With demanding course loads and important internships, it is no surprise that many business majors avoid studying abroad. You may also be facing family pressures to stay on the “traditional path” of classes→ summer job or internship→ career. But going abroad doesn’t have to mean missing out on internship opportunities. Students who spend time abroad gain valuable professional skills, new perspectives as entrepreneurs, and give themselves a leg up when seeking a position in our increasingly global workforce. Now that we’ve covered why you should consider study abroad, let’s look at the top destinations for business majors.
London, United Kingdom
Britain’s capital and largest city is also a worldwide center of finance and industry. Students interested in working in banking, finance, consulting, or virtually any other aspect of the business world will find plenty to keep themselves occupied in London. If you’re looking to get a world-class experience in the classroom, numerous top-ranked business schools are available within London itself or easy commuting distance.
In your time off, consider spending time in one of London’s many free museums, taking a stroll along the Thames, or try to improve your business prowess by osmosis by wandering through Canary Wharf, home to many of the biggest banks in Europe and around the world.
Home to the world’s first business school (established 1819), Paris long been a center of industry and currently serves a vital function as part of the European Union. Second only to London as a center of business and finance in Europe, Paris offers an attractive option for students who want to study abroad and flex their language skills as well.
For students with an interest in fashion, Paris has long been the obvious choice for study abroad. The fashion industry makes up nearly thirty-five percent of France’s annual GDP, and numerous luxury brands such are based in the city. There are also numerous opportunities for business students to meet a wide range of interests. And of course, the world-famous cuisine, museums, and world-heritage sites don’t make for a bad experience either.
This city-state nation may be small, but it exerts outsize influence as a hub of global banking, commerce, and finance. Additionally, Singapore has earned such accolades as #1 country for ease of doing business, world’s fastest peak internet speeds, and most technology-ready nation. Students from the US need not worry about a language barrier. English is widely spoken as one of Singapore’s four official languages. Yet, it’s diverse combination of Chinese, Indian, and Malay influence ensure a rich cultural (and culinary) experience.
Visitors can easily navigate the country using the extensive public transportation system to get from skyscraper to open skies and back again. Of course, if you’d like to combine the two, consider taking a trip to Gardens by the Bay, an otherworldly site that served as inspiration for the planet Xandar in the film Guardians of the Galaxy. Set along the Marina Reservoir, this attraction consists of Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, two ecosystems contained entirely within massive glass conservatories. These structures must be seen to believe, and are only overshadowed by the alien “supertrees” that serve as the structures’ cooling system.
Situated across Victoria Harbor from mainland China, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is a well-known center of international trade. With no restrictions on foreign banks and openness towards global commerce, Hong Kong is one of the freest markets in the world. Chinese (primarily Cantonese) and English are both official languages, making it easier to navigate for students coming from the United States.
Business majors can position themselves for success by learning the art of guanxi, an important Chinese concept and a must for doing business in the country that focuses on building mutually beneficial relationships. Students who really want to test their negotiation skills should make sure to visit the Temple Street Night Market. And if the hustle and bustle of the city gets to be too much, take a break and hire a “junk boat” to explore one of the Hong Kong’s neighboring 350+ islands. Junk boats originally referred to repurposed traditional Chinese fishing vessels, but now include anything up to and including luxury yachts.
Despite its reputation for the rugged (outback) and laid back (beaches), Australia has a lot to offer for business students seeking to study abroad. Sydney is also a hub of business, finance, and technology, creating many opportunities for internships and study. Although there’s more to the capital city than its most famous landmark, you’ll certainly see the Opera House up close and personal it if you spend any time in Sydney’s central business district.
Whether your final destination is in accounting, consulting, finance, marketing, or launching a startup of your own, consider spending some time abroad along the way. There’s something to gain when you turn the world into your classroom. You can get started by researching study abroad opportunities for business majors.