Kara Linse '06 didn't know what to expect when she stepped off the plane. She had just arrived in Valdivia, Chile, and all sorts of questions were running through her head: What would the professors and courses be like at the Universidad Austral De Chile (Southern University of Chile)? Would her host family like her? Would she make new friends? What should she do first? Did she make the right choice to come here?
When Linse looks back at the experience today, however, she knows it was the correct decision. "The independence and confidence I gained from studying abroad can't be measured. I learned that I could travel to a new place and find my way around. I could encounter new situations and have confidence that my education has prepared me to tackle any challenge," she said. Today, she hopes to leverage her experience through a position with the National Basketball League in Sydney, Australia, after she graduates this month.
Linse is just one of numerous students at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business that choose to study abroad. In fact, according to statistics from the UO Office of International Programs, in 2005?2006 nearly 100 business students studied abroad--the most of any major.
"Studying abroad exposes students to another country's culture and perspective on doing business, including insights into its social, political, and legal methods and environments," noted Ehrman Giustina Professor of Marketing Lynne Kahle, who himself recently returned from a sabbatical in Singapore and has a research focus in international business and marketing. "It can be a life-changing experience that gives students a competitive edge in today's global economy, and it provides students with the opportunity to build a global network to create future international business and career opportunities."
According to Dean James C. Bean, the college also benefits from students studying overseas. "When students and faculty study and teach in other countries, they bring those experiences and fresh perspectives back with them. They are also great ambassadors for the University of Oregon, helping us attract students from around the world to our institution," he said.
Altogether, the number of Lundquist College of Business students studying abroad further highlights the college's growing focus on international business (see last month's e-news stories about "Engaging China"), and if students continue to have life-changing experiences like Linse's, that trend will continue for a long time to come.