Bryant Abroad: The International Business Experience

Bryant Abroad: The International Business Experience

Jenna Bonasoni 2020

While there are many people who go into college unsure if they want to study abroad, at Bryant there are a group of students who have known since day 1: International Business (IB) majors. Studying abroad is an important part of their college experience, since many have plans to work internationally someday. While everyone has a different experience abroad, the IB students are especially unique since they live with a host family, are working to become fluent in their respective language and have an internship abroad. Her Campus Bryant wanted to highlight the unique abroad experiences of five female IB majors who studied in five different cities to show the underclassmen IB students what their life might be like in just a few semesters!

 

Jess Hayward: Viña del Mar, Chile

HC: Why did you choose to become an IB-Spanish major at Bryant?

JH: I had taken Spanish throughout high school and knew I wanted to continue with it in a business setting. I felt as though it would give me a lot of opportunities, especially with traveling. I think learning a second language is very important, specifically in the business world today.

HC: What was your favorite memory from studying abroad?

JH: Meeting life-long friends and being able to travel to other South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. My favorite travel memories were visiting 2 of the 7 Wonders of The World: Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro) and Machu Picchu (Peru).

HC: What do you think is unique about studying abroad in Chile?

JH: I think Chile is so unique because it is located in South America, which I felt was an abstract place to visit. Where I studied, in Viña del Mar, is coastally located with beautiful beaches but also is a city. I lived in an upper-middle class part of Chile, but as close as 15 minutes away were poor areas, which was really cool because I was able to experience such diversity and cultural differences.

 

Abby Cassada: Salamanca, Spain

HC: What was your favorite memory from study abroad?

AC: My favorite memory from study abroad (although it is hard to pick just one) was probably when our whole program visited Paris. I think a lot of people don't particularly love the city when they go, and they believe it is too overrated or too touristy. I however, did not think this at all. From going on the Eiffel Tower at night, to scootering through the city, to visiting the beautiful Louvre Museum, I absolutely loved the whole experience.

HC: What advice would you give other IB-Spanish majors who will be studying abroad in Salamanca?

AC: I would definitely suggest that you brush up on your Spanish before going! Salamanca is a city where almost no one speaks English, which can be intimidating at first, but you will also learn so much from studying here because of that! Living with a host family also helps with this immensely-- you will get so much out of it. As for the internship, enjoy it! I know some days may drag on and some days you may be wondering why you have to work when others abroad don't. Trust me, it is more than worth it, a lot of the time extremely fun and very rewarding.

HC: What have you learned from this experience that you will take with you into your future career?

AC: For starters, of course my Spanish is much better than it was before, but more importantly, I have learned so much about the business world and how things work on the other side of the world. One of the best things I came back with, however, was this: building relationships with new people and places, living, studying and working in another country and doing things that are out of your comfort zone are where you will learn the most in life. You have to be willing to do things that scare you, that you are unsure the outcome of, or that you are not completely comfortable with. I guarantee you will learn so much to take into the future with you!

 

Shadhi Nekoie: Shanghai, China

HC: Why did you choose to become an IB-Chinese major at Bryant?

SN:  I decided to become a Bryant IB-Chinese major because I had a base in Chinese from a summer abroad and wanted to continue my language at a school that dedicates so much attention to China and the Chinese language. I had also heard so much about the international business program while looking at the school that I knew it was the right program and university for me.

HC: What do you think is unique about studying abroad in China?

SN: I think studying abroad in China is such a unique opportunity, especially since Bryant requires it for IB-Chinese majors. I think it is a great opportunity because it challenged what I have learned in a US classroom and helped me expand my knowledge in a real life situation. Overall, I think it helped me solidify what I have already learned and gain greater confidence in my language abilities.

HC: What have you learned from this experience that you will take with you into your future career?

SN: I think the most important aspect that I will take with me later in my profession career is that I am capable of immersing myself in a culture, language and place I am unfamiliar with and still be successful. I will always remember the time where I was nervous to be in a new place with a language I was not confident in, but preserved and worked hard to have a wonderful semester -  similar to how I may feel with a new profession or job in the future. Hopefully I will continue to have this mindset and make the best out of all future situations.

 

Eva Nesline: Aix-en-Provence, France

HC: What was your favorite memory from study abroad?

EN: My favorite memory from study abroad was visiting Gorges du Verdon in France. It’s this really cool canyon with a river that flows into a crystal blue lake. It was so beautiful and it was nice to cool off in the lake and escape the heat. I also had a picnic that day on the lake’s shores with bread and cheese, so I felt very French.

HC: What do you think was unique about studying in Aix?

EN: I think the most unique thing about studying in Aix-en-Provence is that it’s a real, authentic French town. There isn’t a lot of tourists so most of the people you see walking around in Aix are people that actually live and work there. There also is limited English, which sounds scary but actually helped me with my French skills.

HC: What advice would you give to other IB-French majors who will be studying in Aix? EN: Definitely take the chance to explore Aix and the surrounding area. Obviously traveling around Europe is amazing, but Aix is a beautiful region of France - so take advantage of that. You can find a lot of hidden gems in Provence. On a practical note, bring lots of summer clothes! It stays hot in Aix until mid-October.

 

Jess Taylor: Bilbao, Spain

HC: Why did you choose to become an IB-Spanish major at Bryant?

JT: I choose to become an IB-Spanish major because I wanted a degree that would incorporate both my interest in business and my desire to work and travel internationally. As a Marketing concentration, I have always had an interest with working for a large corporation that would allow me to take my international business skills abroad following graduation. I also decided to choose Spanish because I already had taken Spanish classes in high school and I wanted to continue to improve my language skills.

HC: What advice would you give other IB-Spanish majors who will be studying in Bilbao?

JT: To not be nervous! Living with a host family was daunting at first. I was worried I would not be able to communicate with my family, but after a few days I settled right in. My family was very patient with me if I did not understand or know how to say something. Also, take advantage of everything. Go to the Guggenheim and explore new exhibits, have a picnic with friends at the top of the Funicular and explore Bilbao as much as you can!

HC: What have you learned from this experience that you will take with you into your future career?

JT: I have learned to be adventurous and take risks. Staying within your comfort zone can sometimes seem like the safest option, but you can learn so much more when you challenge yourself. I will also take with me the knowledge that it is ok to make mistakes - as long as you learn and grow from them.

 

Studying abroad is such an exciting time, but it can also be nerve-wracking. If you’re an IB major, this is an extremely important semester where you test-drive living and working abroad. But, as all of these IB girls have mentioned, studying abroad is so much fun! You will create endless memories, travel to amazing new places and make great friends along the way - definitely a semester to look forward to. Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to take advantage of during your time at Bryant - so enjoy yourself!