Global Initiatives

Semester Programs

Studying abroad for a semester is an amazing experience that you will remember for the rest of your life! Not only will it broaden your horizons, but it will enhance your ability to succeed in business. Students who study abroad learn how to successfully navigate foreign environments, to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and to 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.

There are three ways to study abroad for Smith students:

1. University of Maryland Programs (Undergraduates only)

University of Maryland Programs are designed for all undergraduate students (not just business students) to study abroad. These options consist of the “Maryland-in…” programs and exclusive institutional partnerships setup by the University. For more information on these programs, visit the University Study Abroad Office.

2. Smith School Exchange Partners

The Smith School has set up exclusive exchange agreements with top business schools throughout the world. These partnerships allow you to pay the same Maryland/Smith tuition and fees you normally pay while studying business courses abroad. All programs offer courses taught in English. For more information on these partners, see the pages for graduate and undergraduate students.

3. External or Direct Enroll Programs

External programs are coordinated by agencies, organizations, or for-profit companies not associated with the University of Maryland. Students participate in direct enroll programs when they take courses directly with either a foreign or American institution that offers courses abroad. Students should be aware that in order to receive business credit for these programs, the institution granting the credit must be AACSB or EQUIS accredited. More information is available here.

Determining how you will study abroad is a personal decision that is impacted by a number of factors including: financing, course transfer, choice of destination, and more! Students are highly encouraged to speak with their academic advisor and the Office of Global Programs for assistance in picking a program.

Here’s what some students said about their semester abroad experiences:

A Semester in Valencia, Spain Semester
A Semester in Melbourne, Australia
A Semester in Shanghai, China
A Semester in Bangkok, Thailand

Student Quotes

“Definitely participate - it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. You won't regret any experience or penny.”

- Molly Tannen, class of 2010 (semester exchange in London)

“I wouldn’t trade my semester abroad for anything. Even if you have to take a loan for just this semester, then I definitely recommend doing it. Employers I’ve talked to, especially some US Federal agencies, like to see that I took the initiative to live abroad and that I have that cross-cultural experience. They have commented that it’s a great add to my resume. Some have also commented that just knowing that much more German from living in Vienna is very valuable and they have encouraged me to add that to my resume.”

- Sean Moore, class of 2010 (semester exchange in Vienna)

“The main point is to immerse yourself in a culture and learn something new – you get a chance to be in a whole new country and have to learn how they are and how they think. That helps when you make global friends, which is the most important thing to do while you’re there! It’s worth it just to go, just meet people and learn about their lives and how they view my life; it’s interesting to learn how they view lives in America and what opportunities they think we have -- makes me appreciate my life.”

- Christina Lam, class of 2010 (semester exchange in Hong Kong)

External Programs

In addition to the short-term courses abroad offered by the Smith School, students are also eligible to participate in a variety of other summer and short-term options. Generally, these options fall into one of four categories:

  1. University of Maryland Short-Term Programs: The University offers a number of short-term programs over winter term, spring break, and in the summer. These 3- to 6-credit programs focus on a variety of topics and generally count as University electives.
  2. University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) Programs: The University of Maryland is a member of USAC which offers a number of summer programs for undergraduate students ranging from 4 to 10 weeks. More information on applying to a USAC program as a University of Maryland student can be found here.
  3. Direct Enroll Programs: Students may wish to enroll directly in a short-term program at one of our partner institutions. A partial list of these programs can be found below.
  4. External Program Providers: Various organizations and companies exist to provide study abroad experiences for students. These programs, while generally more expensive than those listed above, often provide a high-touch experience for participants and may include internships or other additional services. Students are encouraged to explore third-party providers carefully to ensure that they are reliable organizations. Here are a few recommended program providers: Study Australia, Cultural Experiences Abroad, Council on International Education Exchange, IES Abroad.

Short-term Programs at Partner Institutions:



Undergraduate Courses

2014-15 faculty-led short-term study abroad courses

Below is the list of courses offered for 2014-15. Courses are open to all University of Maryland undergraduates -- not just those from the Smith School -- as well as students from other universities. Click on each course below for more details. To register, go to:

“Coming to college, I never thought I'd have the time or money to study abroad but thanks to scholarships I received from the Smith School's Office of Global Initiatives and the Education Abroad office, I was able to make this dream a reality. It was the first time I ever went abroad on my own, and in addition to being one of the most exhilerating educational experiences of my life, it also taught me a lot about myself and helped me mature. The things I learned about process improvement and product design not only helped me in my courses, but will continue to be helpful in both my educational and professional careers. " - Anthony Trinh, China, January 2014

“It was important for me to go into each of our consulting projects humble and ready to learn. I may have had business knowledge, but I was immersed in a new market and a new culture. We developed a catalogue, an inventory system, and a method to track orders to help our client better manage costs. The trip was filled with hours of work but there were also many adventures and chances to embrace this new world: zip lining across lagoons to visiting a chocolate factory to trekking through the rainforest at the peak of the volcano Mombacho.” – Marissa Goon, Nicaragua, January 2013

Winter Break, January 2015

China & Hong Kong (open only to QUEST students)
Doing Business in China


China & Hong Kong 
Entrepreneurship, Financial Markets, and Corporate Finance

Hong Kong

South Africa 
Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

Spring Break, March 2015

Microfinance Consulting


Summer Break, May 2015

Germany & Italy
European Entrepreneurship


What Else Do You Need to Know?

SCHOLARSHIPS: The Provost has again generously provided the Smith School with scholarships for each BMGT student who has never studied abroad with a UMD program before and who has not transferred in credits from a foreign university. Click here for details: Financing Study Abroad.

All UMD Students (including BMGT) may apply for additional scholarships through Education Abroad.

Why Study Abroad?

Here's another reason to study abroad - watch video.

Short-Term Programs for All Students

French Riviera

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.

“A study abroad class is critical to truly understanding global business, different ettiquetes and cultures.  It is also a vital part of the MBA/EMBA personal growth and learning that Smith ensures all its graduates have.”

-Jason Mathis, EMBA Dubai 2014

“Almost all businesses involve some component of international exposure, and what better way to prepare for this than a well-structured and informative class abroad.  My knowledge of, and appreciation for, the region have grown in a very short period of time abroad – I can’t recommend an international business course enough. 

Harrison Killefer, MBA, Singapore 2014


Where will you go?

Find course listings at:

What else do you need to know?

Prior to departure, classes will meet to discuss the course topic as well as regional and cultural issues.  

To register:

  • Undergraduates: Choose your destination and then go to and click on the individually listed 3-credit course. Qualified students’ completed applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • MBA & EMBA students: Register on Testudo for the fall term one-credit BUSI788 course at the same time as the other fall classes.  The BUSI788 one-credit class serves as the prerequisite for the two-credit BUSI798 time abroad and is mandatory. Those in the BUSI788 sections will be registered automatically for the associated BUSI798 class abroad, and only those who complete the BUSI788 course can be registered for its BUSI798 counterpart.

EXACT PROGRAM DATES will be determined (if not already set) as soon after the course is confirmed by the Office of Global Initiatives. Once accepted, students are advised, but not required, to purchase refundable airplane tickets and travel insurance to counter any inconvenience caused by a change in the program's itinerary.

THE UNDERGRADUATE COURSE PROGRAM FEE includes UMD tuition for 3 credits, lodging in a shared hotel room, local transportation to company visits and any tickets or fees for required cultural activities as outlined in the syllabus, some group meals, professor and partner fees, and the mandatory CISI insurance. 

THE GRADUATE COURSE BILLING includes UMD tuition for 4 credits total (1 credit in fall, 3 credits in spring), a program fee of $2,250, $250 UMD Education Abroad fee, and a fee for the mandatory CISI insurance.  The $2,250 program fee covers lodging in a shared hotel room, local transportation to company visits and any tickets or fees for required cultural activities as outlined in the syllabus, some group meals, and professor and partner fees.

DEAN'S GLOBAL SCHOLARSHIP ($1,000) is available to eligible full-time and part-time MBA students who are participating on a UMD program abroad in 2014-15. Students must not have studied abroad previously on a UMD program to be 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 is your first time studying abroad with UMD. 

Not included (graduate and undergraduate): personal expenses, most meals, trip insurance and international airfare. Students are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own visa and/or entry fee where applicable. There is an additional $250 study abroad fee which goes directly to the campus office to maintain the emergency plan. See individual program web pages for specific payment details.

Students are encouraged to travel before or after the course to pursue their own interests as the classes are intensely scheduled to fulfill the academic credit requirements and do not include a lot of free time.

The Office of Global Initiatives reserves the right to cancel any classes not meeting enrollment requirements or to destinations that have become too dangerous for travel. We work closely with the University of Maryland Education Abroad Office to carefully monitor world events in such cases.

What's on your horizon?

Meet Our Staff

Rebecca Bellinger, Director

Rebecca Bellinger

Rebecca L. Bellinger has over a decade of experience leading international strategy, programs, and partnership development in higher education. She served previously as University Director of International Programs and Services at Pace University in New York City where she oversaw study abroad, international student and scholar services, national scholarships, and bridge (English-language) programs. Prior to this, she was Director of International Programs at the School of International Service, American University, where she designed international opportunities for graduate students and developed school-wide international partnerships. Her experience in international education also has included positions with the Institute of International Education/CIES; the Congressional Youth Leadership Council; Envision, EMI; and various private schools in Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, and Serbia). Rebecca is a graduate of the Transatlantic Master’s Program and holds an MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA from the University of Rochester (NY). 

Rebecca also spends time out of the office supporting global education. She has a special interest in public diplomacy and volunteers with the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) and A-SMYLE (America-Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange) programs with the American Councils for International Education. She is also the founder of the Member Interest Group on Graduate Study Abroad in NAFSA and is an active presenter and contributor to this association and others.  

Her passion for international relations began with a semester abroad in Milan, Italy, continued into graduate school with fieldwork and study completed in the UK and Italy, and has led her to over 50 different countries for work, study, and leisure. Cuba, India, Jordan, and Kazakhstan are among the more interesting locations she has visited. 

She still calls upstate New York her home but has lived in the DC area off and on for the last 12 years. 

Phone: 301-405-6171; Email:

Claudia Donnelly, Program Manager

Claudia Donnelly

Claudia Donnelly’s position with the Robert H. Smith School of Business is two-fold.  She is the manager of undergraduate short-term programs for the Office of Global Initiatives and also coordinates study programs for visiting international university groups.   The Smith School sends a greater portion of UG’s abroad for 10 day-2 week 3-credit courses during scheduled school breaks than any other department at UMD.  As the assistant director of the Business, Society & the Economy (BSE) program of College Park Scholars, a special living-learning by-invitation only program, Claudia helps students adapt to college life as freshmen and helps them navigate through their sophomore years. 

Claudia has helped develop and has accompanied students on global study programs to the United Arab Emirates, Singapore/Malaysia, Australia, France/Netherlands and Israel and enjoys personal travel with her family. She is a first generation American and recognizes the unique challenges, opportunities and responsibilities that go along with this.

Phone: 301-405-0200; Email:

Christopher Olson, Program Coordinator

Christopher Olson

Chris coordinates the semester programs (undergraduate and graduate) for the Office of Global Programs. He serves as the main point of contact for both outgoing and incoming exchange students participating on the Smith School of Business exchange programs.

Chris' international experiences began with a semester program in Paris as an undergraduate at the George Washington University. After graduation, he returned to France as an English teaching assistant working in a middle and high school in Tours – about two hours southwest of Paris. While in France, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and developed a taste for extravagant pastries and Wiener Schnitzel. He’s traveled extensively throughout France and also to Italy, England, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia, Austria, Mexico, and of course, Canada.

While at GW, Chris studied international affairs at the Elliott School. Combined with his experiences abroad, he is excited to be able to help American and international students have similarly impactful opportunities.

Originally from the Boston area, Chris has lived in DC since 2004.

Phone: 301-405-4824; Email:

Office of Global Initiatives

Undergraduates in Costa Rica
Undergraduates in Costa Rica

Global Opportunities. Global Perspectives. Global Mindset.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business infuses global opportunities and perspectives into our students’ education to create a global mindset. Our student population of 5,100 comes from 96 countries and 30 percent of our 200 faculty hail from beyond U.S. borders. Many others teach and conduct research on a variety of international business topics. Smith is proud to have a truly international curriculum which includes a strong undergraduate International Business major with more than 200 students and nearly 20 courses that focus on international business and cross-cultural issues.

The Office of Global Initiatives spearheads the internationalization of Smith’s students, faculty, staff, alumni, research, curricular, and co-curricular activities. The Smith School offers robust global opportunities such as:

  • Exchange programs with 14 partners in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East
  • Short-term study abroad courses in 12 countries
  • International consulting projects
  • International internships
  • Annual China Business Plan Competition at Peking University in Beijing
  • Leadership Executive MBA program in China

Globalization is a two-way street at Smith. Not only does the Smith School send more students abroad than any other school at the University of Maryland, but we host significant numbers of international students on campus. Such a high degree of global connectivity, including a vast Smith School alumni network of 55,000 alumni in 58 countries, offers significant opportunities for networking and career-building before and after graduation.

  • 600+ Smith students study abroad each year (30 percent of all UMD students who study abroad)
  • Smith hosts 170 incoming international students on exchange and short-term programs annually

While we encourage our students to take advantage of our extensive global opportunities, students do not necessarily need to leave College Park to gain a global perspective. To this end, Smith offers a blend of on-campus academic and social programming to help our students achieve a global mindset and get to know their peers, faculty, and international students outside of the classroom. For example, experience one of Hinduism’s most important festivals with South Asian dancing and food at Smith’s annual Diwali Night celebration or simply invite the German exchange student in BMGT 446 out to lunch. Undergraduates are encouraged to join the International Economics and Finance Society (IEFS), an internationally-focused Smith student organization that has diverse social, academic, and professional-oriented activities.

The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) is an integral component of the Office of Global Initiatives. Smith CIBER is a national resource center for teaching, research and outreach in international business and related fields. Established in 2006, CIBER implements major initiatives and activities such as the Emerging Markets Forum focused on four themes: government policy, emerging markets, global entrepreneurship, and sustainability. CIBER is grateful to the U.S. Department of Education, the Smith School, and the University for their generous support of the Center.


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