Virginia Tech®home

International Business Caribbean: Learn how your major may be applied in an international setting, in real time, interacting with people who actually do it!

Global FIRE

Dates: March 4 - March 12

The Global Freshmen International Research Experience (FIRE) program combines the HTM/MGT 2314 course with a 1-week international experience during Spring Break or in May immediately following the end of the Spring Semester. Students will participate in a 1-credit recitation section to prepare during the semester to embark on a one-week cruise with the purpose of interacting with management and staff, as well as other guests, to learn more about their major.  Other countries will be visited on the cruise, however the largest part of the international aspect will be working with people from over 30 different countries.  This program is the ideal example of experiential learning.

  • Minimum GPA of 2.3 by the end of fall semester
  • Any students enrolled in the HTM/MGT 2314 course during fall, winter, or spring 2021-2022, regardless of their majors
  • Pamplin freshmen will be given priority

*This program will count asver an elective course for Non-Business students.

Students will receive the total of 4 credits upon the completion of the HTM/MGT 2314 course and the embedded study abroad experience, which includes an additional 1-credit recitation section (HTM/MGT 3954). These courses together fulfills one of the credit requirements for the International Business minor, as well as the experiential requirement.

Application process

Students will rank their preferences of the destinations: Caribbean (Spring break);  from Germany or  (May break), Caribbean (Spring break), and Greece (May break) in order. Students will be assigned to ONE of their three preferences based on the availability of the program. Efforts will be made to provide students with their top choice but cannot guarantee it. Should the students decide to withdrawal their applications because they are not placed on their first choice of the destination, the deposit is non-refundable. 

International Business Caribbean is a study abroad program. In this course, there is no one specific host “national” culture, other than the international culture of the cruise industry (Management, Staff and Passengers come from over 50 different countries).  During the cruise, students will work on projects where they spend time working with management and staff, as well as interacting with other passengers, exemplifying experiential learning, and better understanding aspects of international business learned in class.  “corporate culture.” Students will be given opportunities to interact and

work with employees representing over 50 different countries. Through these interactions, the students will gain first-hand experience on how multinational corporations affect the lives and cultures of many different countries. All majors are encouraged to apply to this program, as RCCL (Royal CaribbeanCarnival Cruise Lines (the parent company of Princess) conducts a summer internship program that has recruited students from over 25 disciplines, such as Accounting, BIT, Communications, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Marketing, and Law.

1-credit for HTM/MGT 3954, which can count toward International Business Minor requirements if combined with HTM/MGT 2314.

Tentative schedule






Class attendance at recitations to prep

Mar  4


Roanoke, VA to Miami, FLBlacksburg to Charlotte to Ft. Lauderdale

(TBD) Bus From Virginia Tech to CLT (Charlotte, NC)


(Freehand Hotel/Hostel: Orientation Meeting.TBD Hotel, FLL) (Possible activities: Everglades Air Boat, Las Olas night life, free time, and Group DinnerSouth Beach Hotel tour, Wynwood Art District)

Free Time then Group Dinner

Mar  5

MiamiFt. Lauderdale, FL

Hotel Check-out, Group Transportation to Port Evergladesof Miami. Embarkation; settling into cabin; 1st Mtg with Management Team: discussion of the cruise industry; Orientation Ship Tour

Mar  6

At SeaPrincess Cays, Bahamas

Bkfst Meeting: Plan day, organize project and schedule for week. 

Tour Island, enjoy beach and sport activitiesInteraction with Crew, various workstations TBD; Evening: Debrief day’s activities, and discussion of International Human Resources. One-hour orientation/preparation for and discussion of Haiti

Mar 7

At SeaLabadee, Haiti

Tour of Labadee, and free time. Evening; Reflection of experience in Haiti: Haitian Culture, Cuisine, and Tourism issues. Time for Journal Entries and revieMeeting:  w.plan project and day.  Interaction with Crew, various workstations TBD;

Evening: Debrief day’s activities, and discussion of International Human Resources. One-hour orientation/preparation for and discussion of St. Thomas

Orientation and preparation for Jamaica

Mar 8

Falmouth, JamaicaSt. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Historic Falmouth and Ocho Rios TBDHistoric St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Excursion TBD

Evening; Reflection of experience in St. Thomas: Jamaica: Jamaican Culture, Cuisine, and Tourism issues.  Time for Journal entries and review

Mar 9

St. MaartenAt Sea

Dutch/French Island:  Excursion TBDMgt Meeting Disc. Group; Group activities TBD; free time


Evening; Reflection of experience in St. Maarten:  Culture, Cuisine, and Tourism issues.  Benefits/Detriments to an island split by two separate countries.  Time for Journal entries and review Evening: Orientation/preparation for Mexico, and Mayan History.

Mar 10

At Sea Cozumel, Mexico

Mgt Meeting Disc. Group; Group activities TBD; free time

Evening: Orientation/preparation for Mexico, and Mayan History.Tour Tulum Mayan Ruins, Free time

Evening; Reflection of experience in Mexico: Mexican Culture, Cuisine, and Tourism issues.  Time for Journal Entries and review.

Mar 11

At Sea

Time to reflect and prepare.  AfternoonEvening: Presentations

Evening: Enjoy time together

Mar 12

Ft. Lauderdale, FLMiami

6:00: Disembark Sky Princess  and travel to Charlotte, NC. Then transfer to Blacksburg, VA Roanoke, VA

Program Participants fly as a group with group flight reservations.


Approximate cost for the program is $3,530. A non-refundable deposit of $500 payable online, is due immediately after acceptance into the program, with the balance of program fees due December 30.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2022

Cost Summary (estimated)


Pre-trip Personal Costs:



VT GEO Application fee



VT GEO Participation fee









Program Fee:












Meals (not included)






VT tuition & fees if you are a Spring full-time student:






Funds required during program:


Personal Expenses



Total Estimated Costs



Note: Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships:  Your financial aid eligibility can apply to this program. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University Financial Aid Office.  In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the Global Education Office at the International Affairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131.  The form can be found on the Global Education Financial Aid page.

Due to prepayment on items such as air and lodging, billing may not be in sync with financial aid payouts. Please be prepared to pay costs in advance and be reimbursed with any payouts later.

Contact Information

Stuart Feigenbaum
350 Wallace Hall

Ellie Walters
1046 Pamplin Hall
(540) 231-3208