companies in a given country or region
  • Understand the major business opportunities and growth drivers in a country or region.
  • Learn about the institutional structure of a given industry in a specific national or regional context and place this knowledge in comparative perspective
  • Gain insight into the effect of cross-cultural differences on interpersonal interactions
  • Understand why individuals from different cultures react differently to similar managerial practices, work systems, and human capital management systems
  • Learn to effectively design, implement, and manage cross-cultural teams
  • Develop an increased tolerance for ambiguity

What are the MBA global opportunities?

Global Business Courses

  • 4-credits
  • Open to 2nd and 3rd year MBA students
  • On-campus coursework
  • 8-10 day travel abroad Winter break or Spring break 

While abroad, students travel with their professor and visit companies to enhance their business acumen. Students choose courses based on opportunities to develop expertise in their field of interest and based on the opportunity to network with colleagues, faculty and international company executives in their field. Also during the travel component of the program, through experiential and applied learning, students will have opportunities to immerse themselves into the host culture – for example by taking a cooking class to learn about local cuisine, participating in a service-learning project, or doing micro consulting with local students in the host city. 

The academic focus and location of these courses change each year.

Global business courses are offered every year and new courses are announced each Spring. 

Global Consulting Practicum

  • 2 or 4 credits
  • Open to all students, including first year students
  • On-campus coursework
  • 8-10 day travel abroad Winter break, Spring break, or Summer

International clients provide actionable consulting projects for which student teams will collaborate to develop and present an innovative, operational plan that will have the most significant impact and best possible outcome for their clients. Past clients include the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka, KW Foundation in Uruguay, AFAR in Tunisia, 3M in Chile, and the ARAVA Institute in Israel.

Our Global Profile

Smith is globally mobile.

  • 36% of our undergraduates participate in global programs
  • 50% of our MBA students participate in global programs
  • Our students make up 30% of the total number that the University of Maryland sends abroad each year – the highest rate on campus
  • 360 undergraduates studied or interned abroad in the 2013-14 academic year
  • 230 MBA students studied or consulted abroad in the 2013-14 academic year
  • Undergraduates traveled to over 50 countries in last 2 years
  • MBA students traveled to over 17 countries in last 2 years
  • Students visited over 100 companies abroad in the 2013-14 academic year on our Faculty-led Global Programs
  • MBA students consulted for clients in India, Brazil, Chile, China, and Sri Lanka in the 2013-14 academic year
  • 1 Smith staff member won an OIA Global Partnerships Staff Development grant for travel to Australia

Smith maintains global partnerships.

  • 100+ international exchange and visiting students are welcomed to Smith annually
  • 10-15 visiting scholars are hosted per year
  • 15 international exchange partners
  • 2 faculty have won OIA Global Classroom grants to develop “global classrooms” with partner institutions abroad
  • Smith’s alumni network of 55,000 alumni spans 58 countries
  • Smith is committed to providing students with opportunities to gain global competencies
  • Approximately 15 Smith faculty lead programs abroad every year
  • Another 12+ faculty teach courses specifically designed to focus on global business

Smith is globally-minded.

  • 89% of undergraduates enter junior year having already traveled outside the USA
  • 98% of undergraduates have studied a foreign language for at least a year
  • 200 students enrolled in the undergraduate International Business major
  • 20 courses offered in the undergraduate curriculum focusing on international business and intercultural communication 
  • 30% of our faculty hail from abroad
  • 40% of the MBA population is international

Undergraduate Programs

Why Study Abroad?

Employers consistently demand that their employees have global competency. But how do students develop such a global competency? The Smith School of Business offers a variety of programs – both abroad and on-campus – to help students develop their global mindset. 

Interested in Studying Abroad?

Learn more about your study abroad options as a Smith School student by attending one of our info sessions! We'll cover an overview of programs as well as how to choose one that aligns with your goals. Other topics will include: academic and financial considerations, articulating goals, and next steps in your study abroad process.

Tuesdays   4pm to 5pm
Fridays      10am to 11am

Follow the link to our Study Abroad Information Sessions page to RSVP.

If you've already started an application to a program and need to fulfill a mandatory advisor meeting, you may schedule an individual meeting here

Smith School Program Offerings

Faculty-led Programs

Think you don’t have enough time to fit in a study abroad experience while earning your degree? Think again!

Earn academic business credits during Winter Break, Spring Break or over the Summer months while experiencing a country or region first-hand. While abroad, visit companies to enhance business acumen and participate in cultural activities designed to facilitate cross-cultural understanding.

Semester Programs

A semester abroad challenges students to develop cross-cultural skills in a variety of settings and programs. Students who study abroad for a longer period learn how to successfully navigate foreign environments, communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and  adapt to a variety of situations. Some students may also choose to practice a foreign language; however, all of our partner schools offer courses in English.

Summer Programs

Looking for a way to enrich your summer? Can’t fit a semester abroad in your schedule? Want to gain professional and academic experience in Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, or Latin America? Enroll in an one of our summer programs and earn up to nine credits!

On-Campus Programs

Developing a global mindset doesn’t require you to leave College Park! Find out more about global opportunities available on-campus.

Israel, Palestine, and Jordan: Cross-Border Greywater Feasibility Project

Destinations Israel
Faculty In collaboration with the Center for Social Value Creation, Professor Robert V. Percival from the Carey School of Law, and the School of Public Health
Program Dates During the Spring Semester students will participate in consulting training with UMD faculty to prepare for the on-site consulting project.
Class meetings prior to travel. Dates TBD. Dates abroad March 14th – March 22nd
Program Cost Approximately $2350. OGI and CIBER will offer grants to student participants.
Registration Students will be enrolled in Testudo by MPO once students are selected.


The application process is competitive. Enrollment in the MBA Global Consulting Practicum is not guaranteed. Students must apply to be considered in the selection process. Eligible candidates will have relevant academic, professional, and soft skills, such as: excellent interpersonal abilities and high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty that will ensure their success in an international, cross-cultural consulting setting.

To apply, students must submit a resume and cover letter to OGI at with GLOBAL CONSULTING PRACTICUM in the subject line. The application, resume, and cover letter will be used to evaluate each student's background and career interests in order to determine which potential consultants are the best fit for the Global Consulting Practicum.

Additional follow-up interviews will be held with a subset of the applicant pool to select students and assign them to specific projects.

The selection process will favor:

  • Students who already have extensive cross-cultural skills and wish to apply these in a consulting experience
  • Students with past experience in the specific region where the consulting will take place
  • Students who can demonstrate that they are flexible, adaptable and can handle uncertainty, particularly in a cross-cultural setting

*Language skills of the host country are not required, although desirable

Two students will be selected. Submit resume and cover letter to OGI at Application deadline is Friday, October 31st.  Cover letter should address each of the following:

1) The reasons for your interest in participating in a Global Consulting Practicum, the particular project in which you would like to participate, and your expectations for personal gain from participation in this project.

2) The skill sets, knowledge and work expertise that you can bring to this particular project. Indicate previous work experience, class/study, internship, etc.

3) Substantive experience closely related to the specific industry of the project and to the specific region where the overseas consulting will take place.

4) Experience working and/or studying in cross-cultural settings.

Description of Project:

The global consulting practicum allows students to translate their classroom learning into the development of real world solutions. Students will work on a 6-person multi-disciplinary collaborative consulting project for the Arava Environmental Institute (AIES), a premier environmental studies and research program in the Middle East. The final project will explore mechanisms to improve Arava’s business model so as to move the project away from one of charity to one of sustainability. Students will be expected to look at factors such as connection or usage fees for the recycled greywater that would lower the costs associated with potable drinking water.

Project goals:

  • Study the feasibility of using greywater for small-scale crop production.
  • Assist in finding solutions to water scarcity in the region, which is expected to get worse in the future.
  • Solve a complex environmental problem that implicates legal, public health, and economic issues.

Students will travel to the Middle East, where water is a precious commodity, and becoming more valuable every day as climate change brings longer, and more significant droughts to the area. Average yearly rainfall amounts have also been declining.

MBA, law, and public health students will work the Arava Institute to look at potential solutions to water scarcity, by specifically focusing on the reuse of greywater for agricultural production in off-the-grid communities who only receive potable drinking as little as once every three weeks. Using greywater (as opposed to higher quality drinking water) for agriculture frees up potable water for other purposes such as consumption and bathing.

The collective input from MBA, law, and public health students on the use of greywater in the Middle East has the potential to benefit other arid developing countries. For example, the law students from the team will bring legal expertise to overcome legal obstacles to the expansion of greywater projects, public health expertise will help ensure the safety of such projects, and business students will assist in the development of business models in order to scale up the project.

Students will be expected to read materials concerning the geographical, historical, political and environmental characteristics of the region affected. Students will be required to produce a collaborative report, based on the findings from the travel component and additional research. The final report will address legal, public health, and business considerations arising from the greywater project.

MBA Global Consulting Practicum

The Smith School Global Consulting Practicum is offered as a 2 or 4-credit independent study course to MBA students during their 2nd year.  Enrolled students will be assigned to teams based on their interests and skill sets, and each team will be assigned a Smith faculty advisor.

A client in each country will provide an actionable consulting project for which student teams will collaborate to develop and present an innovative, operational plan that will have the most significant impact and best possible outcome for their clients. Past clients include the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka, KW Foundation in Uruguay, AFAR in Tunisia, and 3M in Chile.

Past consulting projects include:

  • Designing an export-development plan for frozen-packed fish, defining a procurement and marketing strategy, and identifying new markets.
  • Helping a retailer with offices in Bangkok and Chonburi expand their market.
  • Developing an export strategy for a telecommunications firm.

Upon completion of the Global Consulting Practicum students will gain:

  • In-depth, first-hand experience providing consulting services in a foreign country.
  • Knowledge of global business practices.
  • Insight into cross-cultural differences that affect leadership and interpersonal 
    interactions such as communication, negotiation, conflict resolution and teamwork.
  • Tolerance for ambiguity, which is intrinsic to all global experiences.
  • Capacity to deliver innovative, operational plans to clients.
  • Increased competitiveness in today’s job market.

Students interested in the Smith School Global Consulting Practicum can expect to incur costs for roundtrip international airfare, tuition for enrollment in the course, and costs for personal extracurricular travel activities while in country. Costs for lodging, meals and site visits in-country will be covered by the program fee.  Grants are offered by OGI and CIBER to reduce program costs.

Winter Break, January 2016

Asia-Pacific: Handwriting Without Tears Market Research Project

Past Global Consulting Practicum

Israel, Palestine, and Jordan: Cross-Border Greywater Feasibility Project

India: Facilitating Economic Growth with Tibetan Refugees

Doing Business in Chile: Chile at a Crossroads



Course closed for 2015. 2016 global business courses will be announced in Spring 2015.

For the Academic Year 2014-15, the BUSI798 series will be four credits total (1 credit in the fall, 3 in the spring) starting with the one credit fall BUSI788 course.

Students in the fall BUSI788 one-credit course will automatically be registered for the spring BUSI798 module.


Santiago and surrounding areas


Dr. Bennet Zelner

Dates Abroad

On-campus Course Dates TBD. Depart January 10, 2015 (arrive in Santiago January 11); Depart from Santiago January 18, 2015.

Program Fee and Dean's Global Scholarship

The $2,250 program fee covers shared hotel room, some meals, cost of any scheduled cultural or industry visit activities, professor and partner costs. Not included: international airfare, personal expenses, and most meals.
The $1,000 Dean's Global Scholarship is available to eligible full-time and part-time MBA students who are participating on a UMD program abroad in 2014-15. Only students who have not studied abroad previously on a UMD program are eligible for this $1,000 scholarship. There is no application form required for the scholarship. Instead, it will be automatically applied to your student account after our office has verified in our records that this your first time studying abroad with UMD. All DC Weekend students participating on a UMD program abroad during their 1st year will automatically receive the $1000 Dean’s Global Scholarship.

Additional Costs

There is an additional $250 to the Education Abroad Office as well as a $39 fee for the mandatory insurance. No visa is required for U.S. citizens. Students of other nationalities should check the consular office for visa information and requirements. 


Register on Testudo for fall BUSI788L section DC06 at the same time as your other fall courses. You will automatically be registered for the other module(s).

Chile is a beautiful, exciting country renowned for its economic stability in the South American region. It leads South and Latin American nations in competitiveness, quality of life, economic freedom, and boasts a low perception of corruption. Some of Chile's famous exports include grapes, excellent wines, and fine fish. Mining and minerals are also big business in the country. Chile's progressive economic policies mean that the U.S. is a major destination for Chilean products and services. This class will examine the thoughtful and effective strategies that contribute to the country's wealth. We will explore the development and performance of the Chilean economy in a world continuing to undergo rapid globalization. Capitalizing upon its stature as an economically and politically stable country with an abundance of strong market segments, Chile continues to expand its business presence globally. An integrated set of course readings, cultural excursions, and business visits will facilitate the learning described above. Students will come back with an understanding of the political and economic history of Chile and its place in the global economy.

In addition to a focus on Chilean companies and their domestic and global expansion strategies, students will explore businesses in several disciplines and learn about the country's culture and history. Students will consider issues surrounding the political, economic, historical, geographic, and social framework of Chile. This course will focus on teambuilding and teach leadership skills that can be put into practice in a global business environment. Students will increase their cultural self-awareness and begin to recognize and appreciate culture-specific patterns of difference. Through experiential learning, students will gain cross-cultural communication skills that will help them navigate the Chilean and other global business environments. 


UMD's regular withdrawal and refund schedule applies for the one-credit BUSI788L course. Students dropping the course series after October 15 (when we make financial commitments abroad) will be charged the program fee equivalent.

Do not purchase airfare until course is confirmed. Students are advised by UMD Education Abroad to purchase refundable airline tickets.

Students are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own visa and/or entry fee.

The time abroad IS the class and any instances of: being late and therefore delaying the group, noise in the hotel hallways, damage to hotel rooms, hung-over behavior, sleeping during meetings, or public displays of affection will be frowned up as they would be for any business traveler. You are expected to act professionally while abroad and this professional is part of your total grade. It is our intent to develop world citizens and savvy business travelers, and the courses abroad should be undertaken as serious academic endeavors.

Students are welcome and encouraged to participate in more than one BUSI788/798 abroad during your time at Smith. Up to two course series can apply toward the MBA degree.

Smith Students Take on Summer Internships in Australia

Right after spring final exams, 10 undergraduate students at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business traveled to Sydney, Australia, with Mary Harms, a clinical associate professor of marketing. The program began with an intensive two-week global marketing course taught by Harms and culminated with eight-week internships at companies such as PwC, Chubb, Otis, Nielsen, 3M, and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. 


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