The International Business Exchange Program, better known as IBEP, was one of the main reasons I applied to Booth. It’s Booth’s version of study abroad and students can apply for programs that last a couple weeks or an entire quarter at one of Booth’s 30 partner schools.
Fast forward two years and I’m living in Barcelona, where I am doing my exchange at IESE. I won’t say I don’t miss Chicago, but I will share that last week it was 65F and sunny. In January. Not a bad trade off.
But how does one make their IBEP daydreams a reality?
- Be patient. Applications won’t come out until Winter Quarter of your first year, so sit tight in the fall and enjoy living in Chicago for the Fall Quarter before you start dreaming about leaving.
- Decide how long you want to be gone for. There are short- and long-term IBEP options. Short-term is for a couple of weeks. Long term is for an entire quarter.
- Pick when and where you want to go. Booth has 30 partner schools in 20 countries that welcome students every year, and you need to decide which options would be best for you. Some schools only partner for certain quarters, so consider when you want to be gone (it was not a coincidence that I chose to spend winter on the Mediterranean coast). Also consider carefully WHY that school/country is the best for you. Why do you want to go there? What do you like about the country? Which classes do you want to take? This is the time to narrow down your list to a couple of schools, not 10.
- Apply. Yes, this part requires a bit of work. Two short essays, to be exact, which is why I suggested keeping your list of schools short. Do you really want to write out 20 unique essays? Of course not, you did enough of that when applying for MBA programs. Your application will be reviewed by the IBEP office, which matches students with placements at partner schools.
- Accept your placement. Once you hear back from the IBEP office on which school you were paired with, you can either accept or decline the placement. If you accept, you put down a deposit that will go towards your tuition for that quarter.
- Celebrate! You’re on your way to a grand adventure.