Doing business overseas

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Doing business overseas

More than a dozen students in the BSIB-Spain program met with Emilio Botin, center, the executive chairman of Banco Santander, a Madrid-based financial services company. In the spring of 2010, Northeastern signed a gift agreement with The Santander Group that allowed the university to expand the BSIB program to Brazil.

As part of the Bach­elor of Sci­ence in Inter­na­tional Busi­ness pro­gram, Dan Schle­movitz spent his senior year in Madrid studying at a pri­vate uni­ver­sity and doing co-op with a Paris-based global insur­ance group. He took classes with stu­dents from all over the world, including France, Ger­many, Italy, and Ire­land, and made more than two dozen life­long friends from Europe.

“It was the best year of my life,” Schle­movitz said, noting his affinity for the Spanish lan­guage and cul­ture. “It had always been my dream to go to Spain.”

Schle­movitz will grad­uate this semester and was among more than a dozen stu­dents in the BSIB-Spain pro­gram who gath­ered in the Vis­itor Center on Tuesday after­noon. The young global cit­i­zens dis­cussed their inter­na­tional expe­ri­ences over light fare and then met with Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun and Emilio Botín, the exec­u­tive chairman of Banco San­tander, a Madrid-based finan­cial ser­vices company.

The BSIB pro­gram, estab­lished in 1994, offers stu­dents an oppor­tu­nity to both study and work over­seas in the lan­guage of their host country, building upon the university’s strength in expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion. By training stu­dents to become future global man­agers, the pro­gram develops highly qual­i­fied pro­fes­sionals who bring a more com­pet­i­tive edge in world mar­kets to U.S. corporations.

Nicholas Athanas­siou, the aca­d­emic director of the pro­gram since 2003, com­pared the matu­rity level of stu­dents before and after par­tic­i­pating in the inter­na­tional por­tion of the pro­gram. “It’s aston­ishing,” he said. “They leave as young col­lege stu­dents and come back as pol­ished adults.”