Frequently Asked Questions
FTMBA Global Field Experience & MBA@Rice:
The FTMBA global field experience is an interactive and experiential learning opportunity abroad. Our students focus on expansion into emerging markets and also strategy implementation required to be develop advantages over global competition. The course is designed to have a combination of lectures, speakers and site visits associated with these concepts, while also engaging in a small flash consulting opportunity with a large corporation or non-profit. These are referred to as Creative Practice and allow students to provide high level feedback through structured brainstorming sessions in immersive learning environments. Students gain 1.5 credits for this course.
MBAP-E/ MBAP-W Global Field Experience:
The Professional MBA’s global field experience focuses heavily on working with large companies abroad, both U.S. and foreign, to complete intensive consulting work. These students spend upwards of 6 weeks working with these companies prior to traveling to prepare for a productive week in country. These companies tend to spend 3-4 full days working with these students while in country. The final projects include a full executive summary, as well as a final presentation with Q&A for the entire department. Students gain 3.0 credits for this course.
EMBA Global Forum:
Our Executive Global Forum is an opportunity for EMBA students to partake in a final course abroad before their graduation. This course is structured so that the students form small groups (~4-5) to ultimately complete an intensive consulting project for a local company. Our EMBA’s project work has been heavily focused on the Brazilian start-up scene and local growing businesses. These require minimal engagement from these companies up to 4 weeks in advance, and these companies will spend 3-4 days working directly with students on the projects, and also attend a meeting for the final presentation. Our students provide in depth executive summaries outlining strategic business plans and solutions to problems originally provided. We have had a very high success rate with the implementation of these ideas and students tend to follow up with companies even post-graduation. Students gain 3.0 credits for this course.
The curriculum surrounding the GFE focuses heavily on expansion into emerging markets as well as understanding business operations within these markets. Given our corporate and community relationships, including alumni, we have chosen to operate heavily in Latin America. As ongoing efforts to build continuity and rapport with these business leaders in major cities, 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.
All students traveling internationally through Rice Business Global for course credit are required to uphold the Rice Business Global Student Code of Conduct during your entire time abroad. Students studying abroad must follow all Jones Graduate School of Business academic policies and where applicable non-disclosure agreements.
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 GFE.
Unfortunately, guests are not allowed on the Global Field Experience. This is a course that is very work intensive in country and with the large number of students, we do not have the capacity to run events with additional guests/participants. Students will have very little time outside of set programming and working with companies to interact with a guest. Although, depending on space availability there will be opportunities on some of the global electives for a guest to join.
The Global Field Experience (GFE) is required and mandatory for completion of the MBA degree program at Rice Business. We understand that there are circumstances that make international travel a hardship for some students. If this is your situation, you may petition to opt-out of the international component of the GFE and enroll in an alternative course that fulfills the degree requirement, which requires no international travel. The details of the alternative course will be discussed after approval of the petition to opt-out of the GFE.
Students cannot travel on a different cohort’s Global Field Experience. If you are unable to travel during the time of your scheduled Global Field Experience, please petition to opt out and discuss alternative options.
No. Global Offsite Electives, international off-site seminars, or other international experiences are not substitutes for a GFE due to the experiential learning components and unique intensive academic content of the GFE curriculum.
Rice Business covers most in-country meals, in-country transportation, lodging, and logistics services for the duration of the in-country portion of the Global Field Experience. Students are required to buy their own international flight to their GFE location, some meals, and any personal expenses. If a visa is required, students must pay for any costs associated to the visa.
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 and when there are intra-country fights required within the course/trip, we will handle the costs and the booking of the flights. Students are always responsible for their tickets to and from Houston. We recommend students purchase travel insurance should travel plans change due to unforeseen circumstances or travel restrictions implemented by the government or university.
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 GFE start date.
You can request an upgrade to a single room for an additional cost when registering through the Austral Group registration portal. If you would like to upgrade to a suite, please contact Austral Group Client Care at email@example.com to inquire about availability and pricing.
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 or CDC websites 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/
Updates regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We understand that students may feel uncomfortable with international travel due to the uncertainty of COVID-19’s progression. Students have the option to opt-out of the international travel component of the Global Field Experience. Rice Business Global and your faculty members will determine the alternative method to complete your Global Field Experience on a case-by-case basis. As soon as you know you will not be traveling with your cohort, please submit this form. Given the circumstance surrounding COVID-19, we are flexible in the timing of your decision to opt out of international travel.
We are working to understand the options available within Rice University policies. We will update students on this question when it has been resolved.