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K-State Today

June 13, 2017

Accounting department study tour connects Kansas State University students with Australian counterparts, provides a global outlook on business

Submitted by Brent Fritzemeier

The group tours the MSF Sugar plant in northern Queensland.

A faculty-led study abroad program in May saw 21 students from the accounting department in the Kansas State University College of Business Administration travel to Australia to gain a better understanding of the global marketplace and to work with Australian students.

Prior to departure, the K-State students worked in teams with Australian students from James Cook University on a team project. In Australia, the students met up with their Australian counterparts and presented their project conclusions.

The group, led by accounting department Brett Wilkinson and faculty member Jane Bloodgood, spent five days in Sydney and five days in Cairns. In addition to working with the Australian students, the team visited major international accounting firms and corporations, attended a briefing at the U.S. Consulate, and toured a sugar mill in northern Queensland.

Wilkinson emphasized the value of connecting K-State students with the students from James Cook University. "Most study trips involve visits to corporations and cultural experiences," he said. "This trip went even further than that. Our students experienced what it was like to work in cross-cultural teams. That was an invaluable experience and helped prepare our students for life in the global workplace."

Cultural highlights of the trip included a cruise on Sydney Harbour, a private tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House, a visit to a crocodile farm and a snorkeling excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.

"This trip to Australia has been one for the books," said Matt Murray, senior in accounting, Topeka. "I feel as if I have made several great relationships with lots of great people by attending this trip. From touring accounting firms, to exploring the city of Sydney, to scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, I would not trade this experience for anything. Traveling to Australia has truly been an incredible experience with such great people, and like a boomerang, I'll be coming back."

Many of the K-State students who attended the trip had not previously traveled out of the U.S. The trip was a great opportunity to build relationships and to experience business and cultural life on the other side of the globe.

"This has been a once in a lifetime experience," said Brittany Gleason, senior in accounting, Kinsley. "We had the opportunity to hear from top executives and interact with other students from another culture. The knowledge gained and experiences that we encountered on this trip will undoubtedly give me more confidence and the tools I will need when working in a diverse workplace in my future career."

The College of Business Administration offers several study abroad experiences throughout the year. For more information on future accounting-oriented study abroad programs, email Wilkinson at bwilkinson@k-state.edu or visit cba.k-state.edu/current-students/study-abroad/index.html.