Business Institute Provides Global Classroom for EMU Students

EMU students at the IBI
EMU students Nick Miller, Josh Mann and Sam Buck experienced Europe with a business perspective as part of the International Business Institute

In May 2008, three EMU students departed on a trip of a lifetime.

Not only did they spend the next 10 weeks in different countries throughout Europe, but they earned 12 semester credit hours while they were traveling, all part of the itinerary of the International Business Institute.

The IBI began about 30 years ago at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and the institute’s office is still on its campus. There are currently 15 schools that are affiliated with the IBI, including Eastern Mennonite. The coursework concentrates on everything from economics to international trade to global marketing, mostly within the European Union.

One of the highlights of the IBI is the opportunity to tour major corporations and agencies, while also getting an in-depth view of them from a business perspective. Some of these include Nestle, the European Central Bank, and Goldman Sachs.

Nick Miller, then a senior at EMU, was particularly grateful for these opportunities on the trip.

“To visit a place like the European Central Bank and some of the other big corporations in Europe was really a great experience,” Miller said. “Not only that, but everything is planned out for you. It’s a great way to tour Europe for the first time.”

Another aspect of the IBI that impressed Nick was the variety of professors and lecturers that were a part of their education over in Europe.

“You have teachers from different universities and areas and it provides a lot of perspectives that you wouldn’t get by taking all of your classes at the same spot,” said Miller. In fact, the 2009 IBI features eight distinguished faculty from six different universities.

Sam Buck, who will graduate in April 2009, expressed the same excitement when discussing the variety of students on the trip, as well as the overall experience.

“It’s an amazing time to network with other future businesspeople from Christian colleges throughout the U.S.,” Buck said. “(The trip) broadens your mindset from just seeing things from an American perspective to looking with a global perspective.”

Miller and Buck were joined on the trip by EMU alum Joshua Mann (’08). Despite sending these three students, EMU’s participation had been limited prior to last summer. It is, however, a great chance for business students to meet business requirements as well as many cross-cultural requirements.

Overall, the International Business Institute provides a great environment for EMU students to learn in a foreign setting and gain a better knowledge of the global marketplace.