International Business Seminars

International Business Seminars

About

Since 1976, International Business Seminars (IBS) has operated over 570 individual seminars taking more than 25,000 students to Europe and Asia on an experiential learning experience that has its focus outside of the classroom, unlike many other study abroad programs that focus on in-class learning at foreign universities. Instead, with IBS students visit the organizations that keep our globalized economy turning day-in and day-out, you learn from the foreign business executives that keep this system in motion! The overall purpose of our programs is to allow participants to be exposed to the international business environment and practices outside the United States. The seminars provide insight into the cultural, social, and political environments of each country visited. We feel this is a unique way for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in international business practices while experiencing the excitement of traveling outside the United States.

Founded
1976

Reviews

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Lukas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with IBS allowed me to gain a better understanding that business throughout the world follows the same path towards growth and expansion. Although there may be different regulations and larger/smaller governmental control in other areas, the end goal is still to reach out to consumers. With an understanding of how business is conducted in one nation, another nation may find it extremely useful to gain your knowledge. We all have some sort of knowledge that another nation can benefit from and if we were to go out and find who needs this knowledge, anything is possible. This trip was extremely beneficial towards that understanding and I hope to continue with these travels to learn much more.

Something to take note of about this experience is that you learn not only about the businesses themselves but the lifestyle of people as well. With a developing economy and industrializing country, there are many differences between what is new in the area and what has maintained its authenticity. You begin to understand that although there are drastic changes to the country and is developments, there are still many who remain close to their traditions as well as original lifestyle. Having the opportunity to witness these differences has allowed me to gain a better understanding as to what is still out there to explore around the globe.

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Caitlan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IBS did a perfect job of mixing business with pleasure. The two-week seminar balanced work while still doing trips to the Grand Palace, the Reclining Buddha, the Chu Chi Tunnels and partaking in other breathtaking cultural moments. The various foods that we were able to indulge in are going to be some that I talk about for the rest of my life. The culture in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh is very friendly and inviting, which made it easy to fall in love with. As soon as I returned from this trip, I immediately looked for the next seminar that interested me!

What would you improve about this program?
Look at expanding the length of the seminars. Other than that, I loved the whole thing!
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Karlee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One notable experience, which happened every single day, was simply walking the streets of Bangkok, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Whether it was during the day or at night, I was able to engage with locals via vendors and bargaining for food or souvenir prices and admiring their hand crafted goods. The cities felt alive at all moments of the day. I received and gave countless smiles. The streets contained an abundance of colors, there were various smells changing every couple of blocks from the food, and the sounds of cars and motorbikes surrounded me, literally, as I crossed the streets. My senses were always flooded with something new and exciting. Having the opportunity to walk the steps of the locals was an eye opening experience for me. It highlighted the differences between the cultures, American and Thailand or American and Vietnamese, and it broadened how I view the world we live in in the best kind of way.
To top the experience off, I also had the chance to speak and learn from directors and executives of companies, such as Ikea, Osprey, US Commercial Services, and AMCHAM Thailand. The ability to ask open ended questions about the various industries and how businesses operate in South East Asia was not anything I expected it to be. I envisioned long hour or two hour presentations that would make me drowsier than engaged, but, instead I got intriguing and engaging back-and-forth dialogue with these representatives. I amassed and gained a better understanding of how business operates in Thailand and Vietnam than any of the research I was able to conduct in America over the internet. It is one thing to research a topic, it is another to actually experience the theories in practice and hear insight on the matter from experience professionals. Being immersed in the culture and learning about the business enhanced my awareness and knowledge in unprecedented manners.

What would you improve about this program?
One improvement for the program is the amount of time between activities and travel. Flights are on the longer side and having more time to set your belongings down and settle into the hotel before going out would be a good reprieve. It it tiring to have to land from a flight and traveling to immediately go out and be socially engaged and aware.
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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IBS did a great job getting us in with companies that not only provided a lot of information on business/living in China, but with people who are clearly passionate about their jobs and open to speaking to students. They also did a great job planning out tours for us and providing information and recommendations for us to do on our free day. The staff with us also did a great job at keeping us informed on any schedule changes and made sure to communicate them with us during the trip. I also enjoyed that they made sure we would have an afternoon free on days of company visits so we could still explore the cities later in the day. The staff at IBS did an amazing job at working with a group of us when our flight got canceled and helped us keep track of our luggage and even make a schedule change so we wouldn't miss a company visit. All in all, a fun trip and a great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I would've like to have a full free day in Beijing like we did Shanghai. I also felt we probably could've been out there for a few more days.
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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IBS is such an amazing program! I attended their summer Europe seminar and it was such an awesome experience. You get the time you want to immerse yourself in the culture and enjoy the different cities while also studying the different business practices! I'd have to say my favorite part of the trip was that it was the perfect amount of time to be out of the country. Other programs offer a semester long experience but I did not want to miss everything that was happening on my own campus. IBS gave me the opportunity to travel without experiencing the FOMO (fear of missing out) that I had about traditional programs. The staff on the trip were very experienced and were able to help me with any problems that occurred on the trip and knew what to expect at every turn. I would recommend this program to everyone!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn to live out of a suitcase for 3 weeks! ORGANIZE

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Melissa Scheve

Melissa is a Business student concentrating on Human Resources in her junior year at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She intends on graduating in late 2020. During her studies, she realized there was a different level of learning environment she wanted to pursue and so she set out on a path of exploration to different worlds through a study abroad program.

Why did you choose this program?

Taking the leap decision to travel for some of my studies was motivated by my need for hands-on learning. How was I truly going to find out select intel in the perspective of executives from foreign countries? By meeting them in person, listening to their presentations, and asking as many questions as possible! International Business Seminar’s Winter Two program provided me with that and the ability to explore a new city on my own with other students providing the perfect grounds for an all around incredible networking experience! I was also able to do this for course credit even though it was over winter break.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

One of the main reasons I chose IBS specifically was because of their logistics package. I didn’t have to schedule a single flight, hotel, nor most transportation. My only responsibility was to make sure I got on the correct metro line! If problems arose involving any of those things it was not me who had to fix it and that allowed me to fully enjoy the experience instead of focusing on all of the minor details.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

You will meet so many new people in such a short amount of time so do all you can to take it all in! Being actively mindful on journeys like this let you embrace it in a more intimate way allowing you to hold those memories and moments for a very long time. Even though there are a ton of things on the daily to-do list, it is important to try to take it slow!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Wake up in your nice hotel to a complimentary buffet style breakfast before you start your full day. Attend meeting wherever location may be around the city and network for a bit. Then the afternoons and evenings were mine to explore and indulge in my new surroundings! This could mean dinner and a stroll around town, a river cruise, museum tour, or live play!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Before traveling with strangers to new places, I was worried I wouldn’t find anyone that happened to want to visit the places I wanted to visit in my free time. In reality, it ended up being there were so many students with the same interests as me that we would end up hanging out often allowing us to build relationships over the whole trip.

Was it difficult to travel to a country where your first language is not the main language spoken?

I was not required to learn the full language, but I thankfully had enough time to prepare and was able to learn at least the basics to get around. Once I got there with my toddler knowledge, I quickly realized how easy it would have been for me to learn the full language had I been there a little longer because the locals were more than helpful to answer my broken sentences and many actually spoke my native tongue so the barrier I feared wasn’t really there at all.