Explore the Asia Pacific and complete a remote, hands on consulting project with companies located in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand

Program Overview

Gain a deeper understanding of international business in the Asia Pacific Region through a virtual course and hands-on consulting project that you can complete from home. When you complete this program, you'll walk away with a solid understanding of a region plus marketable, real-world experience with a global company. 

What are some benefits of a virtual global experience?
  • Interactive course lead by instructors in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Develop professional skills that have become increasingly important, including how to work remotely, collaborating in virtual teams, practicing intercultural communication strategies, and optimizing programs such as Zoom or Slack 
  • Prepare for a future study abroad or international work experience
  • Network with global businesses through guest speakers and projects
  • Available at a cost similar to a 3 s.h. winter course through UI
  • Virtual global experiences are eligible for many study abroad scholarships
Course Description

You will start by learning about issues confronting small-medium enterprises and multi-national enterprises in the Asia Pacific Region, learning specifically about Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The lectures will be taught by a local instructor in Australia and will be infused with virtual business briefings from a company in each country. The course introduces you to the basic concepts of international business and the rise of globalization. It examines the importance of understanding key political-legal, socio-economic, and technological factors and issues impacting international trade in this region.

You will apply what you have learned in a virtual consulting project with a company in either Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, or Hong Kong. You will be assigned into groups of 3-5 students to work on a real business project, spending approximately 45 hours across 3 weeks to complete the project and provide a virtual presentation at the end of the project. Gain hands on experience working in a virtual international environment while also networking with companies around the world. 

Course credit satisfies Tippie RISE and also counts in the following ways:

  • Pick one: MKTG:4000 Contemporary Topics in Marketing (major level marketing elective) or International Global Issues for Tippie students (general education)
  • Pick one: For the International Business Certificate: International Business Section or Study Abroad Section

Virtual Project Examples

The objective of the project is to develop a marketing plan. This marketing plan would be presented to key stakeholders within the business with recommendation on resourcing and funding required in order to deliver the objectives. 

  • Develop a SWOT analysis to determine how the project can help the company achieve its business objectives. This may require consumer research.
  • Interview key stakeholders to understand what initiatives are already going on that can form part of the plan.
  • Develop a marketing plan that distills the lessons from above and formulates a plan for the company to leverage the product or service.
  • Participate in departmental meetings and conference calls with clients.

The objectives of the project include:

  1. Identifying key sectors with venture growth potential in ASEAN
  2. Identifying successful business models and disruptive technologies applicable to ASEAN
  3. Identifying target companies that will be suitable early stage investments given your company's investment mandate. 

Key deliverables will include a sector report, market size projections and investment memo.  
To achieve this objective, the students will:

  • Conduct in-depth research on industries, value chains and business models
  • Consolidate data and conduct market size projections
  • Formulate investment/sector thesis
  • Participate in meetings with entrepreneurs where relevant to given topic  

By the end of the project, students should have an overview of the role and responsibilities required of junior investment staff and broadly understand how venture funds deploy capital and construct a portfolio.

Across five work streams the cohort will create a framework to help identify how digitally enabled a business is, where their gaps are and where (using their wider networks) business owners can find the support they need.

  • Short term wins aligning to long term strategy 
  • Pivot a business model using digital channels
  • Develop the right business processes 
  • How to optimize eCommerce to get the most out of the digital transformation 
  • Using social and digital marketing to drive tangible outcomes  

Project objective: The objective of this project is to produce a report/presentation on (but not limited to) the following:

  • What does it mean to be digitally active?
  • Where are SMEs currently getting their information?
  • How is that information being consumed?
  • What are the best channels to reach these businesses?
  • What are the biggest challenges?
  • What are the immediate pain points?
  • What will it require to transition to a permanent digital footprint?
  • What are some of the digital tools/systems/infrastructure considerations?
  • How will you measure success/productivity?
  • A matrix of the information/support offered by each member of the cohort. And a plan on next step actions. 

To achieve this the students will:

  • Interview the cohort members to understand their SME propositions
  • Attend meetings with the cohort as appropriate
  • Carry out wider research on the above topics
  • Collect and analyze data held by the various cohort members
  • Through the networks of the cohort gather feedback from SMEs
  • Create a summary report of their findings and a suggested action plan for moving forward
Coogee Coast

How to Apply

  • Applications for winter break December 2021 - January 2022 will open August 30 and can be found here. Early applications encouraged.
  • Application deadline: September 28
  • Confirmation deadline: October 5
  • Program will be confirmed Wednesday, October 6

Tentative Program Dates

This is a tentative class outline. Final schedule will be provided in early December. Please note, the 4 class date/time meetings are required for participation and are held via Zoom. Project meeting and work times determined by each individual team.

  • Dec. 15 - 23: Intro call with host company supervisor
  • Sunday, Dec. 19 6-8PM CST: Required virtual class meeting: Topic- Intro to Asia Pacific and focus on Australia
  • Monday, Dec. 20 6-9PM CST: Required virtual class meeting: Topic- New Zealand and business briefing from professional in Australia or New Zealand
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21 6-9PM CST: Required virtual class meeting: Topic- Hong Kong and business briefing from professional in Singapore or Hong Kong
  • Wednesday, Dec. 22 6-8PM CST: Required virtual class meeting: Topic- Singapore
  • Dec. 27 - 31: 20 hours of work on company project and coaching with professor
  • Jan. 3 - 7: 20 hours of work on company project and coaching with supervisor 
  • Jan. 10 - 14: 20 hours of work on assigned project with virtual presentation to host company and professor 
Hong Kong


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • GPA: 2.75 UI and cumulative
  • Academic Prerequisites: MKTG:3000 or approval of program director
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing

If you have questions regarding eligibility requirements, contact the program director stephanie-fountain@uiowa.edu prior to submitting an application.

Hong Kong

Program Fee and Scholarships

The program fee is expected to be $1,600-$1,800. This includes 3 s.h. of course credit and is comparable to tuition for all 3 s.h. courses offered through the University of Iowa over winter break. There is a $50 application fee for this program. 

This program qualifies for study abroad scholarships through both Tippie and the Study Abroad office. 

Apply for Tippie Scholarships

What Tippie students are saying

"Working with a start-up company based in Melbourne, Australia aimed at entering the U.S. Market by December of this year was an amazing experience.  Their product was an augmented reality mobile app.  Along with my team, I was able to establish relationships with our clients, identify their needs, perform primary and secondary research, and present our findings and recommendations.  It was a consolidated, intense 3 weeks of work and our clients expressed that our results exceeded their expectations. 

This experience has taught me to be both patient and persistent when working with those from differing cultures and customs.  Style-flexing to clients doing business at a slightly slower pace and having more meaningful dialogue in our remote meetings to replace the relationship building that would have been done in person pre-COVID, helped to establish trust.  I most enjoyed designing a consumer survey to collect data on target consumer groups and interviewing experts for advice on market entry strategies.  Compiling a 30-page business deck to walk our client through our findings was rewarding.  Influencing a company’s trajectory made it one of the most relevant and applicable courses I’ve taken thus far."

- Adam S.


"The course was the perfect combination of academics and hands-on marketing consultation work. The presentations were given by international business professionals from Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore to name a few. They discussed traditional business customs in their cultures, specific marketing strategies, and how the business world has been changing from their perspective. I had the opportunity to connect with a guest speakers from Australia that discussed conversion rate optimization. He has offered to mentor me and share international opportunities with me, which was never something I thought I would find over zoom.

I was also given the chance to work as a marketing consultant for an online memorial tribute service. The company is based out of Australia, but has customers from all over the globe. I focused on improving the user experience features and visual accessibility of the website. Throughout the project I was finally able to apply my marketing coursework to real life work. I can see how valuable my coursework is as I now have the firsthand knowledge to apply the concepts I’m learning at Tippie."

- Brad H.