In order to understand business today, you need to be familiar with global business. The global market is a reality. Dramatic innovations in communication, information, and transportation technologies have shrunk the globe and have led towards a single market. In every industry, firms that once dominated national markets find themselves players in a larger and more competitive global marketplace. Immerse yourself in these important international issues with Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and attend one of our international summer programs.

The D’Amore-McKim MBA international summer programs are designed to give you knowledge in and new perspectives regarding international business. They will help you develop critical skills necessary to compete and succeed in the global market. All courses involve a multinational faculty and are taught in English. Each program offers a unique opportunity to explore business outside the traditional classroom boundaries and to provide a unique addition to your resume.

To help you acquire a deeper understanding of the exciting changes taking place across the globe, academic coursework during the Spring 2019 semester will be augmented with a 10 day trip encompassing a variety of activities including talks by guest speakers; meetings with regional officials; a visit to a local university; and visits to local, national and multinational firms.

2019 Destinations

This IFS will focus on the growth of the economies of Thailand and Vietnam over the past few decades as well as the challenges that each country faces during this period of transition. The cultural, economic and political context of each country will be examined in the context of emerging markets. We will also study how each country is leveraging its image to drive business and tourism. Students will meet with corporate leaders in local industries such as textiles, construction, finance, hospitality, education and IT. We will also explore cultural landmarks in Thailand and Vietnam. Led by Dr. Christopher J. Robertson, Professor of International Business and Strategy.

Thailand and Vietnam represent two of the most diverse and fascinating cultures in Southeast Asia. Moreover, both nations have experienced strong economic growth in the past decade and are now at a crossroads to climb to the next level. Thailand is famous for its ornate shrines and temples, beautiful beaches, exotic food and vibrant culture. Bangkok has established itself as a strong business center and trade hub for many MNCs operating in the region. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the epicenter of business, government and culture and is emblematic of the country’s fascinating cuisine, thriving businesses and fascinating yet complex culture. Both countries have strong and positive relationships with the United States and many firms are working hard to cultivate sustainability into their business models.

Areas of Interest

Thailand and Vietnam account for over 160 million inhabitants and some of the most beautiful topography in the world ranging from the vast Mekong River Delta to the seemingly endless beaches of the Andaman Sea. Much of the plush agricultural areas in both countries are within a one day drive from the burgeoning world class cities of Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.
Bangkok, with a metropolitan population of just over14 million, is a beautiful city with an exotic street life, and many shrines and important temples. The Silom business district and Grand Palace represent the unique blend of new and old that transcend the city. The Thai people are increasingly stressing higher education, innovation, and business savvy. In addition to business visits we will likely have the opportunity to visit a number of cultural and historic sites such as the Temple of Dawn, the floating market and Chinatown.

Course Description

Students will be exposed to an array of cultural and business differences in the region with unique emphasis on challenges and opportunities related to emerging economies. While in Thailand and Vietnam students will attend lectures by business executives, leading academics and government officials. Students will also interact with their counterparts from a top university in the region. The overall objective of the course is to learn about the challenges and advantages of operating a business in Thailand and Vietnam.

Format of Instruction

The class will meet monthly prior to trip departure. Students will read case studies and popular press articles about Thailand and Vietnam and the current economic and cultural environment of Southeast Asia. Students will write-up a case analysis and student teams will present their recommendations for export feasibility projects to colleagues in either Thailand or Vietnam.

Instructor

Christopher J. Robertson, Professor & Group Coordinator of International Business and Strategy Group, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Accommodations, Transportation & Meals

Participants will be housed in double rooms in high-quality tourist hotels during the program. Accommodations for spouses or friends are not available. Breakfasts, some lunches, and some dinners are included. Students are usually responsible for other meals. Students are responsible for securing passports and visa. Inter-country transportation is included.
This IFS will focus on the growth of the economies of Morocco and Portugal over the past several decades, as well as the challenges that each country faced as they sought to develop their economies. The socio-cultural, economic, historical, and political context of each country will be examined as we survey their growth and improvements in the well-being of their citizens. We will also study how each country is leveraging its country-specific advantages and its membership in regional trade alliances to advance its economy. Students will meet with executives and academics, and we will also explore cultural landmarks in Morocco and Portugal. Led by Ravi Sarathy, Professor, International Business and Strategy.

Morocco and Portugal represent two contrasting economies in the Mediterranean and North African region, with each country at a different stage of economic development. While Morocco is still an emerging market, Portugal is already a developed economy, albeit one of the smaller middle-income countries within the European Union. Morocco has deep Arabic and French colonial influences, is a constitutional monarchy, and has to accommodate Islamist principles in its economic strategies. In contrast, Portugal has had to overcome decades of inertia under a dictatorship and as a colonial power with colonies that once spanned the globe. Portugal’s entry into the European Union, and the transformation wrought with this opening up of its economy, is an interesting lesson in the benefits and drawbacks of regional integration. Both countries are relatively small economies in the global arena, with GDP at less than 1% of World GDP, and hence need to better integrate with the world’s major economies in order to continue to achieve economic growth.

Areas of Interest

Morocco and Portugal border the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, with significant amounts of coastline, and within close transportation distance of the major markets of the European Union. Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city, economic capital, and principal port, with its name derived from the Portuguese city built at the location in the early 1500s – “Casa Branca”. Morocco was once part of the Roman Empire, with the Arab conquest in the 7th century bringing Islam to Morocco, which has an important influence on its economic activity. Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, a hilly city on the Tagus River and the Atlantic, and with its population of around half a million, is small by European capital standards, but a city rich in history. Shipping and global navigation, a high-tech industry of the 1500s, was the impetus behind Portugal’s rise as a maritime empire, with Lisbon the port of departure for explorers such as Vasco de Gama and Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan). Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, to its considerable benefit, with its GDP increasing from around $25 billion in the mid-1980s to nearly $220 billion in 2017. Intra-EU trade now accounts for ¾ of its exports, though Portugal is still one of the lower income countries within the EU, with its lower wages attracting manufacturing investments from other states within the EU.

Course Description

Students will be exposed to an array of cultural and business differences in the region with unique emphasis on challenges and opportunities related to economic development and growth. While in Morocco and Portugal, students will interact with executives, academics, and government officials. The overall objective of the course is to learn about the process of economic development and the path to higher incomes, drawing on the experiences of Morocco and Portugal.

Format of Instruction

The class will meet monthly prior to trip departure. Students will review case studies and other readings about Morocco and Portugal and the current economic and cultural environment of emerging markets and the EU. Students will develop case analysis, and do presentations on selected readings, as well as participate in class discussion and complete a final project.

Instructor

Ravi Sarathy, Professor, International Business and Strategy, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Accommodations, Transportation & Meals

Participants will be housed in double rooms in high-quality tourist hotels during the program. Accommodations for spouses or friends are not available. Breakfasts, some lunches, and some dinners are included. Students are usually responsible for other meals. Students are responsible for securing passports and visas. Inter-country transportation is included.
Through visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, this IFS will focus on Israel’s high tech and innovative business environment and historical culture. Students will visit with start-up, venture capital and multinational companies and government agencies to gain first-hand knowledge of the Israeli economy and business acumen. We will also explore cultural and historical sites in and around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel is recognized as a world leader in high technology and innovation. Israel’s Silicon Wadi, located primarily in Tel Aviv but covering a 125 mile strip from Haifa in the north to the Negev desert in the south, is second only to the United States in the creation of the most number of high tech start-ups (Kandell, 2016). Israel is nicknamed “Start-Up Nation” because of its high concentration of start-ups per capita. For a country the size of New Jersey, there are 94 Israeli companies listed on NASDAQ, substantially more than any European country, and The World Bank rates Israel second in the world for venture capital availability. The Bloomberg Innovation Index for 2018 (BII) and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 rank Israel in the top 10 most innovative nations in the world, #10 and #3, respectively. The BII notes that Israel leads the world in the number of researchers per capita and in research and development, and is fifth in high-tech density.

Areas of Interest

Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, is the business and diplomatic capital of Israel. In 2017, Compass ranked Tel Aviv sixth in the world for starting a business. Tel Aviv University is renowned for its interdisciplinary research on nanotech, neuroscience, bioinformatics and renewable energies. The cosmopolitan city, located on the Mediterranean Sea, is home to the White City, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of 1930s Bauhaus/International style buildings. Tel Aviv is a major center of culture and entertainment with many performing arts centers, theaters, lively nightlife and picturesque beaches. North of Tel Aviv are remnants of Roman, Druze and Medieval European cultures providing opportunities for historical, cultural visits.

Recognized as an ancient city holy to billions around the world, Jerusalem combines an exceptional combination of history and modernity. The city is a thriving center for biomedical engineering, clean environmental technology, accelerators, and mobile start-ups, leading Entrepreneur magazine to rank Jerusalem as the number one emerging technology hub in the world. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a leading research university, supports medical, cyber security, nanotech and entrepreneurship among other fields of research and development and provides top talent to area businesses. Coexisting with Jerusalem’s vibrant tech environment are its numerous historical sites, including the Old City with its Armenian, Muslim, Christian and Jewish Quarters, Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In addition to business visits, we will likely have the opportunity to see these historical sites.

Course Description

Students will be exposed to a variety of technologically advanced and innovative businesses along with historical cultural visits in and around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. While in Israel, students will attend lectures by leading business executives and government officials and business visits to start-up, venture capital and multinational firms. The overall objective of the course is to learn about ecosystem factors that enhance or deter Israel’s high tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship culture and to explore its future direction.

Format of Instruction

The class will meet monthly before departure. Popular press materials and a case study will be read to provide a foundation of the entrepreneurial, economic, political and cultural environments of Israel. Students will write a case analysis and student teams will present their recommendations on a promising sector or geographic market for Israeli entrepreneurs in the future.

Instructor

Dr. Felicia Lassk, Associate Professor of Marketing, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Accommodations, Transportation & Meals

Participants will be housed in double rooms in high-quality tourist hotels during the program. Accommodations for spouses or friends are not available. Breakfasts, some lunches, and some dinners are included. Students are usually responsible for other meals. Students are responsible for securing passports and visa. Inter-country transportation is included.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: Applications for Summer 2019 programs were due December 14, 2018. This site will be updated when Summer 2020 application materials are available.

View the Summer 2019 IFS Application for reference »
Each IFS is offered as a three semester hour graduate business course. Students will be registered for the course in the Summer 1 term and will be responsible for the corresponding tuition charge. This year’s tuition rate is $1,600 per semester hour, for a total charge of $4,800.00.

There are also program activity fee. Once a student has been notified and accepts their trip, dropping the class before March 1, 2019 will result in a charge of $200. The full program activity fee of $1,000 and will be assessed and not refunded for any cancellation after March 1, 2019. (This fee is not applicable to all MSIB and Full-Time MBA students.)

Students are responsible for travel arrangements and costs of air travel to the starting point of the course and from the departure point. Students are also responsible for passport/visa costs, meals not covered by the program activity fee and incidental expenses.
Tuition scholarship funds may be used for the tuition if funds remain on account. You may request the Financial Aid Office to modify your budget for the current year so that you may receive more aid (usually in the form of loans) to help cover some of the other expenses.
The activity fee will cover double room occupancy, many meals, management fees, classrooms, professors, transportation during the trip and some cultural activities.
Yes, you should plan on bringing spending money for some meals, incidental expenses and personal items. Check with your local bank to learn if your ATM card will be accepted in the cities you’ll visit.
All students will need their passport, valid for a minimum of 6 months following the conclusion of their trip. Specific details regarding passport and visa requirements will be discussed with the participants on each trip.
Students must book their own flights to and from the course. Students are not required to travel together to and from the course, as many wish to arrive early or stay late, but all students MUST travel together during the course. You are free to book your flights directly with the airlines or use your own travel agent. Specific details will be available after the trips are assigned.
Some of the learning is in classrooms located within or near the hotel. In addition, there will be visits to universities, cultural attractions, manufacturing facilities, local companies and government offices.
You will have some free time, but keep in mind that this is an intensive course that demands much of your time. Expect to put in full days, but we feel that a large part of the experience is seeing the sights and experiencing the various culture hands-on.
Absolutely. Most students choose to arrive ahead of time or choose to stay after the trip to travel. However, all students must be at the appropriate hotel at the start of the program.
Pack light. Remember, you have to carry around whatever you bring. Several business casual outfits are appropriate and packing some comfortable clothing is recommended as well. Women, bring closed toed shoes, as some cultures frown about open-toed shoes in a business setting. Taking a laptop computer is a good idea to take notes, keep a journal and to write case analyses/papers.
While the trip is mostly business casual, business formal may be necessary for some company visits. Your IFS trip leader will discuss country specific dress codes in more detail as the trip date approaches.