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Travel Smart for MBA Trips

Business students should budget wisely to study overseas.

Traveling abroad can help MBA students get a global perspective on business issues.
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"They should be careful and be aware that they are basically diplomats of their country of origin," says Helm. "They're basically there representing their university."

[Learn to sell yourself in MBA admissions.]

Don't ignore the native language: English is referred to as the universal language for business, but when on a business trip it's good to know a few phrases in the host country's language.

"Just to know the basics of the language is so important," says Linsey Wisor, a business school student at the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph's University who studied abroad in Barcelona. Knowing how to say please and thank you can help locals respect you as a tourist, she says.

Connecting with locals can be key for making the most of your experience, says Tuli. He encourages students not to have too much scheduled time and to immerse themselves in the environment.

"The greater purpose there is to really connect with the culture," he says.

Don't expect these trips to be inexpensive: While in Barcelona during spring break, Wisor learned about supply chain management and met with executives at Ritz-Carlton, among other companies. The almost two-week excursion cost her about $5,000.

Because she didn't have the chance to study abroad in college, she came into b-school having planned for an overseas trip.

"Knowing that I wanted to do a study tour I saved money for it," she says.

Ortiz encourages students studying abroad to make sure they have a job lined up in the U.S. before leaving. Knowing that you'll soon have an income to help pay off any debt from traveling can help with financial planning, he says. His trip to Nairobi was the precursor for a semesterlong study abroad trip in Barcelona.

"Watch your budget," he says. Although, he says, these experiences can be once in a lifetime, he admits they are costly.

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