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Online MBA Students Experience Two-Week Sydney Immersion

LSUS online MBA students participated in a study abroad trip to Australia

Seventeen online MBA students had the unique opportunity to travel to Australia last December as participants in the LSUS International Experience course (BADM 790 IE). LSUS is one of only a few universities that offer study abroad experiences to online MBA students.

The International Experience program enables students to earn credit while studying international management issues that they may encounter in their own careers. Classes took place on the University of Sydney campus over a two-week period. Companies that sent guest speakers ranged from small, entrepreneurial startups to large, multinational corporations.

Though the International Experience course is required for all students in the International Business concentration, this past year's group also included students from other concentrations. "There were General Business, Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, Data Analytics, and Marketing students," said Dr. Tami Knotts, online MBA program director, who accompanied the group to Sydney.

Global View, Asia-Pacific Focus

While in Sydney, students gained exposure in the following areas:

  • International expansion into Australia.
  • Intellectual property protection in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • S. State Department guidelines for international trade.

Assignments included a group case analysis, reflective writing and an Asia-Pacific project.

Learning Highlights for Two Students

LSUS MBA study abroad students

LSUS MBA students in Sydney

Cindy Zhou, who works as a financial analyst in Washington, D.C., valued being able to participate in a global immersion program.

"Australia has become a gateway to the broader Asia business environment, and the country has not experienced a recession in over 25 years," Zhou said. "Living and studying there for two weeks gave me new insights on their success."

Zhou enjoyed hearing speakers from a variety of top companies, including Kim Hughes, General Manager of Business Transformation at National Australia Bank; Nish Vithlani, CFO of Costco Australia; and David Allen, Managing Director of Hawkesbury Partners, an Australian corporate and capital markets advisory firm.

Amanda McCoy, who works as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives, appreciated the chance to broaden her professional scope. "Going out in the world and exploring allows you to expand your horizons and see what opportunities exist for you," she said. She also enjoyed the chance to interact with MBA students from all over the country.

Over the course of the trip, McCoy gained in-depth information regarding blockchain technology. "I had a personal interest in blockchain technologies before traveling to Sydney," McCoy said, "but the various speakers increased my knowledge and interest. Now in my professional career, we are looking to expand and discuss blockchain technology at the state level and possibly create a work group on the subject matter."

Future Trips

The Australia trip was such a success that LSUS will be offering study abroad options in Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, in December 2018. Students interested in the study abroad opportunity should contact Danielle Voumard at

Apart from course tuition, students pay for transportation to and from Sydney or Auckland, some meals, and personal spending. They also pay a program fee of $2,655 for the trip.

The International Experience course fulfills a free elective for any specialization or General Business major in the online MBA program and counts toward the International Business concentration and the Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise concentration.

Learn more about the LSUS online MBA program.

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