Frequently Asked Questions

Global Offsite Electives Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • Each year Rice Business hosts courses abroad in which our faculty members lead international trips to other countries for credit. These optional courses usually last 1-2 weeks and allow students to gain valuable exposure to different cultures, make business contacts, hear from dynamic speakers and network with local alumni. There are opportunities for small social impact projects that are heavily focused on a specific topic. Our off-site electives average around 35 students per course, but we see ranges between 20-60 students.

  • The curriculum surrounding the Global Off-Site Elective focuses heavily on expansion into frontier markets as well as understanding business operations within these markets. As ongoing efforts to build continuity and rapport with these business leaders in these areas of the world, we will continue to operate in these regions as we build out future opportunities with these strategic relationships.

  • Below you will find important information regarding your passport and visa requirements (if applicable).

    Please confirm that your passport is valid for your international travel and meets the following minimum requirements:

    • All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 6 months validity on your passport at all times.
    • All travelers are required to have at least two free pages in Visas section of your passport before travel.

    If you do not have a valid passport, or your current passport will not meet these requirements, apply for a new passport as soon as possible! Follow this link to apply for/renew your US passport: Click Here.

    Typically, Global Off-Site Elective locations do not require US Passport holders to apply for a tourist visa, but due to ever-changing laws, please research the tourist visa policies associated with your passport. Citizens of certain countries are required to obtain a visa prior to their travel. Due to the number of days in the country, you may need a tourist visa, not a student visa. Rice Business Global and The Austral Group can provide supporting documents, such as proof of enrollment, hotel confirmations, etc., though only upon your timely request. For more information regarding visas, VisaHQ is an agency specializing in Visa management that indicates which citizens need Tourist Visas.

    It is your responsibility to research the visa requirements and to obtain the required visas prior to your international travel.

    Once you have the complete list of supporting documents you will need from Rice Business, please complete this Visa Request Form. Requests must be made at least one month prior to your appointment at the consulate.

     

  • The document you sign in regards to IREP apply to all components throughout the duration of your MBA Program. In addition to the IREP statement of understanding, there is a code of conduct specific to your course abroad that all students are required to sign.

  • Note: This section is for Professional –Weekend, Professional – Evening, and Executive MBA students only.

    If your work requires proof of course enrollment and mandatory international travel dates, reimbursement letters, or any other formal documentation regarding the international travel of this core course, please complete the following request. You must submit the following information no less than 2 months of your program start date.

  • In addition to your peers, at least one Jones School faculty member and one staff lead from the Rice Business Global department will lead each Global Off-Site Elective. Additionally, a local Program Coordinator from the educational tour vendor will guide the day-to-day activities.

  • Guests are allowed to join for certain Global Off-Site Electives. The guest policy for each Global Off-Site Elective is announced with program details. Please note that guests are not able to attend academic sessions while in-country, but will be provided with a specific itinerary and local guide. Guests are included in all co-curricular programming (cultural activities, welcome/farewell receptions, etc). Guests will be required to officially register and pay under guest registration.

Course Information

  • All Global Off-Site Electives are 1.5 credits.

  • All Global Off-Site Electives are S/U.

  • The dates were selected in order to accommodate the academic schedules of all cohorts. Global Off-Site Electives cannot interfere with on campus courses. 

  • Global Off-Site Electives are eligible for any Rice Business student. However, certain electives are designated for 2nd year students only. Any limitations for enrollment will be shared prior to course registration.

Costs

  • In addition to your tuition, students must pay the program fee for the international trip, which includes in-country transportation, double occupancy lodging, cultural activities, and logistic services. Additionally, students must purchase their international flight, any vaccines required, some meals and personal spending while in-country, and cover any expenses related to tourist visas.

  • Rice Business does not handle flights through the university. Many students have specific travel requests (wanting to travel pre- and post-course, using certain airlines, points system, etc.), which is why students are responsible for purchasing their own flights. If the elective requires intra-country flights as part of the course, those flight costs and reservations will be handled as part of the package.

  • The cost of a double occupancy room is covered by Rice Business. Your specific hotel details, including address, phone, and additional amenities are shared with you on your trip’s registration page. This information is available to you about 5 months prior to the Global Off-Site Elective start date.

  • You can request an upgrade to a single room for an additional cost when registering through the trip registration portal.

Health & Safety

  • Within Rice University, all Rice Business courses and/or trips abroad are registered through the Rice University Risk Management team. This allows Risk Management to actively update staff, faculty and students on any concerns or issues related to the destinations of travel.

    Additionally, all Rice University students, staff and faculty are covered by International SOS, which is the world's largest medical and travel security services firm. International SOS specializes in medical assistance, travel security advice and information, emergency services, healthcare, evacuation and repatriation services. All Rice Business Global trips are also registered within the International SOS platform to ensure the most up-to-date information on any issues related to the destination at hand. ISOS also provides services to our students in country if there were to be any events that take place while traveling.

    Lastly, we work with full teams of individuals stationed directly in these cities abroad and have local Risk Management teams that we work with to provide the safest atmosphere possible for our students. This team is also responsible for the safety of our students and guarantee that students will a) not be sent to an unsafe destination, b) provide real time updates on issues and concerns and c) work with Rice University to organize a back-up plan if necessary.

    Given the guidance and access to the resources provided above, we promise our student body that we would never send a class to a dangerous population. All potential concerns for travel and/or areas nearby travel will be discussed up front and resources for those concerns will be provided. An example would be that certain areas may require vaccines to enter the country (i.e. Africa).

    Each registered trip runs through Rice Business leadership, Rice University Risk Management, Austral Group Risk Management and is entered into the International SOS database. This allows for the ultimate coverage and information for risk at all levels, and we guarantee to share messaging from all parties with students as we receive it.

    Ultimately, if our students have personal apprehensions for travel, medical concerns for travel are always taken into the highest considerations. Our student’s safety and comfort is our highest priority.

  • Please review the Passport Health site that reviews those that are recommended. This website also provides of great information in general about traveling internationally.
    Check your routine vaccinations are up to date (polio; varicella; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, seasonal influenza). If you have specific questions or concerns, see a travel health practitioner 6 to 8 weeks before departure for destination-specific health preparations.

  • International SOS is free service that Rice provides for faculty, staff and students who are traveling abroad on a university related trip. This has been extremely helpful in the past for students who have emergencies while abroad, especially those that are medically related. As you are determining what type of travel insurance you want to opt into (if any), we want you to be aware of the services offered to you as a student.

  • The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you would like to create a travel notification, you can do so directly on the STEP website: https://step.state.gov/

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