International Entrepreneurial Programs

Study Abroad: Cultural Experiences for Entrepreneurs

Spain, Alcala group photo

New Entrepreneurial Experiences Boost Creativity. The fundamental learning outcome of any study abroad program is new perspectives, which is key to fueling an entrepreneurial mindset. At SDSU there are over 50 study abroad opportunities each year, covering a vast array of cultures from all over the world. Each country has an entrepreneurial clique that students will interact with, including fellow entrepreneur students, incubators, and founders. We strongly encourage taking advantage of these opportunities to immerse yourself in new settings and let them influence your thinking.


Current International Entrepreneurship Experiences

Maximize your study abroad experience in a two ½ week winter break program in Rome Italy. Get a full three (3) credits for Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (MGT 358). This course is needed for both the Major/Minor in Entrepreneurship; however, anyone who is a student at SDSU can take this amazing course. Stretch your perspective of the world and get a new point of view and a rich set of new skills and experiences. The benefits of this course are three course credits, short time frame, a perspective of what it takes to identify great ideas/trends, learn how to evaluate the product potential and create a company. Rome, Italy is an amazing place with its architecture and history from the Roman times up to modern day entrepreneurial Rome. We will stay in a historical neighborhood in hotel/hostel housing. Also, you will have the opportunity to visit the best cities in Europe on the weekends and truly create a rewarding study abroad experience.

When you complete this course, you will have acquired the knowledge to examine a service or product idea thoroughly, through a very solid new business model framework, to determine its viability of ever becoming a business. You will learn that all initial ideas need to be examined, trends examined, feasibility analysis needs to be conducted, and secondary and primary research provides additional insights. You will learn how to target customer segments within marketplaces, to conduct a competitive analysis and to work with team members in analyzing course cases. And you will prepare a final plan and presentation of one idea that you have thoroughly examined as a team.

We will conduct this case-study based class in the mornings and meet with entrepreneurs later in the day. We will visit with local founders and incubators in Rome. The course is also designed to allow for two free weekends for side trips to Lisbon, London, Madrid or Barcelona.

* This course has been approved as a marketing elective. However, to be official, students need to complete a RAAR form. Please contact Teresa Donahue at [email protected] to complete this form. 

Quotes from Students Who Participated in The Program

    • "Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I enjoyed meeting with entrepreneurs after the class portion because it broadened my perspective on developing a business." - Ryan B., Winter 2018
    • "The major strength of the program was] our meetings with local entrepreneurs." -Raena P., Winter 2017
    • "This was a great experience due to our professor having so much business experience and knowledge on the subject." - Thomas W. Winter 2018
Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Executive Director and Professor Alex DeNoble will take a group of undergraduate students for a 2 week long venture through the Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship in Alcala, Spain, just outside of Madrid. This course is designed to provide an overview of the entrepreneurial process in multiple contexts. Given the study abroad nature of the course, students will have the opportunity to work in multi-cultural teams and study entrepreneurship in a Spanish context. Through a unique arrangement with Alcala University in Spain, SDSU students will be working alongside of Alcala students to investigate the key principles of the entrepreneurial process as they pertain to opportunities that may emerge from this cross-cultural experience.

During this 10 day intensive program abroad, students will listen to lectures from both SDSU and Alcala faculty on the various aspects of the entrepreneurial process. They will also have time to work on projects in their study groups and to visit with local entrepreneurs. At the end of the course, student teams will present the results of an opportunity analysis and a designed business model in order to pursue the opportunity. These presentations will take place at Google's brand new co-working space for entrepreneurs called Campus Madrid.

Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Director of Programs and SDSU Lecturer, Bernhard Schroeder, led a group of 17 undergraduate students through the Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship course (MGT 358) while studying abroad in Rome, Italy. In addition to the course, students had the opportunity to visit the key incubators in Rome and attend a few startup meetups. Students also stretched their perspective of the world and got a new point of view with a rich set of new experiences in a different culture. Students were part of case-study based classes that focused on topics such as, domains of group formation, market and industry analysis, business forecasting, and target segment benefits. Then they had to create a business model around a disruptive technology with a target audience in mind.

Students also engaged with seven business founders and through their interactions with the different individuals they were able to acquire an understanding of the local environment in terms of entrepreneurship. Students had two free weekends for side trips to Athens, London, Madrid or Barcelona. This course was intended to give the students a deep immersion into entrepreneurship in Rome and a very solid blend of academic and experiential learning.


The Lavin Entrepreneur Center sent SDSU students on a trip to France to study the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in an international context. This experience allowed students to explore market opportunities, identify products and services, and understand how entrepreneurs do business from the beautiful cultural context of Paris, France.

Students had the opportunity to engage with seven business founders in Paris ranging from a tea and pastry shop, to a chain of brewpubs to a $1.4 billion ecommerce company. Students interacted with different individuals which fostered their capability to attain an understanding of the local environment in terms of entrepreneurship. We visited two of the seven regional incubators supported by the French government and attended presentations from several startup companies.

Class lectures were held at the students accommodations, a modern building complex housing student rooms, conference and classrooms as well as a delicious French bakery. Lectures focused on topics such as, opportunity recognition, team aspirations, market and industry analysis, business forecasting, and target segment benefits. Students also completed ideation exercises, individual and group case studies, and a group presentation project. In addition, a professor from the Sorbonne University presented trends and culture insights about the French marketplace.

Students had an amazing time, gaining insights on entrepreneurship from the vantage point of Paris, France. The students traveled the Metro together, visited London and immersed themselves into the French culture. The insights they experienced and gleaned from the local entrepreneurs will serve as life-long memories.


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