This academic year, the Center for International Business Education and Research (MSU-CIBER) awarded 82 scholarships to undergraduate students for study abroad programs and the international business specialization.
All of these CIBER scholarships are funded by donations from corporations, foundations, private donors and MSU-CIBER. The scholarships are designed to support MSU students to meet their financial needs while gaining an experience that will help them in their future business careers.
“We try to stretch the funding as much as we can to the broadest number of students possible,” said Irem Kiyak, associate director of MSU-CIBER. “The amount of the award depends on the funding levels and the numbers of applications.”
Kyle Piercy, a marketing junior in the IB specialization program who is also minoring in German, said he was excited about the study abroad scholarship award, which will enable him to travel to Germany in the 2011 spring semester.
“As I am interested in facilitating a career in international business that provides the opportunity and flexibility to travel frequently, this experience will fall in line with my goals and ambitions,” he said. “I am also fascinated with the German culture and I look to absorb as much as I can from the moment I step off the plane.”
While in Germany, he will enroll in 12 course credits at the University of Applied Sciences Konstanz, in supply chain management, international marketing, a German business course and an integrated social science course about the country. Three of these courses will be taught in English, while the German business course will be exclusively in German.
Piercy, who has been studying German since middle school, is fluent in the language but hopes to use his study abroad experience to extend his vocabulary to the level of a native speaker.
Viktoriya Stoycheva Ivanova, another scholarship recipient, traveled to Japan last summer, where she took six credits in marketing and supply chain management. While in Japan, she travelled to Tokyo, Hikone, Kyoto and Hiroshima and toured various companies including the Takara Logistics Center, Kobe Customs and the Terrada Warehouse Company.
“It was a great international experience; I grew as a person as well as a businesswoman,” said Ivanova. “Japan’s culture is drastically different than that of the U.S. It is beneficial for me to know as much as possible about foreign culture in order to be a successful businesswoman in such a global business world.”
Ivanova is a finance major pursuing the IB specialization and minoring in Spanish. Like Piercy, she plans to use her international and language studies as a strategic advantage in her job search upon graduation.
Like Piercy and Ivanova, most students in the U.S. are opting to do their study abroad in countries where English is not a primary language. Nationwide, 19 of the top 25 study abroad destinations are non-English speaking countries, according to a 2010 report from the Institute of International Education.
Based on the same report, Michigan State University remains the 2nd leading study abroad sending institution in the U.S., giving credit to about 2,610 students in the 2008/2009 academic year, according to the most recent data.