Executive MBA Program Blog

The Science Behind Selecting an International Trip Location

Posted by Jeff Davis on May 19, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Not Your Average International Trip

The Executive MBA international experience is more than an overseas trip. You are immersed in the business world and culture of a new city, where traditions and general business practices may seem unusual or even exotic. However, that is one of the exact reasons we select the locations we do — to create a transformative experience for our EMBA students. In addition to company visits, tours, and presentations by senior management, you will also serve as a consultant and subject matter expert, applying your knowledge and expertise to specific client projects. This trip is like none you have experienced before. 

Wheels up for South Asian Island Breezes

We are excited to announce the Executive MBA students are headed for Taipei, Taiwan. Taipei is the taipei -top10bannercountry's largest city as well as its economic, political, and cultural center, and one of the major hubs in Asia. It is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis with a diversified blend of Chinese culture infused with Japanese, Southeast Asian and American influences.

Facts & Figures:

  • Metropolitan population of 7 million
  • Taiwan holds $403 Billion in foreign exchange reserves
  • Nominal GDP in Taipei is 5th highest in East Asia (Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, & Hong Kong) 
  • GDP per capita by PPP of $44,173
  • The Financial Times ranked Taipei second globally for economic potential and fourth for business friendliness
  • Top 15 in the world for Economic Freedom, Global Competitiveness, Ease of Doing Business
  • 75% of the world's PCs, 50% of LCD’s, 25% of Semiconductors, and 20% of Smartphones are made in Taiwan
  • # 1 country in Asia for Global Entrepreneurship
  • Apart from the booming economic climate, Taipei has a flourishing tourism industry, world-famous garbage recycling system, and Wi-Fi for all.

There's one Taipei filled with food vendors lining narrow streets between historic buildings. There’s another Taipei that’s gleaming with shiny, record-setting skyscrapers, equipped with some of the world’s fastest elevators. It’s this juxtaposition of old and new that best captures life in the capital city of the subtropical island of Taiwan. 

How are International Trips Selected?

It takes months to evaluate the location options. Countries and cities are selected and evaluated for topical relevance and experiential learning opportunities that compare and contrast the global challenges and opportunities facing multinational firms. Each year, the list of options is narrowed down to one that would provide the most relevance for students exploring International Business and Finance courses, as well as a unique and unparalleled experience for our students.

Past destinations have included:

  • Istanbul & Budapest contrasting Istanbul’s thriving economy with that of Budapest, a city still exhibiting the lingering legacy of former Soviet rule.
  • Santiago, Chile distinguished by the highest per capita income in all of Latin America.
  • Ho Chi Minh City, a great opportunity to imagine what China was like 20 years earlier –astounding growth from a communist regime trying to thrive in a capitalist world.
  • Dubai, often considered the Las Vegas of the Middle East but really more like London because it is such an important player in finance. This is a fascinating location to understand the rapid growth of capitalism in the Muslim world.

DSC_0480South_Africa_blog (32)Bicycles

The trip is a required and credit-bearing portion of the Executive MBA curriculum and coincides with global business and international finance courses. In addition to visiting companies and receiving presentations on country-specific topics as a group, there are cultural visits to key points of interest. There is also the consulting project in which individual teams of three-four students each visit and interview executives at selected companies to enable them to conduct and complete their respective team projects during the trip. Teams make contact with, and research, their client companies prior to departure, then negotiate project deliverables in-country. Projects are completed upon return to the U.S.


Read firsthand student accounts of previous international trips:

Shari's Trip to Prague

Mike's Trip to Vietnam

Sara's Trip to Poland

Jason's Trip to Dubai

Topics: international, Experiential Learning