SAF International Study Course

This course is teaching me how to incorporate different strategies within existing practices to foster deeper meaningful connections with the people we are working with, even in an online setting.

Neha, AFM - Spring 2021

In an ever-expanding internationalized business world, having an international perspective can enhance any business professional's acumen. The SAF International Study Course is a condensed, 0.5-credit course offered to upper-year SAF students that provides the opportunity for students to visit international business centres to learn from business professionals and organizations directly involved in international business and specifically international finance and account. The course is offered in the Winter and Spring terms each year and past courses have visited and/or met with professionals in London UK, Hong Kong, New York City, Frankfurt, Munich, and Singapore.

Course description

Students will gain insight into the business operations of multinational firms and learning the perspectives of business executives across multiple industries in the private and public sectors. The course aims to teach you about the impact of relevant world issues on the dynamic global landscape.

You will receive exposure to various companies, actively participate in discussions with company executives and government officials about their respective industries, and report your findings at the end of the meetings/interviews. Whether you are interested in overseas career opportunities or are looking to familiarize yourself with how business is conducted in a different country, this course offers in-depth understanding of various factors that impact the success of multinational firms.

A significant portion of the course's evaluation is tied to a 1-week period where you'll get the opportunity to meet with senior executives at various international firms across different countries (e.g. United Kingdom, Hong Kong, US, Canada, etc). You are expected to complete assignments and collaborate with each other leading up to and after the course. Two key assignments are the Breakfast Briefing and Company Interviews:

Breakfast Briefing
During the course, you will provide a brief morning presentation about the company on the day of your assigned company's information session(s). The Breakfast Briefings act as a reminder and summary for your fellow classmates about the company's operations, key personnel who may be seen during the day, and other details you find of importance. This will require you to present and will act as a prelude to your QA session during the company events.

Company Interview
During corporate meetings and events, you will be required to lead QA conversations, when time is available, for your respective companies. It is encouraged that all students participate in the session.

We've put together a selection of videos below with more information about the International Study Course.

How to apply

Call for applications will be communicated in late August/early September for the Winter term and in December/early January for the Spring term.

Requirements for Application
Students are invited to apply for the International Study Course who fulfil the following:

  • Enrolled in: AFM, Biotechnology/CPA, CFM, Mathematics/CPA, or Master of Accounting
  • SAF students enrolled in 2B or above

Application Process
Complete the application - available through LEARN - and submit your application along with your résumé and unofficial transcript. Your application should address the following:

  • Your interest in accounting and finance from an international perspective
  • Relevant international work and/or experience in accounting and finance
  • Description of an international business issue/challenge that most interest you, with reasons
  • Demonstrated ability for self-directed work
  • Demonstrated work ethic

Students will be selected through an application and interview process based on academic performance, work experience, aptitude, work ethic and interest in an international perspective of accounting and finance.

Students selected to the fund will be enrolled in AFM 334 (0.50) - Special Topics.

You are expected to be prepared and involved in all course meetings throughout the term\class discussions, and corporate events before and during the course. This includes reading company documents, familiarizing yourself with the itinerary, considering any mentioned information prior to class or events during the course. For the scheduled company events, you are encouraged to be prepared to ask relevant questions about the speaker and the speaker's firm.

Past Teams and Trip Stories

As the lucky students who recently travelled to Switzerland for the winter School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) 2024 International Study Course trip, we are reflecting on and sharing our once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As part of the Winter 2024 AFM334 International Study Course, the class has been hard at work preparing for our trip to Zurich and Geneva at the end of April.

The International Study Course is offered to upper-year students and enables them to meet with companies and business professionals abroad, helping them to learn more about the global business landscape and further enhance the knowledge they gain in the classroom.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Building Connections Across the World

As the corporate relations team for the International Study Course Trip to Vietnam, our mission is to establish strong connections with industry professionals across the globe. With its dynamic business landscape, Vietnam has emerged as a promising destination for collaborations and partnerships. Despite encountering several challenges, our team has honed valuable skills and tactics to ensure our success in reaching out and arranging meetings with industry experts in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Dominic Barton's Gift

SAF would like to thank former University of Waterloo Chancellor Dominic Barton for his generous donation to the International Study Program. The gift will fund new trips to South Asia, allowing more students to participate in the program and develop intercultural skills for the future of work.

"Global forces, including rapid changes in technology, are redefining how we develop talent,” Barton says. “Waterloo excels at training the leaders of tomorrow. I’m proud to support this critical work as an ambassador of the University and as a donor."

Dominic Barton, the University of Waterloo's 11th chancellor