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Thursday, May 23
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What to expect from Kelley’s Global Immersion Program, from students who did it

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On Sept. 21, the Kelley School of Business’s BUS-X-272 Global Business Immersion application closed. The 8-week class provides sophomores the chance to study specific aspects business culture in another country before going on a 10-12 day expedition in that country with the professor and the rest of the class. According to the Explore Global Immersions website, IU will sponsor fifteen of these trips before spring break or during the first week of summer vacation in 2024.  

 Kelley School students who applied to the program might be anxiously awaiting an email informing them which country they will be traveling to at the beginning of May 2024.  

But what is this experience like? How are the classes structured? Students who traveled to Thailand, Mexico and Germany in previous semesters shared what they learned from the program.  

Elizabeth Kneifel, a junior, studied and traveled to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand.  

“It’s a student-led class and there is a decent amount of work,” Kneifel said.  

She said during each class, students alternate leading a discussion about a particular topic  related to Thailand, like the country’s culture, history or wildlife.  

“It was really helpful to have the class,” Kneifel said. 

She said having the class taught her important cultural norms to abide by in Thailand. For example, they shouldn’t speak badly about the royal family becuase it is a criminal offensce.  

While Kneifel had to endure 47 hours of air travel to return to the US,  she said it was an amazing experience. 

“My favorite historical place we visited was the Grand Palace,” she said.  

In addition to the Grand Palace, the class visited many different temples, the Golden Mountain, the biggest fresh flower market in Bangkok, and an elephant sanctuary the class had studied.  

While on this trip, Keifel said she learned a lot about Buddhism and monks. Her class even got to go into a prayer room and be blessed with holy water. Overall, it was a great learning experience and Kniefel said she will spent next semester abroad in Madrid, Spain.  

Another Kelley student, junior Catie Linares, traveled to Germany last year.  

“My favorite part about Germany was the relationships I formed with the people on the trip,”  Linares said.  

Linares’ class was discussion-based, with a different student discussion leader each class. Her class focused on the German economy, the cultural differences between the US and Germany, and a little bit of the German language too. 

“My favorite place we went to was probably Heidelberg castle, or Springfest in Stuttgart,” Linares said.  

While on the trip, she said she got closer with the other students and chaperones. The travel time was approximately 12 hours, but she said it wasn’t difficult at all. 

Other students who didn’t travel quite so far from home agreed that the Kelley School trip was worthwhile.  

“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Mackenzie Lee, a junior who traveled to Mexico, said.  

Lee’s class consisted mainly of projects and guest speakers, which focused on learning about Mexican culture and how its business culture differed from the U.S., she said. For the travel portion of the class, they went to Mexico City and Santiago de Querétaro. 

“It was so fun to see a place that was less touristy,” Lee said.  

She said her class also visited the Universidad Nacional of Mexico City and multiple pyramids.  

 If you applied to embark on this adventure, I hope you are excited about this amazing educational opportunity. If you are a freshman considering applying next year, I highly encourage you to do more research about all this program has to offer. The application opens in late August and closes in late September, and it consists of a couple of essay questions and a ranking of the countries you are interested in studying and traveling to. Applying for this study abroad opportunity might be a core memory waiting to happen.  

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