International Residency

MBA 570 Global Environment of Business/International Residency is an integral component of The Richmond MBA. The course includes on-the-ground experience outside of the U.S. and it is required of all MBA students.

The focal point of the course is the International Consultancy Project (ICP). Students are divided into three to five-member teams. Each team is assigned a client, and the team works with company management on an international business issue. Clients can be based in the U.S. or in the host country. For U.S. based clients, the teams usually explore market opportunities for the firm in the residency country. When the firm is based in the country of the residency, the teams usually do research on the feasibility of the client entering the U.S. market. While most ICPs are conducted for for-profit business, some are done for NGOs. There is no fee for the ICP - neither the Robins School, the University of Richmond nor the students receive any fees or expense reimbursements for the ICP and ICP-related activities.

The course consists of three components:

1. Pre-residency orientation, familiarization, and background research

  • Conducted in Richmond and usually requires six, three hour long class meetings. During this segment students are given an overview of the historical, cultural, political, and economic situation of the country in which the Residency will take place. This segment utilizes the Robins School and Arts & Sciences faculty, business executives, and diplomatic staff who brief students on the history, culture, political system, language, economy, and business situation in the Residency country. Teams also commence preliminary research for their ICP client.

2. International Residency and field research

  • Students visit the Residency country - usually for seven to ten days. During this time they visit a variety of businesses and NGOs and are briefed by government officials and by academicians. A major aspect of the Residency is the in-depth meetings with ICP clients. At this time each team gets first-hand briefings from its ICP client. These meetings with management allow the team and the managers to discuss the client's needs and expectations.

3. Post-residency research and report preparation

  • Once students have returned to campus, teams begin extensive research to meet the objectives of their ICP client firms. Upon completion of the research, the teams prepare a detailed written report and presentation. The report and presentation (PowerPoint with a voice-over) constitute the course deliverables. Teams are required to submit the final report and PowerPoint voice-over presentation electronically. The report and presentation are sent to the client firm.

Since its inception, the International Residency has been conducted in Argentina, Brazil, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, and Uruguay. Over 170 international consultancy projects have been completed.

Students enroll in MBA 570 after completing approximately half of their MBA core courses. MBA 506 Economics for Managers, MBA 510 Financial Management, and MBA 520 Marketing Management are prerequisites. It is a three-semester-hour course.

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  • Am I required to take Global Environment of Business/International Residency?

    Yes. Global Environment of Business is a graduation requirement, and the International Residency is a crucial part of the program experience.

  • Where will the International Residency trips take place?

    International Residency locations are announced each fall in late September or early October. The residency period is during the summer session, usually in late May/early June. An email announcing class details and the residency location is sent out each year during early spring semester.

  • Typically, how long does the residency segment of each class last?

    Residency trips typically last one week. The exact time out of the country may vary slightly each year.

  • Besides the trip, what additional time commitment is there for this class?

    Students will be required to attend class prior to leaving the country and after returning. Additionally, student teams will conduct extensive research outside of class to meet the objectives of their International Consultancy Project (ICP) client firms, and they must prepare and submit a detailed written report and presentation for their project.

  • What is the International Consultancy Project?

    The International Consultancy Project (ICP) is the focal point of the course. Students are divided into teams and work with an actual company on an international business issue.

  • What does tuition for the class include?

    Hotel accommodations, breakfast, select lunches and dinners, program-related activities in‐country, transportation for such activities, and the cost of supplemental healthcare and repatriation insurance are included in tuition.

  • What are examples of additional expenses I will incur for the class?

    You will be responsible for the cost of your textbooks, passport, visa if required, airline transportation, round trip ground transportation from the airport, meals not covered, incidentals, non-class related activities, and any vaccinations/medicines required to visit the destination country.

  • Will I need a visa?

    Visa requirements vary by country, by the nature of/reason for the visit, the length of the visit, and your citizenship. The US State Department website details visa requirements for US citizens by country. Check the Entry/Exit Requirements section in the State Department’s Country Specific Information website.

    If you are not a US citizen you must check with the embassy of the destination country. For information on foreign embassies located in the U.S. you can check a site such as or simply do a Google search.

  • What about vaccinations? How do I know if I need any vaccinations or immunoprophylaxis?

    Consult the Center for Disease Control website and a travel clinic. You should discuss your medical needs with your physician.

  • Am I allowed to bring friends and/or family members with me on the trip?

    No. The International Residency is for registered students only. Friends and family members are not permitted during the residency period.

  • Will I be able to extend my trip beyond the residency dates if I want to spend more time exploring the country where the residency takes place?

    Some students schedule time beyond the residency dates in the country visited. This is a personal decision and is not coordinated through the Graduate Programs office. Note that Global Environment of Business usually does not meet during the week following the end of the residency trip. Students should refer to pre- and post‐residency class schedules before arranging extended stays.

  • What if I don’t have a passport?

    Students are required to complete a trip registration questionnaire which will include submitting a copy of a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least six months after the scheduled return from the destination country. Students who are US citizens should visit the U.S. Department of State website for information on obtaining, renewing, or making changes to their passport.

  • How do I obtain a visa?

    Procedures for obtaining visas vary per country. If a visa is required for a residency location, the Center for International Business Programs in the Robins School will provide information regarding visa procedures to the class once the class roster has been confirmed. For non-US citizens staff in the international business office can assist with letters and other information required by a consulate when applying for a visa.

  • Does the class travel as a group to the residency location?

    No. Students are told the date, place, and time to meet in the host country. Students are responsible for making and paying for their travel arrangements to/from the residency destination. Students may travel as a group if desired, but it is not required. The Graduate Programs office does not assist in making travel arrangements.

  • Should I buy trip insurance?

    Students are automatically covered under the University of Richmond’s Study Abroad Insurance when traveling for International Residency unless they are traveling in their home country.