International Business with Language and Culture

The overall purpose of the IBLC major is to prepare students for challenges confronting organizations in international settings.

The International Business with Language and Culture (IBLC) major is focused on “problem solving in an international context.” Through a combination of demanding courses and international and domestic experiential activities, this major attracts students seeking to develop the ability to lead and to serve in the global business environment.  It is designed around the following learning objectives:

  1. Proficiency in a second language
  2. Understanding of and sensitivity to cultural variations in behaviors and values
  3. Ability to analyze international business contexts (e.g., markets & market structures, financial arrangements, currencies, transactions, logistics, regulatory issues, etc.)
  4. Ability to analyze change, risk and uncertainty and how change will affect the performance of people, products, and organizations across cultures
  5. Ability to problem solve in organizations across cultures

And it incorporates the following Student Learning Goals:

Students will achieve a level of intercultural competency.

Students will express an understanding of cultural variations in behavior and values.

Students will be able to analyze change, risk and uncertainty in international settings.

Students will understand the unique aspects of change, risk and uncertainty in international business settings.

Students will understand how change, risk and uncertainty will affect the performance of people, products, and organizations across cultures.

What does this mean for you? Think about it: the clothes you are wearing could have been made in Vietnam, your cell phone may have been assembled in China and the food you ate for lunch may have been shipped from Europe or Latin America. International business is a part of everyday life, whether we realize it or not.

And think about this: less than 5% of the world’s customers live in the United States, which means over 95% of the world’s customers live outside the United States. International business means growth for U.S. based companies.

Engaging in international business activities has a host of challenges and opportunities that future managers need to understand and that is precisely what this major addresses.  Designed around five categories of courses plus two experiential requirements, the IBLC major is very attractive to employers.  This is because the combination of academics and required experiences produces graduates who have the business acumen to understand a wide range of business challenges plus they have shown the adaptive resilience, tenacity and problem-solving skill sets necessary to be successful in today’s global business environment.

What does this major look like? There are five categories of courses in the IBLC major:  language, country-specific culture, the business core, required international business courses, and international business electives.

IBLC majors must take foreign language courses through the 300 level in order be introduced to the basic vocabulary of business. Click here to learn about the 11 languages offered at John Carroll. You’ll also take two courses that focus on some aspect of the culture of the country associated with that language. In these classes you’ll cover contemporary political, social, and/or economic factors through a historical and/or cultural perspective, allowing you to see how the country became what it is today.

The business core courses will assure that you have a broad and solid understanding of all the business functions.  The required international business courses will assure that you have all the technical knowledge required in international business contexts.  The international business electives give you the opportunity to specialize your knowledge in marketing, finance, economics or logistics.

In addition, there are two practical requirements to the major: a semester abroad, and an international or domestic internship.

Where do alumni go after graduation? Graduates from this major pursue their passion in a wide range of organizations and industries.  They are following careers in marketing, market development, market research, financial analysis, operations management, logistics and supply chain management in large and small organizations, in international and domestic activities, in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

To learn more specifics about international business with language and culture, please visit our Undergraduate Bulletin.

International Business Experience

There are two practical requirements of the IBLC major: a semester abroad, and an international internship or domestic internship either in northeast Ohio or another part of the U.S.

Study Abroad You will spend a semester studying at a university in the country of your choosing – must be a country for which English is not the national language. This would typically occur in the spring semester of your junior year, although there is enough flexibility in the program that you could, depending on your course sequencing, take the study abroad semester during another semester.

Internships You must complete either an international or domestic internship. We encourage you to pursue the international internship because it will greatly enhance your marketability. The international internship could be completed during your semester abroad or during the summer following the semester abroad. You can complete a domestic internship with a U.S.-based organization. The internship must have an international component or international linkage. You will work with the director of the IBLC major and the office of the BSOB Internship and Employer Relations Coordinator – Brandi S. Mandzak ( –216.397.1967 to connect with internship opportunities.