Bryant University. The Character of Success

The Sophomore International Experience

Academic Credit I Cost I Financial Aid I Payment Schedule I Eligibility Application I Additional Forms I Refund and Cancellation Policy

Details About the 2018 Sophomore Experience:

The Sophomore International Experience is a special winter/summer session abroad led by Bryant University. In January or May/June 2018, these students will earn three academic credits through this GRADED course (NOTE: this is NOT a Pass/Fail class) and spend 9 to 12 days overseas to learn about other cultures and how businesses operate globally.

This international education program is geared specifically toward students in their sophomore academic year. All students must be in good academic, disciplinary and financial standing at the time of application and departure. Please note: courses are subject to cancellation if there is not a minimum level of participation.

Students who apply for an SIE program, but then decide to leave Bryant the following semester (e.g. transfer, leave of absence*, withdraw), will not be eligible to participate in the SIE program. In addition, students are financially responsible for the full cost of the SIE if they have been accepted to participate in an SIE program, which does include repayment of any grant money they have received.  (*Students can petition for a waiver if there is a documented medical/family emergency)

Current Study Tour Locations

Winter Break - January 2018

Argentina & Chile - Doing Business in Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities

We will focus on Latin America and will travel to Argentina and Chile in January 2018. The theme of the course is "Doing Business in Latin America: Challenges and Opportunities" and we will be focusing on business practices in Latin American environments. Highlights of the course include examining the economic history, current business climate, culture and its impact on business, political climate, process of establishing a business, as well as finance and marketing practices in Latin America. Students will visit sites such as soccer club, the Chamber of Commerce, start-up incubator, manufacturers, winery, and advertising agency, to name a few. These visits will expose students to business environment in Latin America and showcase the difference between Argentinian and Chilean economies. Students will also be involved in a series of cultural events such as touring Argentinian estancia (ranch), touring the Andes Mountains, doing the boat tour on Tigre River, and participating in a service learning project in an orphanage in Argentina. While the trip to our destination occurs in January 2018, we will have a series of class meetings/activities to prepare for the trip during Fall 2017 semester and at least one class meeting during Spring 2018 semester. Students in this course are expected to participate in ALL pre-departure, during-trip, and post-trip activities scheduled by the faculty leaders. This course can count as an IB elective, open elective, or a liberal arts elective.

Questions about this program? Contact: Aziz Berdiev or Patricia Gomez


China - Discover the Real China: Culture and Business

This course provides Bryant students an excellent opportunity to experience and probe into the rich culture and booming businesses of China, world’s fastest growing economy in the last 30 years where exciting and unparalleled transformations are taking place. Students will travel to Beijing, Guilin, Zhuhai, Shanghai and Hawaii. The destinations are carefully selected to enable students to develop an in-depth understanding of multiple aspects of Chinese culture and business, with a special focus on cross-culture communications, international business and global supply chain management. In the ancient and modern city of Beijing, students will visit UNESCO World Culture Heritage sites such as the Great Wall and Forbidden City, tour the headquarters and plant of Lenovo company which makes the laptop in the hands of every Bryant student, and re-experience the historic 2008 Olympics at its original venues such as the Bird’s Nest stadium and Water Cube. Students will also visit a high school to interact with Chinese students who may apply for Bryant. In Guilin area, students will learn China’s traditional economy, rural poverty, tourism industry, natural landscape and rural-urban economic gap. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, cave exploration, cooking class, local culture show, and discussions with foreign business owners on how to do business in China.

 In Zhuhai, students will visit Bryant’s branch campus at Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai where Bryant has a joint education venture and has started a series of programs on student and faculty exchanges. Bryant students will interact with Chinese students and visit factories/companies that are typical in Chinese manufacturing industry. In Shanghai, the trip will provide students firsthand experience on urban modernity, financial industry, textile manufacturing industry and western influence in China. Visits include the old town, a Buddhist temple, museum and river cruise. In addition, students will have an exploration day that they can plan their own learning and exploration activities in Shanghai for a whole day. On the way back to Rhode Island, the group will make a stop in Hawaii, which offers a unique opportunity for students to learn the intersection of Chinese/Asian culture with American culture, Chinese immigration, China’s founding father Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary footprints in early 1900s, U.S.-China alliance during WWII after Pearl Harbor, and recent boom of tourism industry due to increase of Chinese tourists. While the trip component of the course occurs in January during the Winter break, this course will run throughout the fall semester (pre-trip classes and seminars) and into the spring semester (post-trip presentations). Participants are expected to be fully participating in all phases of the course. This course can count as IB elective, liberal arts elective, or open elective

Questions about this program? Contact: Kongli Liu


Italy - Artisans, Innovation, and Design: Perspectives on Design and Innovation in the Italian Arts, Architecture, and Culture 

The Italy Sophomore International Experience takes the arts, artisanship, and the creation of the Western artistic culture as its primary theme. As we explore this theme we will give particular attention to its everyday importance in the Italian way of life, the economy, and business culture. Throughout our course and travel in Italy we will look for the connections between traditional and contemporary Italy. Our second theme is found with the introduction of the Italian language in as used in cuisine, business, and social customs. This course can be taken as an open or liberal arts elective.

Questions about this program? Contact: David Lux or Elisabetta Misuraca 


Malaysia & Singapore - International Business and Culture in Asia

The purpose of this proposal is to establish Asian experience as an instance of the Sophomore International Experience. The extensive development in the ASEAN region in the past 20 years is notable, with many US multinational corporations (MNCs) invested in the region. Thus, understanding how to do business in Asia and grasping diverse culture are crucial in developing global perspective. In accomplishing this, students will go through extensive preparation and orientation during the pre-departure phase which includes speakers (Asian history, ethnicity, etc.), Congress and Parliament, central bank, individual and group assignments (reading, blog, wiki entries). Students will then visit Singapore and Malaysia during the winter session (in-country phase) where they will hear speakers (religion, culture, food, celebrations, politics, business models), as well as visit businesses (Intel, IBM, Petronas, ExxonMobil, McAfee, Tata etc.), agriculture (oil palm and rubber plantation), 2 government institutions (Putrajaya -Intelligent City), and cultural components (Museum, Place of worships, waterfall etc.). This course will count as either an open elective, liberal arts elective, 200-level economics elective, or IB elective.

Questions about this program? Contact: Ramesh Mohan or Elzotbek Rustambekov


Summer Break - Late May to early June 2018

Prague & Budapest - Communication and Culture

The focus of this course will be on cross-cultural organizational communication. More specifically, this course examines how transnational organizations must adapt their communication practices to different cultures and adapt in the face of cultural distinctions. You will be visiting a number of organizations on the trip as well as participate in a number of cultural activities. We will study how cultural distinctions translate into how we operate and communicate on a daily basis. We will spend most of our time in Prague and Budapest. However, we will also be spending time in Germany, Austria, and Slovakia. This course can count as an open elective or liberal arts elective for all students. For Communication majors and minors, this course can count as a 200-level elective.

Questions about this program? Contact: Kevin Pearce


South Africa- Culture, Politics and Rapid Economic Development

Highlights of the course include examining the intriguing and diverse cultures of the region, the evolution of politics and its role in business, foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa, and the role of government in promoting ecological conservation and sustainable business practices. We intend to visit non-governmental organizations, and multinational companies in order to learn about the global economic impact of the emerging economies of the regions. In addition to the above, students will be immersed in African culture and also have an opportunity to be acquainted with African languages such as Afrikaans and Zulu. In order to achieve our goals, we will conduct a series of pre-departure classes that will discuss business components of the trip, provide students with Afrikaans phrases, and expose students to culture and history of South Africa. In South Africa, we will visit a number of business sites as well as key historical/cultural sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town and neighboring towns. This course can count as an IB elective, liberal Arts elective or an open elective (course attributes are still pending final approval).

Questions about this program? Contact: Cindi Lewis 


Tentative Itineraries

Winter Break - January 2018 Programs

Summer Break - Late May to early June 2018

Academic Credit

The three credits for this experience will include the tour activities, as well as pre-trip preparation sessions on culture and basic language training, and pre- and post-trip presentations. Students will begin preparations during the semester prior to travel. Full attendance and participation in pre-departure sessions, scheduled activities on the tour, and final projects are expected.


The price of the 2018 programs is $4,500 per student. This includes airfare, transportation in country, scheduled activities, lodging, breakfast each day (some additional meals may be part of the program), and the tuition for the academic credits. Participants are responsible for personal spending money and for meals not listed on the itinerary.

Financial Aid

All accepted SIE applicants who have filed a 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will automatically be considered for limited need-based grant assistance to offset the tuition charge of the program. Students will be notified of their awarded grant amount after the application deadline; awarded grants will be applied towards the final payment deadline, based on the SIE program the student is accepted to.

If a student's grant award exceeds the final payment due of $2,000, the remaining grant award will then be applied towards the first $2,000 payment, and any outstanding balance still owed (if a student's total grant award is less than $4,000) will be due by the first major payment deadline in September (winter program participants) or November (summer program participants).

 Payment Schedule

Winter Program Payments
 Application deposit of $500 due by application deadline August 1, 2017 
First payment of $2,000 due September 29, 2017
    Final payment of $2,000 due November 10, 2017

Summer Program Payments
 Application deposit of $500 due by application deadline August 1, 2017 
    First payment of $2,000 due November 10, 2017
    Final payment of $2,000 due February 9, 2018


  • Students must be going into their sophomore year at Bryant OR, have at least one semester's worth of a Bryant GPA if they transferred in during the 2016-2017 academic year;
  • Students must have a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA at time of application;
  • Students must be in good academic AND judicial standing, with no Bursar holds in order to participate.                            


          All applications for the SIE are due no later than August 1, 2017. Eligible students can access the SIE application to complete it online by entering the secure area in BANNER self-service, clicking on Student Services & Financial Aid, and then selecting the "SIE/Spring Break Travel Courses" link. NOTE: Students only select their top choice program they want to apply for, and if they are not accepted to that program, they will be notified about available spaces for the other SIE programs that they can be added to instead. Students accepted to a program will NOT be allowed to switch to another program after receiving their acceptance. 

  • A Completed SIE Application includes the following:
    • SIE Refund and Cancellation Policy form
    • Essay (Copy and paste from a Word document) Your essay should be between approximately 500-750 words, and should address the following questions:
      • Why are you seeking to participate in the SIE program?
      • What are your academic and personal interests?
      • Are there any particular reasons or circumstances that have shaped your interests in the SIE program you select? (For example: family heritage, career plans, previous travel experience, course scheduling, study abroad plans, etc.)
      • Finally, what are the goals you have set for yourself in the SIE?
    • A copy of your passport MUST be uploaded to Banner when you submit your application (and needs also be signed on the line above your photo page to reflect the full name on your passport). There will be no exceptions. If you do not have a current passport, you MUST upload a receipt verifying you have applied for one. Please click here for information on how to renew or apply for a passport; DO NOT upload your passport application in place of a payment receipt. PLEASE NOTE: Your passport MUST BE valid for AT LEAST 6 months after the expected end date of the program. You can view the sample itineraries above for anticipated end dates for each program.
    • A $500 application deposit to be paid to the Bursar's Office by any one of the following three methods:
      • E-check through the Student Account Center (which is the preferred method of payment and does not incur any service fees);
      • A credit card payment through PayPath, via the Student Account Center (this method DOES incur a service fee);
      • A physical check (check must include student ID number and the program term for the program you are applying for: Winter 2018 or Summer 2018), mailed directly to the Bursar's Office:
        Bryant University
        Attn: Bursar's Office
        1150 Douglas Pike
        Smithfield, RI 02917                                                             ***PLEASE NOTE: Application deposits will start to be accepted from Tuesday, June 20, 2017 until the application closes on August 1, 2017. Any application that does not reflect receipt of payment by the time the application closes at 4 PM on August 1, 2017 will be considered an incomplete application.***
  • Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    • Completeness of Application
      Carefully complete all sections of the application. Be sure to include a copy of your passport or a payment receipt verifying submission of payment for your passport application. Please DO NOT upload your passport application as your receipt, or your application will be deemed incomplete if this item appears within the passport upload section.
    • Essay
      The essay provides you an opportunity to explain why participation in the Sophomore International Experience is personally and academically important to you. The essay will be read and scored by two Sophomore International Experience faculty.

Please contact the Study Abroad Office at 401-232-6209 or if you're having difficulties accessing the SIE application.

Additional Forms- Due after Acceptance

  • SIE Agreement (requires notarization, which can be done once students return to campus); 
  • Medical, Health, and Dietary Restrictions (access to this online form is available via the same link where students initially applied)

Refund and Cancellation Policy

•The application deposit is non-refundable unless the travel component is cancelled, the University is unable to place the student in an SIE program or a spring break travel course, or if s/he withdraw before s/he has been formally accepted to participate.
•If the student must withdraw from the SIE program or a travel course after acceptance but before departure, the student is responsible for the entire cost of the SIE or travel course. Bryant University contracts the travel logistics with program providers (companies), and we are responsible for paying those contracted costs even if a student withdraws. 
•Bryant University may, in its sole discretion, determine that circumstances within the foreign country may require the cancellation of the SIE program or travel course within the country. The University will provide the student with as much advance notice as possible of its intention to cancel the SIE or the travel component in which s/he will participate. The University, the on-site coordinators, or the foreign government may prematurely terminate the SIE or the travel component. If there is University cancellation of an SIE or a travel course component, all payments to the University will be refunded and the University will make every effort to help the student complete the academic work for the program.
•If the student is dismissed from the SIE or travel course for any reason, there will be no refund and s/he is responsible for the full cost of the SIE program or travel component. In addition, if the student is dismissed in-country, the student is responsible for all costs associated with returning home.
•If the student becomes sick or injured while traveling abroad with the group, s/he will, at his/her own expense, seek out, contact, and reach the group at its next available destination. If the student seeks to return to the U.S. after commencement of the program due to serious illness, or death within the immediate family, the University bears no liability for any losses or claims incurred by the student in connection with his/her own early termination from the course. The University will make every effort to refund recoverable costs. Unrecoverable costs will not be refunded.

For more information about the Sophomore International Experience visit the Study Abroad Office which is located on the lower level of the Unistructure near Faculty Suite J, (401) 232-6209 or e-mail