Business students learn life's lessons while studying abroad

January 30 2008

Thirteen Indiana State University business students say they are happy to be home after spending a semester studying abroad thanks to the Networks Professional Development Program but say they are also proud of the knowledge gained from their international experience.

Mark Elliott, a sophomore accounting major from Terre Haute was among several students who studied in Australia. He said his most surprising lesson was in the economy down under.

“Common things we buy here in the U.S. are much higher (priced) because their tax rate is almost double ours,” he said.

Elliott explained that he had to constantly budget his money while studying abroad until he had gotten used to the pricing.

Paige Williams, a sophomore from Terre Haute who is majoring in insurance and risk management, also studied in Australia. She said that discovering the differences in day-to-day living were enlightening. Tasks such as driving on the opposite side of the road proved to be a challenge, and she enjoyed learning the local dialect.

Among other lessons learned, Williams said she was able to become more independent, improved her time-management skills and now feels better prepared for her career’s future business travels.

ISU’s Networks Professional Development Program cultivates students’ business and real-world skills through leadership projects, experiential learning programs and mentoring.

“The relationships and recognition with ISU’s faculty have been the biggest benefits from the program so far,” Elliott said. “The faculty and corporate mentoring are invaluable because they’ve already been where we are, and obviously know what works, so their advice really helps us to look forward into our careers.”

Michael Peterlich of Charleston, Ill., a sophomore finance major who traveled to Dublin, Ireland, is thankful for the availability of resources and guidance he received while taking the trip of a lifetime.

“I would just like to thank (the Professional Development Program) for allowing me to go on this special and very educational journey,” Peterlich said.

Traci Rosenbaum, a sophomore accounting major from Danville, Ind., traveled to Finland during her studies abroad. Rosenbaum said she learned to appreciate the little things through her experience and enjoys the seminars students attend in order to become better businessmen and women.

Other students in the program studied abroad last semester in Argentina, Czech Republic, England, France, Greece, Ireland and Italy.

The Networks Professional Development Program encompasses students in the ISU College of Business who are Networks, President’s and Gongaware Scholars. About 80 percent of eligible scholars have traveled internationally.

Contact: Arthur Sherwood, associate professor of management, College of Business, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2094 or asherwood@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Amanda Bedwell, media relations intern, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3773 or abedwell@mymail.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Thirteen Indiana State University business students who studied abroad during the fall semester of 2007 thanks to the Networks Professional Development program say they are proud of what they learned from their international experience.

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