Technology and trade have created a more interdependent world. As companies build functional teams across continents, they seek employees with cultural competencies fostered by international study. The E. J. Ourso College of Business encourages students to take advantage of study-abroad opportunities to ensure they are prepared to succeed in a diverse and global labor market. 

We're highlighting the journeys of three undergraduate management majors who, with support from the Rucks International Scholars Awards, enhanced their educational journey by studying abroad.

Julia Fontana '24

BS Management with a concentration in international management
Storytelling in Florence | LSU Academic Programs Abroad

"I was truly honored to receive the 2023 Rucks International Scholars Award for my LSU Storytelling in Florence, Italy program this summer. Studying in Florence forever changed my life by fueling my passion for adventure and desire to pursue a professional career on a global scale. 

From climbing to the top of the famous Duomo, studying the Renaissance, interacting with the beautiful people of Italy, and making connections with my peers and professors—I cultivated a greater appreciation for the world in which we live. I grew professionally and personally by expanding my adaptability, resilience, and empathy skills. I cannot thank Billy and Cathy Rucks enough for this opportunity!" 

Julia Fontana stands in the foreground with The Birth of Venus hanging on a wall in the background.

Julia Fontana stands before Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Victoria Funes '24

BS Management with a concentration in strategic leadership
Summer in Europe | International Business Seminars

"The time I spent with International Business Seminars in Europe is the highlight of my undergraduate years. Participating in this seminar and meeting students from other universities significantly impacted my personal and academic development. Each student and professor's diverse perspectives, cultural backgrounds, and academic endeavors created a great environment for personal growth. We visited six countries. My favorite was Austria. In Innsbruck, we hiked the Nordkette mountain range, toured the Ambras Castle, and paraglided through the beautiful scenery. Additionally, we interacted with locals who showed us traditional Austrian culture through food and historical sites. 

This program was not specific to one major, so each student had the opportunity to view international business practices in a variety of industries, including finance, insurance, marketing, and more. Collaborative discussions and shared experiences helped develop adaptability, communication, and understanding. The lasting connections formed during this trip will lead to lifelong friendships, professional networks, and future collaborations that will enhance my personal and professional life.  

I am grateful to the Rucks family for providing the scholarship that helped with the cost of my trip. I encourage all Rucks Department of Management students to explore the opportunities available  through study abroad programs." 

Victoria and a friend stand before an ornate white church in a valley surrounded by lush green mountains

Victoria Funes learned about business practices in several European countries. She lists Austria as her favorite.

McKenzee Stoltz '24

BS Management with a concentration in human resources
Go Barcelona | Lead Abroad

"During my time in Barcelona, I took two classes—philosophy and business. We visited small business owners to discuss how they ran their organizations and the requirements to keep them profitable. I learned about international leadership, business, and culture. As a management major, the assignments made me examine my beliefs and values as I strive to become a leader in whatever profession I pursue. 

On the weekends, I visited nearby countries. I had some culture shock when it came to little things, but mostly, I was excited by all the new experiences. I visited Amsterdam, Paris, and the Costa Brava. Unlike Paris, Amsterdam had never been on my bucket list, but after meeting the people and learning about the history behind their architecture, it now holds a special place in my heart. I made many friends through the program and even more while traveling within Europe. Engaging with the locals was thrilling, especially through conversations about language, food, and history. While my weekends were always enjoyable, I was eager to return 'home' by the time Sunday came around. This 'home' was not the States, but Barcelona. I established a home in a city I could never have imagined living in and was made to feel welcome by everyone. 

My study abroad adventure will constantly be something I will promote to others. Lead Abroad provided a great experience. They were always there if anyone needed something. Since the program was close-knit, the professors went out of their way to get to know every student; this motivated us to participate and excel. 

I always wanted to go overseas but never believed the opportunity would present itself. I appreciate my parents, professors, and friends who encouraged and supported me in taking this leap. The Rucks International Scholars Awards helped make this experience possible."

Barcelona's colorful cityscape with Gaudi's architecture
McKenzee Stoltz made Barcelona her home during the summer of 2023.



About the Rucks International Scholars Awards

The Rucks Department of Management periodically emails management majors to inform them of the availability of study-abroad support. To apply, students write a letter of application to the department chair that includes: 

  • A description of where they are going to study as well as a description of the course(s)/program in which they will be enrolled.
  • An estimate of the cost of round-trip airfare to the location where the course(s)/program is being held.
  • A description of how the study abroad experience will enhance their management education and their future careers. 


International travel opportunities are available to all business students, regardless of major. Explore the upcoming winter travel programs through International Business Seminars