3 things you need to know about studying abroad while earning your MBA

The Washington State University Carson College of Business offers international field study opportunities for both its online MBA and online Executive MBA programs. As a student, participating grants you an unparalleled chance to visit emerging markets in Asia. Past MBA trips have ventured to China, while past EMBA trips have included South Korea, and Shanghai. Not only will you get to view firsthand exciting new business models, but you'll also have time to do a bit of sightseeing. Curious? Here are three things to know about studying abroad while earning your MBA with the Carson College:

1. Studying abroad can introduce you to a global workforce

Learning in a different country can help broaden your own perspective. You'll likely enjoy a wide range of experiences when meeting other foreign business executives that can help shape your worldview.

One of the most essential and relevant learnings you can take away is the opportunity to understand different business and leadership styles. As the Graduate Management Admission Council explained, gaining an international perspective in these areas can help you lead a diverse team in the future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of foreign-born employees in America has increased over the past 12 months. So, studying internationally can provide insight that can help you act as a more effective leader of a team that is likely diverse.

Additionally, the rising tide of globalization means additional companies are conducting business in other countries. In fact, according to the Wells Fargo International Business Indicator report, 81 % of respondents expect their international business dealings to expand over the next year.

Studying in Asia can be particularly beneficial, as this region contains some of the world's fastest-growing markets. According to the International Monetary Fund, Asian economies are expected to experience 5.5 % growth this year. Participating in the Carson College's international field study gives you the opportunity to learn outside of the “classroom” and experience exciting developments on the ground right as they take place.

Studying abroad can help you enter Asian markets that are abundant with opportunities.

2. You'll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to network with your online peers

Studying abroad with the Carson College gives you the chance to meet your online peers. You'll have the opportunity to interact with these individuals in person, and the relationships you develop can carry through your education and career. You may even form lifelong relationships with foreign business leaders.

In fact, the Carson College gives you many opportunities to network with other students. In addition to our international study program, we host a three-day leadership conference exclusively for EMBA students. During this conference, attendees have the opportunity to network with members of their cohort, alumni and even professors. With a few speakers at the helm, attendees with also have the opportunity to network with industry leaders.

The Carson College's study abroad opportunity can benefit your education and career. This is your chance to gain real-world international experience all while pursuing your master's degree.

3. It's best to prepare your travel documents in advance

It can take time to prepare your passport and visa, so it’s best to get started early.

As discussed above, traveling during your MBA or EMBA education can help broaden your business knowledge and perspective. However, you'll need more than a plane ticket to participate in this international experience.

First, you'll need to obtain a passport. According to the U.S. Department of State, processing your passport application takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If you cannot wait this amount of time, you can expedite the service, cutting your wait time to 2 to 3 weeks, or make an appointment at a passport agency or center for faster processing.

In order to successfully submit your passport application, you will need:

• Passport form. If you're traveling internationally for the first time, you'll need to fill out form DS-11, which you can download or complete online via the U.S. Department of State’s website. If you're renewing your passport, fill out form DS-82. If you need to replace, update or correct your current passport, fill out form DS-5504.
• Proof of citizenship. You can bring either a valid, undamaged U.S. passport or a U.S. birth certificate. If you do not have either document, bring two of the following:
• Delayed birth certificate
• Letter of No Record
• Early public or private documents
• Form DS-10
• 2" by 2" color passport photo. You can have this taken at participating U.S. Post Offices.

It is important to note, other documents may be required if you were born outside the U.S.

You'll also need a valid visa to travel to China. To obtain a visa, you must submit the following documents to your nearest Visa Office of Chinese Embassy/Consulate General at least one month prior to your departure:

• Passport with six months remaining validity
• Visa application form V.2013, available online at the Chinese Embassy’s website

Finally, keep in mind that having these documents can make your resume more appealing to prospective employers or help you acquire a job transfer. According to the GMAC, 19 percent of recruiters plan to place their recently hired MBA graduates in the Eastern and Southeast Asia regions. Meanwhile, 12 percent plan to place new graduates in Central and South Asia. Having experience acquiring the documents necessary to spend time in a foreign country can give you an advantage over other applicants who lack such knowledge.

Recommended Readings:
The power of context in international business
Five characteristics of successful global business leadership
Two effective leadership styles for global business






International Business Indicator: Global business optimism higher than everRead Article