Global Initiatives

Doing Business in South Africa: Opportunities Along the Path to Economic Maturity

Faculty lead Bennet Zelner
Destination Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa
Dates abroad January 11 (arrive Johannesburg) - January 20 (depart Cape Town), 2017
Dates on campus Sunday, December 4, 2016, Time TBA
Sunday, March 5, 2017, Time TBA
Eligibility Open to 2nd and 3rd year full-time and part-time MBA students. No application required to register for AY 16-17.
Estimated Costs Fall 2016: 1 credit of tuition + $2500 program feeProgram fee covers shared accommodation, in-country ground transportation, some group meals, business visits, applied learning component, and cultural activities for the abroad portion of the program.
Spring 2017: 3 credits of tuition + Education Abroad Fee ($250) + Mandatory International Health Insurance Fee ($39, estimated)
Not included: international airfare, visa processing if applicable, most meals, personal expenses.
Add/drop deadlines Final course drop date is Friday, September 9, 2016. 
Credit structure 1 credit earned during Fall semester + 3 credits earned during Spring semester. Total credits earned = 4 credits.

South Africa has one of Africa’s largest and most developed economies. Yet in 2016, the country achieved a mediocre ranking of 73rd in the world—between Botswana and Tunisia—on the World Bank’s “Doing Business” index, which provides objective measures of business regulations in 189 economies. We will focus on the economic, political, and social institutions that shape the South African business environment and the design or adaptation of firms’ business models to fit with this environment. The class will have a consulting orientation, as reflected in the assignments. The field component of the class will take place in Cape Town, South Africa.

Applied learning component

Student teams will undertake consulting projects for firms located in South Africa.

Skills and knowledge gained

In addition to learning about the South African business environment, students will develop the broader ability to analyze the business environment of a given country and assess the implications for doing business there. The primary tool that we will use for this purpose is the CAGE framework.

Cultural Visits

Johannesburg: Visit the township of Soweto, see the Hector Peterson memorial and walk down Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela once lived.

Cape Town: Start the tour at District Six and admire the views from Table Mountain.

Questions?

Contact the Office of Global Initiatives at ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Doing Business in Brazil: Growth Opportunities in an Emerging Market

Faculty Paulo Prochno
Destination Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
Eligibility Open to 2nd and 3rd year full-time and part-time MBA students. No application required to register for AY 16-17.
Estimated costs

Fall 2016: 1 Credit of Tuition + $2500 Program Fee
Program fee covers shared accommodation, in-country ground transportation, some group meals, business visits, applied learning component, and cultural activities for the abroad portion of the program.

Spring 2017: 3 Credits of Tuition + Education Abroad Fee ($250) + Mandatory International Health Insurance Fee ($39, estimated)

*Not included: international airfare, flight between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, visa processing if applicable, most meals, personal expenses.

Registration instructions March 2016: Register for MBA Global Business Courses when registering for Fall 2016 courses.
Add/drop deadlines Final course drop date is Friday, September 9, 2016.
Credit structure 1 credit earned during Fall semester + 3 credits earned during Spring semester.  Total credits earned = 4 credits.
Dates on campus Sunday, October 23, 2016
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017 
Dates abroad March 18-25, 2017
Questions? Contact the Office of Global Initiatives, ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu

Emerging markets have become one of the main drivers for global growth in the past few years. This course will bring a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities related to doing business in and from Brazil. We will focus on the institutional, economic and cultural characteristics of the country, given a comprehensive view of the differences between Brazil and the U.S. The course comprises lectures and company visits, as well as a consulting project for one local company. Through direct contact with executives and entrepreneurs working in the country, students will be able to gain hands-on knowledge about Brazil and expand their business network.

Applied learning component

Consulting project for a start-up company in the creative industries segment – in collaboration with Rio Criativo, an incubator sponsored by the Government of Rio de Janeiro.

Skills and knowledge gained

Throughout this course students will

  1. Understand the major growth areas and opportunities in Brazil.
  2. Understand the cultural and institutional differences between Brazil and the US.
  3. Learn about the macro and micro economic factors behind Brazil’s growth.
  4. Apply marketing, finance, strategy, and accounting concepts to help a start-up company develop/implement their business model.
  5. Gain knowledge of Brazil’s business environment and how to succeed in that environment.

Cultural Visits

Rio de Janeiro - Tour the city of Rio de Janeiro and visit Christ the Redeeemer Statue. 

Doing Business in India: An Engine for Growth and Opportunities

Faculty Professor Progyan Basu 
Destination New Delhi and Bengaluru 
Eligibility Open to 2nd and 3rd year full-time and part-time MBA students. No application required to register for AY 2016-17.
Estimated costs

Fall 2016: 1 credit of tuition + $2500 Program Fee.
Program fee covers shared accommodation, in-country ground transportation, some group meals, business visits, applied learning component, and cultural activities for the abroad portion of the program.

Spring 2017: 3 credits of tuition + Education Abroad Fee ($250) + Mandatory International Health Insurance Fee ($39, estimated)

*Not included: international airfare, flight between Delhi and Bangalore, visa processing if applicable, most meals, personal expenses.

Registration instructions March 2016: Register for MBA Global Business Courses when registering for Fall 2016 courses.
Add/drop deadlines Final course drop date is Friday, September 9, 2016.
Credit structure 1 credit earned during Fall semester + 3 credits earned during Spring semester.  Total credits earned = 4 credits.
Dates on campus

Sunday, December 4, 2016
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dates abroad January 3 (arrive Delhi) - January 12 (depart Bangalore), 2017 
Questions? Contact the Office of Global Initiatives, ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu

India’s natural resources, manufacturing sector, and young, energized and educated work force has created potential for additional investments in strategic markets. This study abroad program will examine the evolution of the Indian business environment in the years since economic reforms that started in 1991. The post-reform era has been marked by consistent progress, but significant challenges remain. Although reforms were characterized by liberalization of the economy and a transition to market capitalism, the government sector still looms large in India.  The two year-old Modi government came to power with the promise to jump-start the economy, in part by further liberalizing the economy.  Against this backdrop, students will study the experience of a number of sectors of the Indian economy.

Relevant readings will be combined with company visits, and discussions with experts and thought leaders. In addition to understanding the role of the government in industry, students will also gain an understanding of social, political, and cultural determinants of the business environment. They will learn about key trends and forces that will have a significant impact on the fortunes of India industry. The Indian experiment provides fascinating insight into the fundamental question of what conditions facilitate economic growth and are conducive to the existence of a vibrant business sector.   

Applied learning component

The applied learning component will have students focus on specific issues faced by global companies doing business in India. For this, they will need to contextualize their solution based on the understanding of forces driving the Indian economy. 

This will involve exploration of market opportunities, formulation of market-entry strategies, sector-specific research etc.  Teams will begin their research before the in-country component, will get the opportunity to do relevant fact-finding when in India, and will be required to make presentations upon return.

Skills and Knowledge

Students will gain first-hand knowledge and experience of cultural, administrative, geographic and economic factors that are shaping India’s economic development.

Cultural Visits

 The Delhi walking tour will include the beautiful building in the Qutub Minar complex, a visit to Humayun' Tomb, a walk through Imperial Lutyen Deli, and a visit to the Sikh temple Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. In Agra, you will visit the majestic Taj Mahal, see Agra Fort and tour the city of Agra. In Bangalore, visit the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore Palace and Tipu Sultan's Palace.

Doing Business in Japan and Singapore: Asia's Tigers Old and New

Faculty Professor Martin Dresner and Professor Koki Nagata
Destination Tokyo and Singapore
Eligibility Open to 2nd and 3rd year full-time and part-time MBA students. No application required to register for AY 2016-17.
Estimated costs

Fall 2016: 1 credit of tuition + $2500 Program Fee
Program fee covers shared accommodation, in-country ground transportation, some group meals, business visits, applied learning component, and cultural activities for the abroad portion of the program.

Spring 2017: 3 credits of tuition + Education Abroad Fee ($250) + Mandatory International Health Insurance Fee ($39, estimated)

*Not included: international airfare, flight between Singapore and Tokyo, visa processing if applicable, most meals, personal expenses.

Registration instructions To come.
Add/drop deadlines Final course drop date is Friday, September 9, 2016.
Credit structure 1 credit earned during Fall semester + 3 credits earned during Spring semester.  Total credits earned = 4 credits.
Dates on campus

Sunday, December 4, 2016
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dates abroad January 10 (arrive in Singapore) - January 18 (depart Tokyo), 2017
Questions? Contact the Office of Global Initiatives, ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu

Singapore and Japan represent two central economies in Asia.  In this program, students will develop an understanding of the business practices that have allowed Singapore to advance from a very poor country in the 1960s to a high-tech and logistics powerhouse in the 2010s, and how Japan advanced from a defeated country following WWII to the manufacturing and engineering leader it is today.  Students will also gain a better understanding of Japanese practices by exploring its cultural heritage, and learn about how the country has coped with inflation (bubble economy), deflation (falling prices), and an aging population over the past 30 years.  In addition, students will learn how Singapore has successfully integrated its various ethnic groups and formed a governing structure that is touted as an alternative to Western liberal democracies.

Applied learning component

Prior to the study abroad, students will become acquainted with the economies, cultures, and business practices of Japan and Singapore through case studies, discussions, and relevant videos. During the study abroad, field case studies will be undertaken of businesses in both Singapore and Japan. Presentations on these field studies will be made following the conclusion of the study abroad. Finally, students will be required to conduct an analysis of an industry in either Singapore or Japan in order to gain a better understanding of the Asian business environment.

Skills and knowledge gained

Upon completion of this course students will:

  1. Learn about important business practices in Singapore and Japan.
  2. Understand how political, social, economic and cultural factors impact business and the economy in the two countries
  3. See how businesses in the two countries fit into the global supply chain
  4. Gain knowledge of the importance of these two countries in the world economy

Cultural Visits

Singapore - You will see the Pinnacles at Duxton (the world's tallest public housing project). Next, you will visit Tiong Bahru (one of Singapore's oldest public housing estates), then visit the Qi Tian Gong Temple. You are welcome to enjoy some nyonya kuehs and retro cakes at Galicier Pastry and finally admire the design and decor of Nostalgia hotel. 

Doing Business in the Middle East: Mega Projects Management in the United Arab Emirates

Faculty Hassan Ibrahim
Destination Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Eligibility Open to 2nd and 3rd year full-time and part-time MBA students. No application required to register for AY 2016-17
Estimated costs

Fall 2016: 1 credit of tuition + $2500 Program Fee
Program fee covers shared accommodation, in-country ground transportation, some group meals, business visits, applied learning component, and cultural activities for the abroad portion of the program.

Spring 2017: 3 credits of tuition + Education Abroad Fee ($250) + Mandatory International Health Insurance Fee ($39, estimated)

*Not included: international airfare, visa processing if applicable, most meals, personal expenses.

Registration instructions March 2016: Register for MBA Global Business Courses when registering for Fall 2016 courses.
Add/drop deadlines Final course drop date is Friday, September 9, 2016.
Credit structure 1 credit earned during Fall semester + 3 credits earned during Spring semester.  Total credits earned = 4 credits.
Dates on campus Sunday, November 6, 2016
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Dates abroad January 6 (arrive Dubai) - January 14 (depart Dubai), 2017
Questions? Contact the Office of Global Initiatives, ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu

The history of the Middle East dates back to thousands of years, and throughout its history the region has been a major center of world affairs and business. In modern times, the Middle East remains a strategic region for world business and a critical player in international relations. The course aims to provide students with a good understanding of doing business in the Middle East, using the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as an example. While significant stocks of oil give the region economic power, several countries have diversified their economies into services, including banking, finance, trade, tourism, and logistics. UAE has a highly developed economy and suffering, perhaps disproportionately, during the 2008/2009 world economy, the country was able to bounce back. The course will provide a window into how a country copes with change, and the opportunities, and challenges in the Arab world at a time when such understanding is increasingly vital. In addition to providing a general understanding of doing business in the Middle East, the course will address management of projects of major size, which have become associated with the UAE in general and Dubai in particular, such as: Burj Khalifa (the world tallest building), The Palm Islands, and Masdar City.

Applied learning component

An important component of the course is a group assignment, where each team (of 3 students) will research a particular economic sector/industry in the UAE, and propose an investment venture. The project report and presentation should be in the form of a proposal or mini-business plan, intended to capture the attention of venture capitalists, for whom you are pitching your project for funding. The presentations will be evaluated and the business plan will be critiqued by a venture capitalist with extensive experience in the Middle East.

Skills and knowledge gained

The course aims to:

  1. Prepare students for an increasingly internationally focused workplace.
  2. Provide hands-on experience of conditions affecting industry and country advancement.
  3. Put a framework in place for evaluating threats and opportunities present in a country.
  4. Build cross-cultural competency skills and an initial understanding of some basic language/vocabulary.
  5. Expose students to the diverse cultures of the Middle East.
  6. Provide students with a business compass to navigate business opportunities and challenges in the Middle East in general, and the UAE in particular.
  7. Enable students to expand their network of professional contacts in the government and private sector, which can help them further their careers and introduce new opportunities to US enterprises.

Cultural Visits

A city tour of Dubai will include: a photo stop at Burj Al-Arab, a venture into the traditional old quarter Al Bastakiya District, the Deira Spice Souk, Jumeirah Mosque, and ascending Burj Khalifa.

The city tour of Abu Dhabi will include the Emirate Palace Hotel, the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Shekh Zayed Mosque.

Doing Business in China: Opportunities in China’s Service Sector

Faculty Professor Zhi-Long Chen
Destination Shanghai, China and Hong Kong
Eligibility Open to 2nd and 3rd year full-time and part-time MBA students. No application required to register for AY 2016-17
Estimated costs

Fall 2016: 1 Credit of Tuition + $2500 Program Fee
Program fee covers shared accommodation, in-country ground transportation, some group meals, business visits, applied learning component, and cultural activities for the abroad portion of the program.

Spring 2017: 3 Credits of Tuition + Education Abroad Fee ($250) + Mandatory International Health Insurance Fee ($39, estimated)

*Not included: international airfare, visa processing if applicable, flight between Shanghai and Hong Kong, most meals, personal expenses.

Registration instructions March 2016: Register for MBA Global Business Courses when registering for Fall 2016 courses.
Add/drop deadlines Final course drop date is Friday, September 9, 2016.
Credit structure 1 credit earned during Fall semester + 3 credits earned during Spring semester.  Total credits earned = 4 credits.
Dates on campus Sunday, November 6, 2016
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Dates abroad January 10 (arrive Shanghai) - January 19 (depart Hong Kong) , 2017
Questions? Contact the Office of Global Initiatives, ogi@rhsmith.umd.edu

China is now central to the world economy. China is the world’s second largest economy measured by GDP and the world’s largest trading nation measured by the sum of exports and imports. The last three decades of economic reform has made China not only the world’s factory, but also the world’s largest market for numerous products. As such, a basic understanding of the modern China, including its socio-economic, political, and business and management aspects, is imperative for anyone interested in doing business in the global market. As China’s wealth grows, the population looks forward to providing and participating in a wider array and improved level of services. The Chinese government has set its service sector a priority for China’s economic development and has begun to focus more efforts on promoting a service-based economy. The contribution of the service sector to China’s GDP is expected to rise from the current 50% to a significantly higher share by 2020. China’s rapidly growing service sector provides ample opportunities for multinational companies. This course will focus on China’s service sector. We plan to visit two of the most important cities in China in terms of their role in China’s service sector –Shanghai and Hong Kong. We will visit a diverse set of companies in service industries including financial services, trading, logistics, consulting, IT and software, retail, and tourism. Shanghai has long been the China’s economic center and most important business hub. Hong Kong has long been viewed as the financial and logistics hub of Asia and has long served as a bridge between the mainland China and the outside world.

Applied learning component

As a part of the course, students will do two half-day consumer field studies, one in Shanghai and one in Hong Kong. This will consist of interacting with local shoppers in a shopping mall, observing products and prices, consumer behavior, etc. Students will be required to find some common consumer products that are made, packaged, or marketed differently for the China market from the same products sold in the US, and provide insights into why such differences exist. This will help students understand China’s consumers and China’s retail industry.

Skills and knowledge gained

Throughout this course, students will:

  1. Experience first-hand the opportunities and challenges in doing business in China’s service sector.
  2. Gain first-hand knowledge about Chinese business environment and China’s culture and traditions.
  3. Explore opportunities and challenges in doing business in China’s service sector, in particular, in the service industries that we will focus on – financial services, trading, logistics, retail, consulting, IT and software, and tourism.
  4. Derive winning strategies that American companies can follow to operate a successful business in China’s service sector.

Cultural Visits

Hong Kong:

  • Stop at the Peak to enjoy the unique scenery, including Victoria Harbour.
  • Explore the local fishing community of Aberdeen.
  • Enjoy the scenic coastal view of Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay.
  • Enjoy the day at Stanley Market.

MBA Exchange

MBA StudentsThe Smith School encourages MBA students who are able to fit a study abroad experience into their coursework to take advantage of this opportunity. Part-time MBAs are able to go after finishing the core courses, and full-time students are able to go abroad during the second year. Full-time students please note that you will transfer 9 credits; take an extra class during the semester or a winter term/summer 1/summer 2 class to stay on schedule for graduation

In order to apply to study abroad, please contact the Office of Global Initiatvies well in advance of the deadline to obtain the forms and schedule an interview.

Objectives for graduate exchanges:

  • To develop an understanding of business and cultural environment in other countries.
  • To demonstrate ability to work effectively in an international setting.
  • Where applicable, to acquire the ability to communicate in the world's major business languages.
  • To adapt to conditions in the world's most important business centers.
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Australian Flag
Australia
Guanghua School of Management Chinese flag
China 
Copenhagen Business School Denmark Flag
Denmark
SKEMA French flag
France
WHU - Koblenz German flag
Germany

MBA Global Consulting Practicum

The Smith School Global Consulting Practicum (GCP) is offered as a 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 School faculty advisor.

An international business client 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 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.
  • Identifying a new international market and market-entry strategy for an education publishing company.

Upon completion of the GCP 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 GCP can expect to incur costs for roundtrip international airfare, fees from the UMD Education Abroad Office, tuition for enrollment in the course, and costs for personal extracurricular travel activities while in country. Costs for lodging, most meals and site visits in-country will be covered by the program fee.  Grants are offered by OGI and CIBER to reduce program costs.

New for the 2016-2017 Global Consulting Practicum:

Projects with travel over spring break (March):

Projects with travel over winter break (January):

Application Instructions

Applications for the GCP are now closed. 

Key Dates: 

  • Application submission opens: August 23
  • Interviews conducted on a rolling basis upon application
  • Application submission closes: September 6
  • Application review period: August 23 – September 8
  • Offers to students made by: September 14
  • Students accept offers by: September 19
  • Project kick-off meeting by end of October

General student qualifications (please see each project for specific qualifications):

  • extensive cross-cultural skills and wish to apply these in a consulting experience
  • past experience in the specific region where the consulting will take place
  • flexibility and adaptability and can handle uncertainty, particularly in a cross-cultural setting
  • previous strategic consulting experience, or experience in an entrepreneurial start-up setting

Regional language skills are not required, although desirable.

The cover letter should address each of the following:

  1. The reasons for your interest in participating in a consulting project and your expectations for personal gain from participation in this project, as well as your future career aspirations.
  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, or substantive experience in an entrepreneurial start-up setting, or in strategic growth of small private enterprises.
  4. Experience working and/or studying in cross-cultural settings.

Past Global Consulting Practicum

  • Asia-Pacific: Handwriting Without Tears Market Research Project
  • Israel: Arava Institute
  • India: Facilitating Economic Growth with Tibetan Refugees

MBA Global Business Courses

Check the Networth site for up to date information regarding course numbers, registration details, program fees, withdrawal and refund policies, and scholarship opportunities.

Winter Break - January 2017

CHINA AND HONG KONG: Shanghai and Hong Kong
Opportunities in China’s Service Sector

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Mega Projects Management in the United Arab Emirates

JAPAN & SINGAPORE: Tokyo and Singapore
Asia's Tigers Old and New

INDIA: Delhi and Bangalore
An Engine for Growth and Opportunities

SOUTH AFRICA: Cape Town
Doing Business in South Africa: Opportunities Along the Path to Economic Maturity

Capetown, South Africa

Spring Break - March 2017

BRAZIL: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
Growth Opportunities in an Emerging Market

EUROPE: Berlin and Milan
Doing Business in Europe: Central Germany and Northern Italy

Berlin and Milan

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