Studying abroad has many benefits on the outlook and mindset of students. By living temporarily in a foreign environment, students can make connections, discover different perspectives, and learn to quickly adapt to a multicultural world, all while receiving a quality education. John Cabot University’s program in international business is distinctive for giving students the ability to explore business in a globalized world while they’re immersed in a different culture.
Riccardo Maiolini, Assistant Professor of Management at JCU, is knowledgeable in the study of globalized business. An expert of entrepreneurship and social innovation, he participates in the organization of international startup programs with the Italian Israeli and the Italian American embassies. His research background is on corporate social responsibility and stakeholder engagements, and he has professional experience in business planning and business modeling for startups. Beyond working at JCU, he is an investment manager for private investors. Assistant Professor Maiolini’s background and work grant him invaluable insights on international business.
Read on to hear him impart five ways studying abroad can prepare young professionals for success in international business.
1. Deciding to Study Abroad Prepares You for a Multicultural World
Assistant Professor Maiolini thinks that studying abroad gives students a chance to experience real-world preparation for the globalized business world we live in. “Today we live in such a globalized world that it’s fundamental to know how to interact, talk, and connect with people from different countries,” he says.
Studying in a foreign-language environment will help you improve your communication and learn how to communicate across barriers. This is a valuable skill for those involved in international business. Italians, for example, are known for their very expressive style of speaking, incorporating vigorous body language. “For international students, Italy can be a place where you learn how to use your body while communicating,” says Maiolini. This is especially important for communicating with people who may not be native English speakers, communicating through phones or video calls, or through a translator.
2. Opportunities for Networking
Creating a robust and expansive network can foster success in the business world, and it’s an integral part of the experience of students who study International Business in Italy. “If you have the possibility to be part of an international network, this is something that’ll be useful in the future in terms of connections,” Assistant Professor Maiolini says.
It can be difficult to ingratiate yourself with the real community of a place while you’re visiting there, but studying abroad gives students the chance to get in touch with the local community. “I saw during my years at JCU that when foreign students can really connect with the Italian people, there are great opportunities for friendship and networking,” says Maiolini.
3. Studying Abroad Helps You Be Collaborative
Within a globalized and competitive world, students who study abroad are often looking to get an edge over their competitors. At JCU, students are educated in the skills that are most important for those in international business to have. “The most important skill for someone in international business to have is the ability to inspire colleagues to be collaborative,” Maiolini says.
A lack of collaboration is a central problem for businesses, especially multinational corporations, international organizations, and larger companies. The only way for an international business to become a space for opportunity is through rigorous and innovative collaboration. “Finding yourself within a network of peers while studying abroad is when students can start to learn what it really means to be collaborative,” argues Maiolini.
4. Be Inspired by Another Country’s Unique Businesses
While studying abroad in Italy, students get a chance to witness first-hand the unique Italian way of organizing businesses. “Italy is famous in the world for the Italian way of managing and conducting businesses. The process of how unique family businesses become multinational companies is part of our culture,” says Maiolini. In the modern world, a lot of successful and innovative ideas are formulated by witnessing other cultures’ ways of conducting business.
Another part of Italian business that students can learn from is in the way the country organizes its sectors. Within Italy there is the collaborative idea of districts, which are organized according to production. There will be distinct manufacturing districts–fashion districts and finance districts, for example. “The idea of creative collaboration is embedded in Italian culture through this idea of districts,” Maiolini says.
5. Learn Flexibility
Flexibility is a personal attribute that employers look for in successful candidates. By studying abroad and being exposed to different cultures and people, students learn how to become more independent and adaptable. “Having newfound independence can really foster flexibility in students that study abroad,” Maiolini says.
The only way to truly learn flexibility is to experience a variety of different situations first-hand and adapt to them in real-time. By studying abroad, students get to experience what it means to be a global citizen for themselves.
Do you want a Bachelor of Arts in International Business?
Contact John Cabot University’s Admissions office at [email protected] for more information!