Choosing Your Business Adventure Abroad

Did you know it’s possible to spend a semester abroad at a manageable cost, while at the same time working toward your Marriott School degree?

Each semester, the Marriott School’s Whitmore Global Management Center (GMC) sends students on exchange programs to eight different countries where they take businesses classes (don’t worry; the classes are in English) at partner universities and gain hands-on business experience at global companies while immersed in rich cultural environments.

“The student exchange program is unique in that it allows students to have a deep experience abroad while keeping the cost similar to being at BYU,” says Jonathon Wood, GMC director. “The students who participate in the program don’t just visit a country; they live there. So they really become immersed in the culture of another country on their own terms and schedule.”

Participating in a study abroad program fulfills the international opportunity requirement to earn the Global Management Certificate through the Marriott School. And beyond that, exchange programs help students elevate their business school experience by offering international business experience outside of the Tanner Building.

“Marriott School students who participate in the Student Exchange Program return with a new perspective on business, new or improved language skills, and cultural awareness that they cannot learn in the US,” says Laura Ricks, GMC international program coordinator. “These programs transform students from US citizens to global citizens and make them much more adaptable and ready for an ever-changing global workplace.”

Now that you know, where will you go? With a variety of courses, facilities, and environments, you can find the student exchange program that best fits your interests and career goals.


There’s a lot going on in this bustling Italian city—and it’s not all about fashion or tourism. Milan is considered the industrial, commercial, and financial center of Italy and is the headquarters of many of the country’s largest banks and companies, including UniCredit, Luxottica, and Alfa Romeo. The business district is also home to the Borsa Italiana, Italy’s main stock exchange. The city’s Università Bocconi, where Marriott School exchange students take classes, is a leading institution in Europe on the subjects of economics, management, finance, and law.

São Paulo

Eating traditional Brazilian churrasco (think Tucanos Brazilian Grill) isn’t the only tempting reason to study abroad in São Paulo. With the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil is a growing business and financial hub, and São Paulo is the de facto center. At Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo da Fundação Getúlio Vargas, you can hone international business skills—including building personal relationships, an important Brazilian custom—at a top school while taking in the rich culture of an ethnically diverse country.

Hong Kong

Learn the workings of a laissez-faire economy in a city with one of the largest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to its growing gross domestic product, Hong Kong is the largest center of initial public offerings in the world. The country’s globally ranked b-school is a perfect place to gain international experience in a culturally diverse environment.

Lima, Peru

Want to learn how everyday products are made? As the financial center of Peru, Lima dominates the industrial production sector—two-thirds of Peru’s total—giving the city the distinction of having the largest exportation industry in South America. Lima has one of the world’s fastest and most profitable stock exchanges as well as many national companies and a resident university, Escuela de Administración de Negocios. If that’s not enough, the “City of Kings” also contains ancient archaeological finds and popular beaches.

Lisbon, Portugal

Along with being Portugal’s capital and largest city, Lisbon is also considered an important financial, economic, and political center for the country. Companies in the agriculture, aerospace, automotive, and renewable energy industries create business for the city. Lisbon is also a production nucleus, manufacturing a host of goods including cement, plastics, textiles, and cork. The city’s university, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, founded in 1972, offers one of the oldest management degree programs in the country.

Pforzheim, Germany

The “Golden City” of Pforzheim, Germany, shines—and not just as a hot spot for Germany’s economy and culture. It’s also known for its expansive jewelry and watchmaking industry, and accounts for 80 percent of the country’s jewelry exports. This polestar of industry welcomes more than 30,000 commuters each day, so if you’re taking classes at the Hochschule Pforzheim—recognized as having one of the best business schools in Germany—be ready to join the crowds.

Clermont-Ferrand, France

Clermont-Ferrand has been around for a while—just take its gothic cathedrals and status as one of the oldest cities in France as proof. France’s higher education establishments include the Grandes Ecoles, among the oldest of which is ESC Clermont Graduate School of Management, located in Clermont-Ferrand. Take advantage of the school’s prestigious heritage and the city’s rich industry—it’s home to Michelin’s headquarters as well as large pharmaceutical and metallurgy companies.

Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Heard of Miguel de Cervantes? Hint: Don Quixote. Alcalá de Henares was this author’s birthplace and the world’s first planned university town, featuring the University of Alcalá, and its center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of the university—the city’s major landmark, offering a wide range of courses—are housed in historic buildings. The University of Alcalá also played host this year to the 18th World Economy Meeting.

To learn more about the Global Management Center’s student exchange programs and courses available at each partner school, visit the center’s website or its office in 360 TNRB. Applications for the programs can be found through the BYU Kennedy Center for International Studies.