Undergraduate International Business Program
2002 Heiskell Award Winner: Study Abroad
Nomination submitted by: Steven J. Loughrin-Sacco, Chair, International Business Program, Co-Director, CIBER
"Preparing for Business Without Borders"
"All business is international. Hence the International Business (IB) Program at San Diego State University believes that students who prepare to work in this arena must speak the language and understand the culture of their future business partners in order to be successful," says Steven J. Loughrin-Sacco, Chair of SDSU's International Business Program.
The International Business Program requires that all its students have a regional/cultural area of specialization and a high level of proficiency in a second, and in some cases a third language, in order to graduate. According to the IB program, students who lack these cross-cultural abilities will be in disadvantage over other business students in other universities in the US and in the world.
San Diego State University's undergraduate international business program sponsors a study abroad program that is fully integrated into the international business curriculum and is required of all 734 international business majors. SDSU's international business majors must enroll fulltime for a minimum of one semester abroad at any one of 50 business schools in 15 countries on four continents. Study abroad is discipline-specific, i.e., students must complete four business courses taught in the host country's language. While abroad, SDSU's international business students compete for grades alongside native students.
SDSU has also pioneered the development of transnational dual and triple degree programs, which place students in business schools abroad for three to four semesters, and SDSU students receive bachelor's degrees from these institutions. SDSU's international business study abroad program has also served as a model for the rest of the campus, and other academic units have adopted parts of this model. In large part because of the program's impact on study abroad on campus, SDSU is now ranked 11th in study abroad enrollments among doctoral universities by IIE's Open Doors Report for 1999-2000. In 1997, fewer than 100 students studied abroad at SDSU, an institution of over 30,000 students.