KU School of Business

KU School of Business Prepares Students To Be Globally Competent

| 2017 Q2 | story by Lauren Cunningham, Communications Director, KU School of Business


A group of KU business students and international business lecturer Dan Galindau visited the Black and Veatch offices in Beijing on May 18, 2017, as part of a short-term study abroad program.

The University of Kansas School of Business has a long history of instilling in its students a global mind-set.

With opportunities to study abroad and events and programs about international business topics, the school aims to teach students the importance of global competence.

In 1993, the business school established the Center for International Business, known today as the Center for Global Business Studies. For more than a decade, the center enjoyed national recognition as a Title VI national resource center for international business education. Today, the center coordinates and supports the internationalization of students and faculty, and helps guide the school’s strategy for international initiatives, curriculum and policies.

Study Abroad Opportunities


KU students with John Hedeman, director of the Business Leadership Program (BLP), visited Pipistrel, a company that designs and builds lightweight aircraft, in Ajdovščina, Slovenia, in May 2016. The trip was part of a collaborative study abroad experience between BLP and KU’s Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program.

The school’s Center for Global Business Studies serves as a resource for students looking to study abroad.

KU business students can choose from nine short-term programs that travel to China, Cuba, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Northern Europe, Panama, Slovenia or South Africa. Semester-long and other program options include an even wider selection of destinations. In addition to focusing on business practices in other countries, some programs center on topics such as marketing, supply chain and entrepreneurship.

An increasing number of business students are choosing to study abroad each year. During the 2015-16 academic year, 341 students in the business school participated in study abroad programs. Business students who graduated in 2016 studied abroad in 23 various countries.

Just in May 2017, KU business students studied abroad in:
• China
• Cuba
• Northern Europe
• Slovenia
• South Africa


Krishna Ghimire, left, and Dr. Ranu Pal, an associate researcher at KU’s Higuchi Biosciences Center, kicked off the “India: What’s Next?” international business conference with a performance at Capitol Federal Hall.

During the summer, KU business students will participate in programs located in:
• Argentina
• Australia
• Austria
• China
• Czech Republic
• France
• India
• Ireland
• Italy
• Germany
• South Korea
• Spain
• Thailand

Exploring International Business


Chuck Ballard, export compliance director at Miller and Co., speaks at the “India: What’s Next?” international business conference.

The KU School of Business also offers events to students, faculty and industry partners that explore pertinent themes in international business.

On April 18, the school held the “Mexico, the Heartland and NAFTA” event in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and the Kansas Department of Commerce. It featured Kenneth Smith Ramos, an expert on U.S./Mexico trade, and provided timely information on the importance of trade with Canada and Mexico to the economies of Kansas and Missouri. Mexico was the top market for Kansas exports in 2016.

On March 31, the school, in partnership with EY (formerly Ernst and Young), held the “India: What’s Next?” conference, which featured a keynote address by Patrick Santillo, minister counselor for commercial affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. The conference was the third of its kind.

In 2013, the school held its inaugural international business conference, “China Emerged: Rethinking Your Global Strategy”; and in 2014, the event explored Brazil and its business environment. Previous conference panelists and attendees have included business executives, industry experts and government officials. Each conference also has incorporated cultural components of the respective country, such as music, food and dance.

Exposure to the international dimension of business is required of all students at the KU School of Business. The International Dimension Requirement ensures all students graduating from the School of Business have taken steps toward cross-cultural competence that enhance their business degree. All business students complete globally focused coursework, foreign language study or study abroad.

Students can also participate in the Global KEY Certificate Program, overseen by the Center for Global Business Studies, which helps them further develop cross-cultural skills during their time at the business school. Working closely with EY, the school has developed the Global KEY Certificate, which is designed to help business students supplement their academic program with choices that will help them develop a global mind-set. The certificate requires a combination of on-campus classes, study abroad and experiential learning opportunities designed to help a business student develop an openness to diversity across cultures and global markets.

The KEY Global Competence Certificate is a hands-on approach to acquiring cross-cultural skills during a student’s time at the KU School of Business. Students start the journey by attending a KEY Symposium, where they learn about opportunities to enhance their global knowledge and hear from business executives about the value of that preparation for business professionals today. As students opt into additional international experiences, they gain access to study abroad scholarships to enable them to spend a semester abroad. Upon return, students will work closely with international business faculty while completing a global collaboration activity.

In addition, students can earn a concentration in international business. The concentration involves proficiency in a foreign language (completion of the school’s International Dimension Requirement Option No. 1) and 12 credit hours from a selection of courses focused on international business topics.

Learn more about the business school’s international business offerings at business.ku.edu.

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