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International Business Degree Offered at Appalachian

BOONE–Business leaders are looking for college graduates who can excel in a global environment.

A new degree in international business will be offered in Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business beginning this fall. It will provide students a strong foundation in business principles, and produce graduates who are fluent in a language other than English.

The degree builds on the college’s bachelor of science in business administration degree by incorporating 15 semester hours of French, German or Spanish above the intermediate course level, and a required 10-to15-week international internship, or semester-long study abroad component in related language or business coursework.

Some international business degree programs require as little as one year of foreign language at the intermediate level and a shorter study abroad experience.

“This will give our students a better understanding of the different cultures with which U.S. companies do business and make them extremely marketable to that business community,” said Kenneth E. Peacock, dean of the Walker College of Business. “In addition, the strong alliance we have developed over the past two decades with universities and businesses in Europe, Asia and Latin America will enrich the degree and provide additional opportunities for our students pursuing business careers in the international arena.”

Students must complete the required courses in the university’s core curriculum and prerequisites in accounting, economics, finance and computer information systems, among others. Students also will take 24 semester hours in international business courses, such as international business policy, international business transactions and international economics, plus coursework selected from marketing, management, finance, accounting or economics departments.

“The degree will prepare students for careers with companies operating globally,” said Associate Dean Tim Burwell. “They will have the language skills that will allow them to travel in the country, converse with the residents in their native language and develop the personal relationships that are so important for successful business relationships in foreign countries.”

Students also can broaden their competencies by obtaining a second major in a foreign language–or in an area of business such as finance, marketing or management– with just a few course additions.

North Carolina companies exported items to 197 foreign countries in 2000. Export sales of merchandise totaled $15 billion in 2000, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. As a result, in 2000 North Carolina ranked 13th among the 50 states in total exports, up from 16th place in 1993. Top export markets are in Canada, which accounted for 31 percent of 2000 exports, and Mexico which accounted for 14 percent. Other top markets are the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Costa Rica, Honduras, Brazil, France and Hong Kong.

International business isn’t restricted to the nation’s top businesses, either. In 2000, a total of 6,869 companies exported goods from North Carolina. More than 81 percent of these companies, accounting for 27 percent of the state’s total merchandise exports, were small and medium-sized firms that had fewer than 500 employees. In fact, 68 percent of North Carolina’s exporters were small firms with fewer than 100 workers.

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Contacts:

Ken Peacock, Walker College of Business, (828) 262-2058

Tim Burwell, Walker College of Business, (828) 262-6165

Jane Nicholson, University News, (828) 262-2345