In the fall of 2013, the School of Business asked students for feedback on its long-running two-week study abroad programs. They learned that for many students, the cost was too high, and it was difficult for them to be away from their families for 14 days. From this, the study “aboard” concept was born. “The program is run less expensively than our land-based trips, because cruise ship accommodation is usually less expensive than traditional hotel rooms, and meals are included in the price,” Michael MacQueen, international program director, said.
In December, 18 students, eight guests, two European professors and MacQueen traveled to Europe with their studies focused on how businesses can be successful in a challenging economy. The group listened to lectures from the European professors while still on the ship, and when docked, went to nine different businesses, including a small jewelry designer in Rome, a textile manufacturer in Istanbul and a large “hypermarket” in Athens. They also toured the Vatican, Colosseum, Pompeii, the Acropolis and Parthenon, and Istanbul.
There was also one unexpected surprise when a student and her fiancé guest told MacQueen that they planned to get married while on board. “Everyone in the group was invited to the reception, and a good time was had by all,” he said.