Study abroad provides business students with opportunities for growth

Ellie Enselein

With advancements in transportation and technology, travelling around the world is now easier and faster than ever.

College students all across the globe have the ability to spend semesters overseas, learning about new cultures and expanding their horizons through study abroad programs. 

A study abroad fair was held in the Business Administration Building Tuesday and Wednesday to give business students more information on the programs available and the benefits associated with studying abroad.

According to the Office of Global Education, Kent State usually has between 350 and 400 students studying abroad each semester, and more than 100 students who study abroad in the summer intersession. 

Between 10 and 20 of the students who studied abroad in Florence during fall 2014 were business majors. Ten additional students attended the summer program in Florence.

Between the semester long programs in both Florence and Geneva and intersessions in France, Switzerland, England and Ireland, students have many different options as to where they would like to study and travel. 

Danielle Blahnik, junior finance major, studied in Florence in the fall semester of 2014. She said that studying abroad was a “great experience” because she was able to build excellent relationships with her professors overseas.

She also had the opportunity to go on field trips with the entire Florence program to both Venice and Rome, as well as with the business program to Geneva and Bologna. 

Blahnik said that the program best helped prepare her for a career in finance by illustrating the extent to which finance is a global industry.

“Before I went I already knew that finance was obviously a global thing, along with business, but it kind of just reiterated that,” she said.

Kent State professors recognize the importance of the abroad experience for students as well; in addition to the positive impact it can have on a student’s education.

Michael Mayo, Director of the Global Management Center, said studying abroad “expands your horizons, and it provides an opportunity to develop some self confidence.”

Mayo taught international marketing in the Florence summer program and will be teaching in Florence again during the summer 2015 semester. 

A major benefit of the Kent State study abroad program is the ability students have to continue working towards their degree while abroad. Students are able to take classes pertaining to their major while overseas, which ensure they don’t fall behind in terms of graduation.

Studying abroad can help develop students both personally and professionally through the experiences they gain overseas.

Personally it “helps students work through some challenges and difficulties,” Mayo said, while professionally, it “tells an employer that you have some initiative to go ahead and extend yourself beyond our comfort zone, to extend your world and take on new challenges.”

Students who study abroad typically come back with a different view of the world.

“It gives students an appetite for the world,” Mayo said. “As such, they may find themselves listening to the news a little closely especially when it involves places they have lived or traveled to. Study abroad is a great way to becoming more of a world citizen.”

Kent State’s semester abroad programs are accepting applications until Feb 1 for fall 2015. 

Contact Ellie Enselein at [email protected].