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Business-focused summer study abroad programs thriving years after launch

The+program+in+Rome%2C+Italy+is+extremely+popular+amongst+both+business+and+regular+students.+Pictured+is+a+group+of+students+in+2014+during+the+summer+trip.+Photo+courtesy+Becca+Doyle.+
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Business-focused summer study abroad programs thriving years after launch

The program in Rome, Italy is extremely popular amongst both business and regular students. Pictured is a group of students in 2014 during the summer trip. Photo courtesy Becca Doyle.

The program in Rome, Italy is extremely popular amongst both business and regular students. Pictured is a group of students in 2014 during the summer trip. Photo courtesy Becca Doyle.

The program in Rome, Italy is extremely popular amongst both business and regular students. Pictured is a group of students in 2014 during the summer trip. Photo courtesy Becca Doyle.

The program in Rome, Italy is extremely popular amongst both business and regular students. Pictured is a group of students in 2014 during the summer trip. Photo courtesy Becca Doyle.

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The College of Business Administration began offering its students summer study abroad trips in 1992 and the interest in and success of the programs continues to climb.

The first study abroad trip was to Antwerp, Belgium and then a Strasbourg, France program was offered partially due to high enrollment. Eventually, Strasbourg was replaced by the current Rome program and the Antwerp program is still running.

The cost of each program includes money for hotels, tours and other logistics.

“We started Rome in 2012 instead of Strasbourg partly because our Jesuit, Catholic identity led a lot of students to want to go to Rome,” said Joseph Terrian, assistant dean of undergraduate programs in the College of Business Administration.

Creating the Rome program proved to be more of a challenge as Marquette is one of few universities that has a faculty-led business program there. Although the program is primarily business-focused, non-business students are able to attend, whereas the Antwerp program is exclusively for business students.

The highest enrollment in the Antwerp program to date was 47 students in 2002, according to the program’s evaluation documents. Over the past few years, the Antwerp program’s attendance fluctuated between 29 and 41 students. Attendance for the Rome program started at 20 students and has grown to 31 students who went in 2015.

“The purpose of the programs is to allow students to gain international experience, live in a different environment, experience diversity and understand how business functions differ culturally in each organization,” Terrian said.

The length of each program – three weeks for Antwerp and two weeks for Rome – has been a draw for students. Maura Boyce, a junior in the College of Business Administration, went on the Rome trip and said it was the first time she left the country.

“Learning so much about a different culture in such a short period of time was really interesting, especially since we were able to go to a lot of different local businesses within Rome,” she said. “You learn a lot about yourself and how we were brought up as Americans compared to different people across the world.”

Management instructor Sister Eileen Ennis said Rome appeals to many people.

“We wanted a location (…) that would provide not only the business content that we wanted to provide but would also have some cultural and historical appeal to students as well,” Ennis said about Rome.

The programs are considered extremely sucessful by Terrian. Ennis said she finds the programs’ content interesting since there are speakers who interact with the students on a personal basis.

“Plus we also do take in things like the Colosseum, the Vatican, Pompeii and we also visit companies that are different from here in the States,” Ennis said. “My observation has also been that students become very cohesive as a group and they make new friends as well as go out and as they go out and explore the city, really all those different aspects make a difference.”

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