Published 01/12/15

Sophomore International Experience is transformational

When it comes to transformational academic programs, Bryant students frequently cite the innovative Sophomore International Experience (SIE), a two-week alternative to traditional semester-long study abroad. Students learn firsthand about the cultures and commerce in other countries.

The three-credit course, held during winter and summer breaks, begins the semester before departure with an introduction to cultural norms, historical reading and analysis, language study, and art appreciation.

"That experience greatly shaped my college career."

The first SIE program was held in 2007. This year, 267 Bryant students will participate, most recently traveling to China, Argentina and Chile, Germany and Spain, Italy, and Malaysia and Singapore. For many, it is the first time they use a passport. Having this experience early in their academic career often inspires future international interest and prompts further study abroad, international internships, or both. It’s a fact that 44 percent of Bryant students who choose to study abroad for a semester or a year have first been on an SIE trip.

Helping to shape a career

International Business major Margaret Wong ’14 (Freemont, CA), a risk advisory associate with Ernst & Young in Houston, applied to the SIE program early in her sophomore year, and a grant from one of Bryant’s strategic partners – Santander Bank and Santander Universities – allowed her to participate. She chose the Panama and Costa Rica SIE program because of its international business focus and the opportunity to interact with Spanish-speaking people.

“As soon as I heard about the program, I knew that I wanted to participate,” she says.
“That experience greatly shaped my college career. Learning about global supply chain management in Panama led me to declare that subject as one of my concentrations when I returned to Bryant.

“Whether it’s a student’s first time traveling internationally or the chance to add a couple of new stamps to his or her passport, the Sophomore International Experience greatly contributes to college and life experience.”

How we rank in global learning

  • Bryant is ranked #9 among our peers for undergraduate participation in study abroad by the Open Doors Report on International Education.
  • Our International Business program is among Bryant’s fastest-growing academic programs, recently recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as 16th in the country.
  • College Factual ranked our International Business program No. 6
  • The Institute of International Education ranks Bryant No. 21 for study abroad participation among Master’s universities in the United States (2011-2012 data)