The incredible i4 experience

The International Programs office has been hosting information sessions this week about the i4 programs for this upcoming year.  I had the pleasure of being a part of the i4 India class last year, and so I thought I would write a blog listing the reasons you should partake in an i4 class if given the chance.

1. You get to travel!

2. There is so much opportunity in emerging economies.  These opportunities span all of the business disciplines we have here at Fisher.  Meaning whether you’re a marketing guru or a finance fiend, you will be able to appreciate the content in the class, in addition to the travel.

3. Not to sound too cliche, but aren’t most of us here in an MBA program to “push ourselves,” “create new boundaries,” “try new things,” “see what we’re made of,” (etc)?  The i4 program, both class and travel, is an excellent way to do just that.  You will learn about a specific business environment in a new framework, you will get to travel (perhaps to someplace you’ve never been before), and you will create new friendships (the kind that can only come from traveling experiences!)

4. You get to go for 3 weeks!  It’s short enough that you will be back in time for an internship, but long enough to truly immerse yourself in the culture, the work, and the people.

5. Food.  Food food food.  Palak Paneer, Feijoada, or Bratwurst – it doesn’t matter which experience you choose.  You will be happily rewarded with yummy regional food.

6. What else are you going to do for May term?

So pick a country and sign up!  And if you have questions – contact the International programs office, the professors who are teaching the courses, or students who have traveled in the past!


With my i4 India friends, in front of the Taj Mahal

From Indian food to India land

In Sept of 2001, I left the good ol’ US of A for my junior year abroad in St Andrews, Scotland.  It was, as you can imagine, a tumultuous time.  Despite my fear of the unknown, being so far away from my family, and attempting to come to terms with the events of 9/11; it ended up being one of the greatest learning opportunities and most fun adventures I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.  It was during my time in Scotland that I tried Indian food for the first time.  Being an adventurous eater, I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover the delightful flavors of tandoori chicken and palak paneer, but alas, I’m glad I finally did.  There was a restaurant on the edge of town called The Balaka, which my friends and I frequented in between our meals of fried fish and mushy peas.

Fast forward 10 years.  This past week, I attended the first meeting for our i4 class for winter quarter.  We will be studying what management in an emerging market looks like, working on a group project for a company in Mumbai, and ultimately traveling to India to present our research.  The i4 program at Fisher gives interested students a chance to do exactly what my class will be doing in India.  Some of the other current program options include Germany/Poland, Brazil, and Ghana.  (Click here for program information).  While I was sitting with friends eating my green herb chicken and garlic naan 10 years ago, it never occurred to me that I would eventually have the opportunity to study about and travel to the country that inspired that delicious food.  Thank you, Fisher College of Business, for this incredible opportunity.