Foster Abroad: Hybrid MBA Inaugural International Study Tour

This spring students embarked on the inaugural Hybrid MBA International Study Tour (IST) to Morocco and France.  This unique learning opportunity allowed students to compare Casablanca’s emerging economy with Paris’ established economy and learn how the two countries interact with each other. For the Hybrid MBA International Study Tour, the destination choice begins with student proposals. The IST spanned one week, filled with company visits across a wide range of industries, cultural tours, and plenty of good food and time to connect with classmates.

Hear from the students on their International Study Tour experience that covered two continents.

International Study Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Casablanca

Day 2
DLA Piper Company Visit, International Law
Cultural Experience
Welcome Dinner

Day 3
Lear Automotive Company Visit, Manufacturing
Masen Group Company Visit, Solar Energy

Day 4
Depart Casablanca for Paris
Paris City Tour 

Day 5
US Commercial Service Company Visit, Overview of French economy
Campari Company Visit, Luxury Spirits

Day 6
Nestle Company Visit, Supply Chain
Havas Company Visit, Media Group

Day 7
Tour of the Louvre
Free afternoon
Farewell Dinner

Day 8
Depart Paris

 

Q: Why did you decide to go on the Hybrid MBA International Study Tour? 

“I try to experience as much of what the Foster MBA program has to offer.  I viewed the IST as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit countries I might not visit otherwise and to get to know some of my classmates on a deeper level.  Going on the IST allowed me to achieve those goals.”

– Nathan Chapel, Head of Design at Blout International

“The international study tour afforded me the unique and incredible opportunity to receive briefings and study up on companies outside the United States.  I had never visited either of the cities on the tour; it made the trip much more special.  The tour fulfilled my expectations first and foremost by the hospitality of the company representatives.  The generous use of time and facilities and justifiable pride in their organizations made the IST unforgettable.”

– Jason McKay, US Naval Officer

 

Q: Tell us about the juxtaposition of IST locations.

“Morocco is a developing itself as a gateway to Africa, as such regulation and technology is trying to catch up. France is quite the opposite, has a strong history and is more similar to the US in a corporate perspective.”

– Marta La Croix, Director of Systems at Verizon Wireless

 

“Morocco is an emerging economy, which has positioned itself to support other African countries seeking economic growth.  Morocco is an excellent example of how many religious groups can happily coexist while offering great opportunities for international firms to invest in the people and the nation.  France is an older economy with long standing wealth.”

– Jason

 

Q: In what ways did you find the company visits valuable?

“Being exposed to not only different industries, but the intricacies of doing business in the particular country we were in, and the surrounding countries is insight most conducting business in America will never obtain. The trip opened doors in the mind which can never be closed of how intricately weaved these companies are with their neighbors, and how governmental decisions in a different land affect their day to day in numerous ways.”

– Rachel Anderson, PFS Manager at Prime Healthcare

 

Visiting the Hasan Mosque

Q: Tell me about one of the company visits.

“Our visit at Campari Group was one of my favorite.  Our host was very engaging, and in addition to telling us about his company, he gave us an overview of the current political and business climate in France (e.g., Yellow Vest protests).  It was very helpful to understand the culture and political context.”

– Nathan

 

Q: Would you recommend the study tour to prospective Hybrid MBA students?

“I had a blast! It gave me the opportunity to better get to know my remote cohort and build relationships. The structure allowed us to see and learn so much while the downtime gave us the opportunity to bond as colleagues. I also will never forget walking through the Old Medina of Casablanca at night”

– Marta

“Not only were the company trips insightful, and the sightseeing amazing, but the trip allowed us to further bond with our classmates. Everyone says a huge part of getting your MBA is in the networking. We miss out a little on that due to the hybrid nature of this program. It was fun getting to know each other better!”

– Rachel

“I will never forget riding scooters in Paris.  Also, seeing mass in the Notre Dame Cathedral, just weeks before tragic fire.  The destruction reminded me to never presume these world treasures will last forever!”

– Jason

“Absolutely!  It was so fun!  Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.  Getting to know my fellow travelers in a deeper way while exploring cool countries and cultures was such an awesome experience.  I’m so glad I did it, and wish I could do it again.”

– Nathan