Global Initiatives

OGI Launches International Simulation with GBSN Partners

The Office of Global Initiatives at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business launched a pilot simulation to engage with the global partners of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) (of which the school is an executive board member). This is the first time the Smith School and GBSN are working together on this initiative. The simulation, which began on February 1, 2017, provides an opportunity for students from five universities across the globe to test their skills in a global exercise. Our Terps are excited to participate and test themselves in this simulation. The launch of the new program supports the school’s effort to expand its global engagement and profile.

Smith Undergrads Explore the World during Winter Break

In January 2017, 56 undergraduate students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business participated in short-term study abroad programs, traveling to Japan, Europe and South Africa. Read about their exciting journeys, in their own words.

South Africa

Students in the South Africa study abroad course visited Robben Island, the Langa Township and Mount Nelson.

Doron Tadmor, Class of 2020

Global Survey

ALL UNDERGRADUATES: Take the 2017 Global Survey until February 26 for your chance to win great Smith School and UMD prizes!

Click here to take the survey.

JUNIORS & SENIORS ONLY: Participate in one of our hour-long focus groups and get a free lunch! We are looking for students who have and have not studied abroad before.

Click here to sign up for a focus group 2/27 - 3/3.

The prize drawing will take place in early March.

Your assistance will help guide the Smith School in offering relevant programs that ensure all undergraduate students have an opportunity to develop a global mindset.

Global Showcase

2nd Annual Global Showcase
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 6-8 p.m.
Van Munching Hall Atrium
RSVP by February 13

The Office of Global Initiatives (OGI) and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business welcome everyone to the 2nd Annual Global Showcase on Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. in the Van Munching Hall Atrium.

This event celebrates global learning by all business students who studied abroad during the 2017 winter break. There will be 40 student poster board presentations, catered hors d'oeuvres and the awarding of $2,500 in Global Scholarships. All are invited – friends, family, faculty, staff and global alumni.

Come to the Global Showcase if you want to:

  • Share your global experience
  • Win a $500 scholarship for presentation of a global poster board
  • Learn about study abroad opportunities offered by the Smith School
  • Reunite with your travel colleagues
  • Network and speak with students who have travelled all over the globe

Please RSVP by Monday, February 13. 

Innovo Consulting Scholars Present to UMD Cabinet

University of Maryland undergraduates put their innovation and problem-solving skills to the service of their fellow classmates. Jamie Grossarth, Ananth Shrivatsan, Sylviane Alexion, and Isaac Adeeku presented their proposal for improving the application process to the university's education abroad programs to members of the University Cabinet as their final project for the fall 2016 Innovo Scholars Consulting program on Dec. 16, 2016.

Girl Scout Cookie College Comes to Smith

More than 200 Girl Scouts came to Cookie College and learned about the business of selling cookies on Dec. 10, 2016, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “The girls learned life skills like goal setting and money management that will help them in all aspects of life,” said Sara Tyler, program specialist at the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. “It sets them up for life.”

Holidays Around the World

The Office of Global Initiatives and CIBER team is recognizing holidays taking place throughout the world during this time of the year. Take a look below at some of the holidays that our team members have chosen to highlight.

The night before the Feast of Epiphany in Italy, Italian children leave their shoes out for La Befana. Folklore says that La Befana is a witch, or simply an old woman, who flies around on her broom on the eve of Epiphany, leaving candy and small toys in the shoes of good children (or coal and sticks if they have not been good!). Her annual flight is said to commemorate the night the Magi (Three Kings) stopped at her house while en route to Bethlehem to greet the newborn Jesus. It is said that while she declined the kings’ invitation to accompany them further on their journey because she had too much housework, she later changed her mind and set out behind them with gifts for Jesus. Sadly, she never caught up to them. As part of her annual trip, legend says that she distributes those gifts meant for Jesus to the children of Italy. Ever a conscientious housekeeper, she also sweeps the floor for the families who leave out wine, sausages, and broccoli for her. While her origin story and its details may vary throughout Italy, La Befana has become a national figure and is celebrated with festivals throughout the country. -Rebecca Bellinger, Managing Director, Office of Global Initiatives & CIBER Programs

Sankranti  is a festival celebrated in slightly different ways throughout different parts of India. It is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu; around Delhi, the night before is a bonfire festival Lohri. Primarily a harvest festival, it involves worship as a form of thanksgiving for the harvest and is focused around foods. Sweets involving sesame and jaggery (unprocessed sugar) and khitchdi (a melange of rice, lentils, and vegetables) are traditional in my home. - Kislaya Prasad, Executive Director, Center for International Business Education & Research 

The Feast of Epiphany or the Feast of Lights in Greece is celebrated on January 6. It celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ by St. John the Baptist 2,000 years ago. As a symbolism throughout Greece on that day, Greek Orthodox priests bless homes with holy water. They then lead a procession to the sea to celebrate the immersion of the cross by blessing the waters. The priest tosses the cross into the water and brave swimmers jump into the cold sea to retrieve the cross for good blessings throughout the year. -Marina Augoustidis, Assistant Director, CIBER Programs

Many people in Japan visit a temple on December 31, welcome the New Year with the sound of the joya no kane bell ringing 108 times in the background, and say their first prayers on the spot. Just as many people celebrate the New Year at home and save hatsumode for their first outing of the year. Meiji-jingu Shrine attracts the greatest number of New Year visitors, counting as many as 3 million between New Year’s Eve and January 3. Only between these dates, and only in Tokyo, can anyone experience such a large crowd. A common custom during hatsumōde is to buy a written oracle called omikuji. If your omikuji predicts bad luck you can tie it onto a tree on the shrine grounds, in the hope that its prediction will not come true. The omikuji goes into detail, and tells you how you will do in various areas in your life, such as business and love, for that year. Often a good-luck charm comes with the omikuji when you buy it, that is believed to summon good luck and money your way. Jay Bhatt, 2nd year MBA student, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Christmas Eve in Poland is known as Wigilia and is typically a day of fasting. Christmas Eve supper is not allowed to be consumed until the first star in the night’s sky is spotted. The dinner consists of twelve dishes and typically does not include meat. Common dishes for the meal include beetroot soup, fish, pierogi, potatoes, cabbage and gingerbread. Oplatek - a large wafer that has a picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus on it – is broken amongst everyone at the dinner while well-wishes are shared amongst guests. Presents are opened after the meal has finished. -Elizabeth Burzenski, Coordinator, Office of Global Initiatives & CIBER

Tet is a Vietnamese New Year’s celebration on the first day of the Lunar Calendar. It lasts a week long and includes dynamic festivities to welcome Spring such as loud firecrackers and delicious desserts. The best part is about Tet is after the children give their blessings to the adults, they get a "li xi" which is a red envelop with money inside. It is to be said that the adults gain luck, happiness, and longevity from the formality, and brings in positivity for the new year. -Diem Nguyen, Sophomore, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Christmas is one of the most important holidays in the Philippines. On Christmas Eve many Filipinos attend the midnight mass or Misa de Gallo followed by a late night feast and celebration called Noche Buena. Noche Buena is a celebration with family, friends and neighbors dropping in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Traditional dishes include lechon (roasted pig), ham, steamed rice, fruit salad, rice cakes (bibingka and puto bumbong), flan and other sweets. A common decoration is the parol which is a star lantern made from bamboo and colored cellophane (you can see these glowing throughout the islands on Noche Buena leading up to Christmas day). Merry Christmas or Maligayang Pasko! - Greg Rafal, Undergraduate Programs Manager, Office of Global Initiatives & CIBER

La Chandeleur is a catholic Holiday celebrated in France on February 2. The French celebrate by savoring crepes with sugar, nutella, jam. When making a crepe, if you are successful at flipping the crepe and catching it in the pan, you will have prosperity for the entire year! - Olivia Nouailletas, Graduate Programs Manager, Office of Global Initiatives & CIBER

Brazil's two largest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, celebrate the summer holiday by lighting huge Christmas (Natal) trees. In Sao Paulo, residents and visitors gather around Ibirapuera Christmas Tree to commemorate the lighting. Throughout the season, cars snake around it at all hours, particularly busy on weekends, to catch a glimpse of the iconic tree. Rio de Janeiro's Lagoa Christmas Tree is well known as being the world's largest floating Christmas tree. Fireworks and festivals on the water welcome the Christmas season. -Chris Olson, Assistant Director, Office of Global Initiatives & CIBER

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