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Study abroad trip focuses on international business


Traveling abroad can bring an understanding and appreciation for different cultures and ways of life.

A group of Master of Business Administration (MBA) students recently visited Australia to learn about international business dynamics firsthand.

“I have to say that I had a preconceived notion that Australia would be much like America in the ways of business,” said Tucker O’Brien, MBA student. “Really, it’s quite different as far as traditions and cultural aspects are concerned. This experience gave me much more of an appreciation for those differences and allowed me to have a better understanding of how those differences affect business.”

The group visited several key locations in the country including Cairn, Gold Coast, Canberra and Sydney. At each location they were exposed to different areas of business.

“Gold Coast is a huge tourist town. There we visited the tourist bureau and learned about the target markets and how they worked to get more people to visit the area,” said Brandon Cole, MBA student.

Other learning experiences included visiting the Reserve Bank of Australia, Macquarie Bank and a local accounting firm.

“Australia has a strong banking system. Actually, four of the world’s largest banks are located there,” said Cole. “At the accounting firm, we learned about the superannuation fund, which is similar to our Social Security System, except they have a lot more freedom.”

During the three-week trip, the group also visited some of the renowned sites in Australia including the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park.

“This study abroad allows students to be submersed in the culture to gain a better understanding of how business is conducted,” said Dr. Catherine Whelan, interim associate dean of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and trip coordinator. “From this experience, we want students to be able to understand and appreciate the differences in business practices and use that knowledge in the future.”

The experience did offer students a new perspective that furthered their awareness of how business works in an international setting.

“My undergraduate degree was in geography. I had learned about all these great places, but had never seen the world myself,” said Cole. “Now through the MBA program, I’ve been able to see and experience a different country and bring back that knowledge to bolster my understanding of international business.”

“To be able to expand our mindset and learn about other methods of business was very beneficial,” said O’Brien. “If I hadn’t had this experience, I don’t think I would accurately be able to assess dealing with other cultures in my future endeavors.”

The students are members of the full-time MBA cohort.

The Georgia College full-time MBA is a program of study designed for students with an earned baccalaureate degree in a non-business discipline. The program aims to provide students with an analytical tool kit for management, including concepts and principles from the fundamental business disciplines. Students develop skills in using these tools in an entrepreneurial, problem-solving environment to enhance their ability to make and carry out managerial decisions.

The program requires 15 months of full-time study to complete the 16 required courses. The courses are offered in a lock-step sequence with all students in the cohort taking the same courses.

“Having this experience with my cohort was very beneficial as we already knew each other and our strengths and weaknesses,” said Cole. “Traveling with people you work so closely with allowed us to focus on our specialized interests during the trip.”

For more information on the full-time MBA program, visit


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