5 Tips to Help You Prepare for International Business Travel

Travel overseas for business can be a fun adventure, but it also needs to be taken seriously. Before traveling to another country, whether for work or pleasure, it’s important to learn the customs and procedures of your destination, while also preparing yourself for your trip.

As a business traveler, you’re not only representing your country of origin to all of those you meet, but you are also a representative of your company. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the country you are planning on visiting as a way to show respect.

Besides requiring the correct documents like a visa and passport, there are other obligations you will likely need to complete before making your way overseas. Many of these requirements are specific to a particular destination based on the laws and regulations for the countries you are visiting. Make sure you do your homework well in advance so you know each of these requirements.

5 Tips for Overseas Business Travel

International travel for business can be a very exciting opportunity. You not only get to see new and interesting parts of the world, but you even get paid while doing it. In order to have the best experience possible, there are things you can do in advance to prepare. Here are five tips to help execute the perfect international business trip.

Create an Organized Itinerary: Make sure that your days are packed with opportunities to help your company. Scheduling time for appointments, meetings, and personal time is very important to executing a beneficial international business trip. An itinerary should be a good guide for your trip’s goals and achievements. Because you do not want to waste any time on this trip, it’s better to plan in advance to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Learn about the Culture and Customs: Before landing in said country, it’s important to understand the environment, culture and practices of this region. Knowing up-to-date news and information about your international travel destinations will help you avoid inappropriate comments or disrespectful behavior. Not only is it important to understand the culture, but it is also beneficial to know protocols, customs and etiquette as well. This includes things like: common greetings, religious practices, business manners, dietary practices, and acceptable humor.

Learn the Native Tongue: While not every business trip requires learning a whole new language, it’s always advisable to seek out some basic vocabulary for the region you are visiting. The use of a translator might be beneficial as well. Communication is a huge part of business and breaking down those barriers will only help you with your business endeavors.

Protect Yourself: Traveling internationally can be exciting, but also very stressful and sometimes dangerous. A new environment can mean new hazards and threats. Don’t avoid protecting yourself to save money. Sometimes travel insurance is a valuable way to reduce the risk of health crises and other types of risks.

Stay Connected: Plan to use your communication devices while staying overseas. Make sure that your plan is available in other countries, or rent a cellphone from the airport. Communicating back and forth between your headquarters, while in a different country, is often an important part of international business. Communicating with your coworkers back at the office is an important part of international business travel.

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International Business Success

There is a lot of talk today about being “global”. What does global mean? A person of the world? Every country is as different. So is every locality and city or town. The skills a business person needs to be successful in international business go beyond being global. While not comprehensive, this list based on over a dozen years of international business experience should help.

Travel

For the international business person, travel is a way of life. Long distance air travel can be especially brutal. The best advice is to arrive one day before any important meetings or conferences to adjust to any time difference. In the air, eat, sleep, work and read but do all in moderation. Air travel gluttony is common among international travelers. The on thing you cannot do is exercise on an airplane.

Lodging

Stay where your host, whether a local office or a client recommends. While cost is a consideration, so is safety, convenience to meeting locations and services provided. This is the home away from home so chose it with care.

Meals

Eat in moderation. Business travel is not the time to make up for every diet that one has ever been one. There is the temptation to eat more than usual. On the other had, when with people who live locally, whether colleagues or clients, ask what they recommend when dining together. Apart from allergies, one should be open to eating local cuisine.

Drinking

Some cultures drink more than Americans. Some drink less. And some not at all. The best advice is to drink in moderation or not at all. Similar to eating, international business travel is not the time to beat ones college drinking record. It is not healthy and it is insulting to clients and colleagues.

Dress

Most American business people, even after the business casual trend, still dress much more casually than business people internationally. Find out from local colleagues or even clients what attire is appropriate. If you do not know, dress in traditional business attire (suits for men and for women). This can always be dressed down if appropriate. Dress like you mean business but more importantly, dress appropriately. The same applies to evening dinners and functions outside of business hours.

Meetings

Be at meeting early. Do not leave until the meeting is over. Even if others leave to take calls, do not do so except at scheduled breaks. Eat in moderation if lunch is brought in. Do not drink too much coffee but bottled water is good. Clean up after yourself after the meeting. And do not sit in the meeting with your laptop and read your email. That is rude. Do make sure you bring plenty of business cards. Introduce yourself to everybody. Do not interrupt, raise your voice or swear. If you have other calls, schedule them for the evening when not meeting with the clients or your colleagues.

Recreation

In the evenings it is common to have dinner with clients or colleagues. After dinner is often a time to relax, exercise and catch up on some work before the next day. If staying over a weekend or taking a day off, visit local historical sites, museums, cultural events and also shops and restaurants. Staying in the hotel doing work is not healthy and it does not make one more internationally-minded or cultured.

Communication

Find out how your clients and colleagues prefer to communicate when not face-to-face. E-mail is common today. Conference calls are important too. Video conference calls can be very effective. Snail mail and faxes are less and less common today but are still necessary from time-to-time. Keep all communications clear, crisp and to the point. On international conference calls, listen more than talk. And do not interrupt. Ever. Take notes or minutes and make sure they are distributed within one business day of the call. Never e-mail jokes, gags, anything obscene or off-color. Do not swear or raise your voice on calls or video calls. Listening and patience are valued in most non-US cultures.

Language

While most non-US business people speak 2-4 languages most from the US speak 1 or perhaps 2 and not well. To this end, speak clearly in English. Be patient if asked to repeat or explain. This is especially true on conference calls. It is acceptable to pick up local words or phrases. Make sure they are appropriate and that they are pronounced flawlessly. Do not make a joke out of local words or phrases. This is insulting to clients and local colleagues.

While business has a lot to do with finance, technology, human resources, research and development and law, it has more to do with people than anything else. To that end, doing business internationally is about people. By traveling and working with dignity and respect for customers and local colleagues, one is taking the first step toward the extensive skills needed to be successful in international business.

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International Business Site – Get Help With International Business Negotiation

For many business owners the prospect of trading internationally for the first time can be a very worrying experience. The choice to locally source products has always been a favoured method of conducting business however in today’s day and age there is simply so much money in international trade that businesses often cannot afford to miss out. Due to lower labour costs, lower tax and generally lower production costs countries such as China, as a small example, manage to produce high quality products at a fraction of the price; something which could seriously increase your businesses profits.

The first thing that many people have to realise is that international business negotiation is never going to be exactly the same as local business negotiation. As you travel around the world various different countries and business communities have various different business principles. Being able to adapt to these principles is therefore a must if you wish to trade in those regions of the world.

An international business site offers a very in depth look into the cultures and business principles of the most common countries where international business takes place and aims to help those new to international trading get a head start. It will teach you not only about the culture and common practices in the country, but also about the business etiquette and how you should move towards international business negotiation.

Common things you need to know about the country before you start international business negotiation.

The chances are that if you wish to conduct international business negotiation you will be flying out to your country of choice. Even if you find a company you would like to trade with online this is a certainty. Here are some of the things you should know before you make your initial visit:

1. The business practices for greeting / meeting a new person such as handshakes and hellos.
2. What the general business attire is in any given country. Some countries will keep the idea of wearing a suit whereas some may be more relaxed on what you can where to a business meeting.
3. Different countries have different practices when presenting business cards or exchanging credentials. For example in Asia you are meant to treat a potential partners business card with the up most respect, meaning that you receive it in two hands and place it careful in your inside jacket pocket.
4. You should learn about the rules when eating in said country as the company you are negotiating with may take you for a meal. This is important in places such as China, where cleaning your plate is considered an insult; very different to countries such as the UK where it would be a compliment.
5. Look into the countries culture and what they like to do for business entertainment.

Using the international business site will help to learn all of the things mentioned above about various different regions of the world. This will give you a head start when it comes to travelling abroad when looking to kick start some sort of international business negotiation.

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Undergraduate Program: International Business Program

International Business Program is designed for students interested in a career in an international environment. The program (Undergraduate Program: International Business Program) meets the need for business men and women who are able to work in an international business life and contains general as well as specialized courses, all given in English. You will meet students from different parts of the world during the program (Undergraduate Program: International Business Program) which gives you an excellent basis for understanding other cultures. If you take the chance to go abroad, on a university exchange and/or an international internship, you will have experience from studying and working in an international environment. This provides you with valuable experience when applying for future work.

Career opportunities After studying on the International Business Program you will have the competence and qualifications to work with international business related tasks in companies, organizations or in the public sector. The internship program offers you a unique opportunity to work abroad where you will have the chance to practice and develop your skills in marketing, management or finance. The program (Undergraduate Program: International Business Program) gives you eligibility for advanced and post-graduate studies in business administration.

Program Outline

All courses are studied one at a time with an examination at the end of each module. Normally each course module is 5 weeks.
Courses in the first five semesters and part of the sixth semester are obligatory.

• Business International Administration A (International Business Environment, marketing, organization and management of the firm, management accounting)
• Statistics (Introduction into statistical quality control and statistical decision theory) and Economic History (about the evolution of economic phenomena in historical perspective)
• Economics (how to manage limited resources)
• Business International administration B (Financial accounting B, entrepreneurial and enterprise and enterprise resource planning systems, Research methodology in Business Administration, foundations of Finance.
• Business Administration C and electives (In this semester, you will study 15 credits at C level where you choose between marketing and finance, and 15 credits (elective courses) in any subject as long as you fulfill the requirements and there are seats available on that course. You are guaranteed a seat on all courses in the following institutions: Business Administration, Economics, statistics, Law and economic history. You may also apply for other courses with in languages, behavioral sciences and informatics. You may also go for exchange studies abroad in this semester.
• Jurisprudential survey course (Introduction to Swedish Law and Basic EU Law) and 15 credits elective courses (students have an opportunity to go for internship abroad ( optional) but which we highly recommend or choose to study 15 credits electives( same conditions as in semester 5)

In the seventh semester, you will choose a specialization between the unique courses for each emphasis in Business administration. (Marketing, Management,Business Development and Internationalization).

Semester 8: Degree project. The degree project should have the same emphasis as your area of specialization (to be written with another student).
Assistance in oral and written presentation in English will be given parallel with courses in semester 1 and 4.

Career Opportunities

Students that complete this program use their qualification to work in companies, organizations and authorities with an international emphasis. The program (Undergraduate Program: Business International Program) also prepares the student for an international work environment

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