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International Experience Program at the Yale School of Management. Sherilyn Scully, Director Student and Academic Services. Overview of the International Experience. Required global experience for all first-year MBA students in January of their first year Approximately 200 students

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International experience program at the yale school of management

International Experience Program at the Yale School of Management

Sherilyn Scully, Director Student and Academic Services

Overview of the international experience
Overview of the International Experience Management

Required global experience for all first-year MBA students in January of their first year

Approximately 200 students

Trips last 9 – 11 days each

Trips mix business, governmental, non-profit visits with cultural activities

Trips are faculty-led and organized

2 student TAs per 20 -25 students.

Instituted in Fall 2006 as part of SOM’s new curriculum

Curricular integration

Trips augment the core course year and provide global curriculum perspective

During the fall semester, students have several required pre-trip meetings

Trip-specific meetings

Health sessions

2 introductory sessions for “State and Society”

The International Experience is a requirement for graduation

Appears on the transcript as 0.5 unit course

Students are given grades for their participation

State and Society course in spring term requires students to report out on their global experience

Leadership Development Program sections formed from trip groups

Allows students to form strong bonds prior to the trip

LDP meets 5 times prior to trip

Curricular Integration

Where have we gone the destinations
Where Have We Gone? The Destinations curriculum perspective

January 2009




Costa Rica/Panama




January 2008


Costa Rica




Namibia/South Africa



January 2007



Costa Rica





South Africa/Tanzania

Some trips are “double trips” = 2x the students, faculty and teaching assistants

How does it work the destinations
How Does It Work? The Destinations curriculum perspective

  • SOM works with travel agency vendors to come up with a basic itinerary

    • Vendor provides guide, suggests cultural activities, makes hotel and plane reservations

    • Vendor charges per person rate

    • Can help students with arranging pre- or post-trip travel

  • In 2009, we used multiple vendors; in previous years, we used 1 vendor

Faculty school choose destinations
Faculty & School Choose Destinations curriculum perspective

  • Faculty organizes most business meetings

    • Average of 20/trip

    • May be assisted by their teaching assistants

  • Students asked to write “caselets” on an important decision at the nexus of business, government, and society from their trips

    • Assignment done in groups as part of spring term course

    • Asked to incorporate at least 2 of the core curriculum course concepts from fall term

How does it work teaching assistants

Teaching assistants are second-year MBA students curriculum perspective


Application process

Chosen based on previous experience in destination countries, language ability, maturity

TAs are paid a stipend + full trip expenses

How Does It Work? Teaching Assistants

  • Pre-trip responsibilities:

    • Attend pre-trip meetings

    • Attend staff-led training sessions

    • Help plan business visits

  • Trip responsibilities:

    • Pay for additional expenses

    • Assist with student emergencies

    • Distribute readings

    • Organize group for daily travel

  • Post-trip responsibilities:

    • Expense log and receipt reporting

How does it work charging the students
How Does It Work? Charging the Students curriculum perspective

  • In 2008, students were charged $3,250 for the experience

  • Students were bursared via their student accounts for $1,625 in fall term and $1,625 in spring term

  • Flat rate charged, regardless of destination

What is included in the trip fees

Hotels (2 students/room) curriculum perspective

Average of 2 meals per day – breakfast +1

All in-country transportation, including intra-country flights

All cultural events on the itinerary

All alumni/admissions events in-country


Medex’ services

Visa services

Airfare to and from the trip

Personal items



Meals not on itinerary

Business services

Transportation to/from airports

What Is Included in the Trip Fees?



Health insurance visas

All Yale students are covered by Medex during travel for “disaster recovery”

Mandatory health sessions provided by Yale Health Plan


Participants provided with inoculations from Yale Health Plan at no cost

Participants given prescriptions for antibiotics and anti-malarial pills at no cost

Hospitalization through YUHS, covered overseas for emergencies

SOM processes and pays for visas to destination countries

Historically, we have used our vendor to help with independent travel visas too

Deadline to turn in paperwork is December 1

Students who do not require visas must turn in a copy of their passport

Health Insurance & Visas

Health Insurance

Visa Processing

Managing the process
Managing the Process “disaster recovery”

  • Student and Academic Services (SAS) office is responsible for the logistics of the international experience

  • 1.3 full-time professional staff people to manage:

    • Relationship with vendors

    • TA selection process and training

    • Pre- and post-trip meeting scheduling

    • Visa and flight collection and issues

    • Liaisoning with faculty

    • Communicating program parameters to students

  • International knowledge leveraged

    • Incoming student visas

    • International exchange program


Summer “disaster recovery”



Faculty determines destinations

Faculty conducts pre-trip meeting 1

Faculty conducts pre-trip meeting 2

TA application process

Attend TA training session

Students rank destinations; assigned prior to orientation

Students purchase international flights

Students attend Intro to State and Society session

Staff sets up IE website/survey

Staff presents program overview at orientation

Students complete web roommate survey

Staff researches visa processes

Staff collects flight info.

Students submit visa paperwork and/or passport copies

Staff negotiates vendor contracts

Staff processes visa applications; procure passport copies

Staff schedules pre-trip meetings, health sessions

Staff coordinates admissions/ alumni receptions


Timeline “disaster recovery”




Faculty conducts pre-trip meeting 3

Faculty conducts pre-trip meeting 4

Faculty leads trip!

Meeting with SAS and vendor

TAs assist on trip!

Students complete visa application process

Students pick up travel packets from SAS

TAs return phones, expenses post-trip

Staff orders gifts, medical supplies

Students attend Intro to State and Society session 2

Students go on trip!

Staff concludes visa application process

Staff prepares TA and student packets/ bags

Staff mans emergency phones

Staff prepares emergency contact cards

Staff deals with emergency situations

Staff registers students with univ. & DOS

Staff debriefs with faculty and TAs

Wrapping it all up
Wrapping It All Up “disaster recovery”

  • Staff conducts debriefs

    • One with all trip faculty

    • One/trip (with faculty and TAs)

    • Student survey

  • Staff processes TA and faculty expense reports

  • Staff collects trip photos for publications

  • Students expected to write a case on their experience as part of spring semester course

Emergency situations and the unexpected
Emergency Situations and the Unexpected “disaster recovery”

  • Staff mans emergency phones during the trip, but sometimes bad things happen…

    • Illnesses – before and during

    • Political unrest

    • Visa issues

  • How do you effectively communicate deadlines to students?

    • Email newsletter and course sites

Academic issues to consider
Academic Issues to Consider “disaster recovery”

  • Academic calendar

    • Start date of spring term

    • Match up with University calendar

  • The right balance of teaching credit for faculty

    • Issue for Dean to consider

  • Appropriate amount of pre-trip and post-trip assignments

Lessons learned
Lessons Learned “disaster recovery”

  • Students arrange flights to destinations

  • Visa processing issues

  • Faculty leadership

    • Outsourcing this to a travel agency means you’ll get a nice tour of the facilities

  • Pick travel vendors who understand academic environment

  • Understand all reimbursement policies and procedures

Thank you any questions

Thank you! “disaster recovery”Any questions?

[email protected]