CLEMSON — The College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson University has created a double-degree program that encompasses three universities in three countries.

The Transatlantic Double Degree in International Business includes the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain and Clemson. Students are being recruited to begin the first leg of the program in Madrid in the spring.

“A key element of students’ leadership development is cultivating a global mindset — one in which students not only read about different cultures, but seek a greater understanding through first-hand experience,” said Dean Claude C. Lilly. “As part of our mission, the college is committed to creating international opportunities for students who wish to broaden their perspectives and cultural understanding.”

It is the college’s second double-degree study-abroad program for undergraduates. The first was a program in economics with Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

The students will receive $2,000 assistance for the first semester of study in Madrid, where they will join students from Denmark. They will take classes in international marketing and management together in Spanish for one semester, then return to Clemson with their Aarhus University cohort for a year of classes. The students then will study for a year in Denmark at Aarhus University, where they will receive $3,500 assistance packages for each semester. In total, students will receive $9,000 for their overseas studies in the program.

Eligible students must commit to at least three semesters abroad in the five-semester cohort experience.

“Being competitive in a global economy requires more than business knowledge, but understanding of the cultural and behavioral differences that can exist in various countries,” said Clemson management professor Mark McKnew, who is spearheading the study-abroad initiative and wrote the grant for the funding.

The Transatlantic Double Degree in International Business is made possible by The Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education, which is providing $420,000 for the program.

The benefits of study abroad go beyond the opportunity to travel to a new place, McKnew said.

“In order to be competitive in the job market students need to be exposed to a global knowledge-based economy,” McKnew said.

Students will study under several diverse and accomplished faculty members while experiencing different cultures. McKnew said they will graduate with an enhanced understanding of the market forces, cultural differences and social systems shaping the future development of regional, national and global economies.

The program merges existing degree programs into a plan of study that will allow students to earn two bachelors' degrees when they complete the program, which normally takes place within four years.

“We are also using funds from the U.S. Department of State to explore possible partners in South America and Central America,” McKnew said. “So far 10 departments from four colleges at Clemson have agreed to participate in this effort to extend our international double-degree model into Latin America.”

For information on study-abroad programs at Clemson go to http://www.clemson.edu/studyabroad.

END