Preparing Business Students for the Global Workplace Through Study Abroad: A Case Study of the Danish Institute for Study Abroad

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to use the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) International Business (IB) program as a case study to illustrate how experiential learning theory (ELT) can be put into practice in an education abroad context through pro-active intervention and through supporting immersion activities inside and outside the classroom.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper will use the IB program at DIS as a case study to illustrate how a holistic approach to study abroad is put into practice and how it aligns with the current theories in experiential learning and intervention in student learning during the study abroad process. It will examine various elements of the IB program as well as self-assessment data gathered from students through evaluations and a unique survey.

Findings – Through concerted intervention efforts, DIS is exposing students to different perspectives as well as professionals within the Danish and European business communities, utilizing real-world case examples, making students active participants in their learning, strengthening their intercultural skills and preparing students to be able to reflect on and articulate what it is they have learned abroad. Based on student self-assessment, students agree that DIS is helping them prepare for the global work place.

Research limitations/implications – This paper is limited to the experiences and practices within DIS IB program and all student data come from their own self-assessment and do not do pre- and post-testing to measure students' intercultural gains.

Practical implications – This paper should be useful to higher education institutions and study abroad programs looking to enhance the experiential learning opportunities for business students abroad.

Originality/value – This case study serves to illustrate examples of ELT in practice and intervention in student learning abroad with a particular focus on skills needed for business students in a global work place.


Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17099316

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