Study Abroad Spotlight

Study abroad can broadly be seen as a method of learning a new concept. In some departments, this means immersing oneself in a culture to learn a language while other departments encourage study abroad to allow students to interact in a political, legal, or business system unlike their own. Currently, the Engler College of Business hosts two-week faculty-led study abroad trips so that students can learn first-hand how different systems function without needing to take several months off from their job or internship. 

Integrating study abroad opportunities is part of our Engler College of Business strategic plan.  While our AACSB accreditation charges us with ensuring that students understand and appreciate how businesses function in a global society, we also believe that students gain personal, professional, and academic benefits. Our faculty enjoy seeing students learn in a different context and have witnessed students who have never left Texas take their first step off a plane into another country. Personal growth comes through observing cultural differences and realizing that the ways we are accustomed to in the United States are not necessarily how things are done in other countries. Professionally, students are able to grow their future business network well outside of their normal regional scope. Lastly, students benefit academically by the added context to learning and the experiences along the way. We have found that a two-week study abroad trip can truly be a transformational life experience for many students.

Unfortunately, it is hard to provide these types of experiences to each student. While many students would love to participate each year, they are not able to due to personal finances. For this reason, The David and Sherry Schaeffer Foundation created the Schaeffer Scholarship program in 2019. This program allows at least five students to participate in each study abroad opportunity hosted by the Engler College of Business by providing scholarships to help pay for their trip. The video below highlights our first five students that received the Schaeffer Scholarships to participate in the 2019 study abroad trip to Scandinavia.

Video produced by Media Minds, a Student Organization in the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. For more information about Media Minds, e-mail Dr. Heidi Huntington 
or call 806-651-2765.

For students who are interested in our future programs, the admission criteria and educational requirements for participation are listed below.

Students will need to provide a recommendation from a faculty member and will need to write an essay to the committee stating:

  1. How this study abroad trip will contribute to and enhance your educational experience and career goals
  2. Familiarity with this particular region, culture, or business experience and how it connects with your career path
  3. Other information that could set you apart from other candidates

We are looking for students that want to experience business concepts in an international setting, who understand that there will be challenges when traveling abroad, and who can follow guidelines and local laws but who also want to have fun and gain new experiences.  We are also looking for students with a GPA greater than 3.2 however, we have some leeway with everything, so it never hurts to apply. 

While on the trip, students will be assessed through an essay, through daily vlogs, and through acting as “tour guides” for the group. The essays are based on each individual’s preferences on international business topics that are approved beforehand by the faculty. In the past, these topics have ranged from the fashion industry to the industrial machinery, so it is a fun way to see our student’s personal interests. The vlogs are a daily journal entry where students reflect on a topic provided by the faculty members. The topics may touch on economic systems, governmental systems, specific business practices, and items of interest noticed on the “free” days. The daily vlog favorites will be posted on the Engler College of Business Facebook Page during the trip. Finally, students will be asked to act as “tour guides” where they will be assigned a day and topic and will be our guide for anything interesting and notable that the other students should know about. The students know about these well in advance, so the research done and presentations around their topics are quite robust. 

To see some highlights from prior study abroad trips, please see videos from the 2015 Scandinavia2017 Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and 2019 Scandinavia trips.

The summer 2020 study abroad trip is set for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The 2020 Schaeffer Scholars are Canon Brown (BBA – Accounting), Alexis Hext (MS Finance & Economics), Sara Koepp (MBA), Veronica Potter (MBA – Management), Michelle Vineyard (MBA – Economics), Caleb White (BBA – Computer Information Systems), Kimberly White (BBA – Marketing), and Levi Zemanuel (BBA – Finance). In addition to the Schaeffer scholars, ten additional students have been accepted for the 2020 trip. Should a current student have interest in being added to the waitlist for the forthcoming trip, please contact Dr. Robert King (raking@wtamu.ed).

Finally, the 2021 Engler College of Business study abroad locations will include London (England), Paris (France), and Dublin (Ireland) followed by a return to Scandinavia in 2022.

For more information about future Study Abroad opportunities in the Engler College of Business, e-mail Dr. Robert King or call 806-651-4002.