International Exchange programs are an integral part of the Carlson School's mission to shape professionals to thrive in a global business environment. Exchange students contribute ideas and perspectives in the classroom that help globalize the Carlson School curriculum, while exposure to U.S. educators, companies, students, sites, and attractions broaden international students’ worldview and empower them to learn in new ways.
The Carlson Global Institute partners with more than 30 universities around the world to exchange students each year. CGI selects a pool of Carlson School students to spend up to one year at partner universities, then a diverse group of international students journeys to Minnesota and attends the School in their absence.
Among the 75-100 exchange students who study at the Carlson School each year, some elect to extend their exchanges to more fully experience the unique curriculum and environment. Meet two students who decided one semester wasn’t quite long enough to fully explore the School, the state, and the community.
Building a network of international peers
Mie Johansen fell in love with Minneapolis during a semester-long exchange she completed through the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. After returning to her home country in 2012, she began exploring opportunities for graduate study at the Carlson School. She ultimately applied and later enrolled in the Master of Arts in Human Resources and Industrial Relations program.
“Right after having to leave, I decided to do everything in my power to come back somehow,” she says. “I already knew HR was the career I wanted to pursue, so coming back and doing the MA-HRIR program at Carlson was the perfect choice for me.”
Given her background in international business communication, Johansen hoped her exchange in the United States would help expand her international network. GLOBE, a student-led network dedicated to supporting international exchange students at the School and forging connections for U.S. students visiting their institutions abroad, offered numerous opportunities for her to meet new people from all over the world.
“The exchange experience can be overwhelming, but the GLOBE community helped me integrate into the campus life – that organization helped me feel welcome and safe in a new place,” she says.
Engaging beyond the classroom
Also from Copenhagen Business School, MBA student Felipe Reyes Carmona chose to study at the Carlson School, among several business institutions, because of its superior position in research and innovation worldwide.
Last year, he extended his exchange from fall semester through the following spring to gather material for his graduate thesis. To take full advantage of the resources at the Carlson School, Carmona sought career guidance from faculty and advisors, joined international student groups, took part in University of Minnesota celebrations, and more. He also engaged in the Carlson Brand Enterprise, a signature learning component offered through the School, to obtain meaningful experience solving a problem for a real-world company.
“All the extracurricular activities that the University offers are quite transcendental,” he says. “They enable students like me to have a more holistic experience and gain a better perspective about who you are and what you want to do.”
Carmona will point to his year at the Carlson School when describing his interests, goals, and experiences to employers. Today, he’s working as an intern a marketing analyst for Work Effects, a Minneapolis consulting company, to develop internal HR management and leadership strategies for clients.
Expanding exchange opportunities
To meet increased student demand, the Carlson School will offer four new exchanges beginning in fall 2014. CGI is partnering with universities in China, the United Kingdom, and Australia to exchange students. Future exchange locations may include business schools in Southeast Asia or Africa. Learn more