Graduate Students Study Abroad in Lyon, France and Milan, Italy

Thursday, January 30, 2020
Graduate students travel abroad and gain international business perspective

What better way to start the new year than to be studying abroad!

21 graduate students from the MBA, M.S. in Management and M.S. in Mathematical Finance programs had the opportunity to spend 14 days expanding their international business learning in Lyon, France, and Milan, Italy. The study abroad experience even offered the opportunity to take a course at the IAE Lyon School of Management and sit in on two lectures at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC). 

Article Recap and Video Production by M.S. in Management student, Mildred Martinez.

The graduate students began their trip with a welcome dinner in Lyon and then took part in a cultural visit the next day. They learned about the old city of Lyon and the history it holds as an important commercial hub. Lyon became a major trading place, and merchants and bankers from Italy played an important role by moving there and helping to grow the city in the 18th century.

During a weekend without coursework, students adventured around Europe to discover and experience new places. There were travels to Paris; Geneva, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium; and other surrounding countries.

Graduate students in Geneva, Switzerland on the first weekend.

Geneva is known for its dramatic water jet on the lake.

On the first Monday of the new year, Belk College graduate students attended their first class of the semester in Lyon, France. Structured as a seminar, students were able to break off into different classes and learn about topics they were interested in, such as Sustainable Business Modeling in the Era of Artificial Intelligence, Multicultural Team Management, Corporate Strategy, Strategic Human Resource Management and International Marketing. The seminar lasted for three days and ended with a team presentation. Belk College students were fully immersed in the seminars and networked with the international and local IAE students.


MBA students in Paris on the first weekend.

Students explored the sites of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe.

M.S. in Management students on the historic tour in Lyon, France.

MBA students sightseeing in the alps in Geneva, Switzerland. 

M.S. in Management student Mildred Martinez represents the Belk College of Business on Mont Blanc.

All of the graduate students with Dr. King on a historic tour in front of Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon.

The week in Lyon concluded with an interactive tour at Renault. Renault is an automotive manufacturing company that was founded in 1898 and is present in 134 countries. They received a tour of how the engines are made for different cars and trucks and learned that their trucks and cars are completely custom. Graduate students saw first-hand how artificial intelligence is incorporated in Renault’s manufacturing firms.


Graduate students at a company visit to Renault Trucks in Lyon, France.


Upon arrival in Milan, Italy, students had a welcome reception set up for them, with the faculty, staff and alumni from the M.S. in Mathematical Finance at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC). The dean of the college welcomed the group and kindly hosted the graduate students. Belk College Rush S. Dickson Professor of Finance, Dr. Dolly King was gifted a hand-drawn map of the university and a book of the history of the university by Elena Beccalli the Dean of the School of Banking and Finance at UCSC for her contribution to maintaining the relationship with UCSC. 


Students at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)

Dr. Dolly King and Elena Beccalli, the Dean of the School of Banking and Finance at UCSC

Tour of Banco BPM in Milan, Italy.

Students learned about trading and stocks.

Students then had a cultural tour around Milan and saw the inside of the Duomo and learn about the history of the city. The students also sat in on a lecture where they learned about finance and the business model of a company. They then had a second free weekend where most students continued their travels to different cities in Italy, such as; Florence, Rome, Venice, and Monaco. It was another rich experience abroad before their final day in Milan. The final companies visits included two businesses in Milan; Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco BPM. Students learned about the banks in Italy and toured Banco BPM. Altogether, the graduate students had a rich experience studying abroad and expanding their international business knowledge.

Considering a study abroad experience?

Read what some of our graduate students had to say about their recent travels.