Marshall Learning about International Commerce (LINC) Program

Spring 2021 Applicant Info Available

by Aug 20, 2020

A 2-unit course including a week-long field study trip in March or May for first-year business students to learn about the business, economic, and cultural environment outside the U.S.


Globalization has become an important force shaping businesses around the world. In an increasingly global world, it is critical that business professionals learn about globalization and international business practices. This course will provide an introduction to globalization and international business and familiarize you with the skills needed to be successful in conducting business across borders. The centerpiece of this course is a week-long field study trip to another country to learn about the business, economic, and cultural environment in that country. In addition to the experiential education during the international field study trip, the course will consist of a set of class sessions leading up to the trip, in which major themes related to international business and the business environment of the country you will visit will be discussed. The course will conclude with an integration of the lessons learned about international business from both the class sessions and the experiential education during the international field study trip. This course will provide a learning experience that will expand and broaden your cultural horizons and help you gain an appreciation for how business is conducted across national boundaries.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. To understand the impacts of globalization on business.
  2. To appreciate the challenges and opportunities of doing business internationally.
  3. To learn to assess the business environment in other countries, including business practices, economic and financial structures, institutions and institutional voids, political and regulatory systems, and cultural and social conditions.
  4. To develop an international business perspective by understanding the similarities and differences in the business environment across countries and how heterogeneity in the business environment across countries affects international business practices and strategies.
  5. To understand the ethical issues and corporate social responsibility issues that arise in conducting international and global business.
  6. To appreciate how to develop business strategies and make business decisions in the international and global context.

Program Details

In the Spring semester (March and May trips), students admitted to the program enroll in a two-unit course and spend 9 days overseas. During the course, they learn about the culture, history, politics, as well as economic and business conditions in the country they will be visiting. Some students also get the chance to meet with their counterparts from a local university and  explore some prominent cultural venues.

Student Experiences

Sydney 2018 and LInC Sydney

Helsinki-Stockholm 2018

LInC Taipei

LInC Santiago and LInC Santiago and LInC Santiago

LInC Tokyo and LInC Tokyo and LInC Tokyo

LInC Budapest

LInC Buenos Aires

LInC Hong Kong

LInC/GLP Video


March Trips

Hong Kong LINC

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the quintessential modern city, full of energy and contrasts. Once a small fishing village, Hong Kong now boasts a population of over 7 million residents. This former British colony and world-manufacturing powerhouse has repositioned itself in the past decade as the financial gateway to China. Every major bank and investment firm has offices in Hong Kong, making it one of the economic capitals of the world.

Buenos Aires LINC

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is one of South America's premier business destinations. It has a modern business infrastructure and a strong economy. Some of the major local industries, which are continental leaders, are banking, telecommunications, chemical and automobile manufacturing. With its wide boulevards, leafy parks, grand buildings and varied culture and nightlife, Buenos Aires is the most European of all Latin American cities, and is reminiscent of Paris or Barcelona. With several new museums and a continuous agenda of cultural attractions and events, Buenos Aires is a 24-hour city, with much to see and do.

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, the capital city and financial business center of Spain, is unquestionably one of the most beautiful and liveliest cities in the world. The third largest city in the European Union, Madrid has thriving arts, entertainment, and sports scenes.

Spain was hit especially hard by the most recent global economic crisis, but for the past two years, it has experienced steady economic growth.  Now that Spain's economy is back to its pre-crisis level, visiting the country provides a great opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience about how a country can survive an economic crisis and rebound. Spain's economy relies heavily on industry and the service sectors. Its key industries are textiles, automobiles, food processing, machinery, iron, steel, and tourism.​

Tokyo LINC

Tokyo, Japan

Presiding over the world`s third largest economy, Tokyo is the governmental, financial, and administrative center of Japan. Quick to embrace modern developments and fashions, Tokyo has continued to be at the forefront of trends and technology and remains the country`s most cosmopolitan city. Most major Japanese companies have their head office in Tokyo and for foreign companies, a presence in Japan generally means a presence in Tokyo.


May Trips

Santiago Chile Skyline

Santiago, Chile

Santiago once considered a provincial city, is now the economic hub and the capital of Latin American commerce. Santiago is home to one of the fastest growing and most stable economies and governments in South America. The country has experienced consistent economic growth for the past decade and has recently seen a 155% increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The Chilean GDP has “slowed” to average yearly increases of 7% boasting the highest average in North and South America.

Sydney LINC

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the financial and business capital of Australia, and the region. Originally a British colony, Sydney was built around Port Jackson and Sydney Harbor. The city is home to over 90 banks, over half of the top companies in Australia, and four of the top ten largest companies by revenue in the region. The 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup called Sydney home.

Auckland Skyline

Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand

The World Bank and IFC rank New Zealand 1st amongst all nations in the world in terms of ease of doing business. These conditions have helped build a strong start-up and service sector, helping diversify an economy whose main exports are in agriculture and mining. Both Auckland, and Wellington (the capital of New Zealand) are ranked as some of the most livable and safest cities in the world. Oh, and the Hobbit village from Lord of the Rings is just an hour outside Auckland.


Helsinki, Finland / Stockholm, Sweden

Helsinki, the capital city of Finland and the birthplace of Angry Bird, is the world's northernmost metro area.   As one of the most important commercial and political centers in Northern Europe, Helsinki is also one of the safest and best cities to live in the world. 

Finland has been one of the best performing economies within the EU.  Even though forestry, technology, electronics, and manufacturing are its main industries, it also fosters startups, especially in the information and communications technology, gaming, clean-technology, and bio-technology sectors.

Stockholm, Sweden's capital and the most populous Nordic city, combines both modern attractions and historic charm.  It is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Royal Palace Drottningholm and the magical Skogskyrkogården. Stockholm also hosts the Nobel Prize ceremonies.

In 2016, Sweden was ranked the best country in the world in which to do business by Forbes. It has the most digitally connected economy in the world and is also widely recognized as one of the world's best start-up hubs.  Apart from new start-ups such as Spotify, Skype, SoundCloud,and iZettle, other global companies such as IKEA, H&M, Electrolux, Ericsson, and Astra Zeneca also have their roots in Sweden.​



To be considered for the program, students must:

  • be Marshall or Leventhal Majors
  • be true freshmen
  • apply and be accepted to the program



The cost of the travel portion of the program is $3300 and includes:

  • airfare
  • hotel
  • ground transportation
  • some meals

Program prices do NOT include:

  • visa application costs
  • evening meals
  • international insurance
  • incidentals
  • personal expenses
  • residence hall extensions (May trips only)

Additional funds will be available in the form of need-based scholarships for those students who require additional financial support.

Please note: For those of you who receive financial aid – If you will be participating in LInC during May, and receive need based financial aid (loans, grants, work-study) from USC and/or the State of California and/or the US federal Government, and plan on taking summer classes, make sure the summer school program you enroll in starts AFTER June 1 in order to ensure that you do not impact your financial aid for Spring 2020. Students receiving only merit-scholarships (Trustee, Presidential, Dean, etc) and/or a LInC Scholarship are not subject to this restriction. More information will be provided in the LInC admission e-mails.



ALL Marshall/Leventhal students, including international students, are eligible to apply for a scholarship, no matter their financial or visa status.

All scholarship results will be revealed before you need to commit to the program, so simply applying to LInC does not mean you MUST participate. Scholarships will cover no more than 50% ($1650) of the program fee. 

Students who indicate scholarship interest on the LInC application will be asked to upload a copy of either their Financial Aid Summary OR (for those who do NOT receive Financial Aid) a letter of financial need. Without the Financial Aid Statement or Letter of Financial Need, your scholarship application will be considered incomplete, so be sure you have the documents ready to upload IF you will be applying for a scholarship.

Please note: the scholarship committee will review all financial claims, so please be prepared to verify financial information and submit tax and other documents IF requested.


For students receiving financial aid:

1. Access your Financial Aid Summary via MyUSC portal.

2. Under the Financial Aid tab, click on USC Fast.

3. Click on Financial Aid Summary. 

4. Save a pdf version by clicking the printer icon on the right - near the top of the summary, not the page - that will create a pdf.

5. Upload to LiNC application.


For students NOT receiving financial aid:

Those who do not receive financial aid or who receive very little (ie, small amount of loan funds, or maybe a small scholarship) can write a Letter of Financial Need instead. Letters should be as detailed as possible (your and/or your family’s financial situation-income, financial obligations, etc, if there have been any recent changes, and why the scholarship is necessary for you to participate in the program. The more detailed the letter, the better.).



Application information for the 2021 LInC program will be available by August 20, 2020. Admission is NOT on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to take your time in completing the application, which requires the following as separate documents:

  • ESSAY 1 - Why do you believe you are prepared to participate in this program? (500 words max.)
  • ESSAY 2 - What challenges do you expect to encounter during your time overseas? (500 words max.)
  • Updated electronic version of your resume (no more than 1 page in length)
  • Scholarship documents (optional)


Some suggestions for a good resume:

  • Make sure your resume is UPDATED to include USC (under education).

  • Content: articulate your experiences strongly in your bullet points: qualify, quantify, and identify key achievements where possible.

  • Cleanliness and consistency: you must be consistent with your formatting throughout your resume (alignments, font style, font size, etc.) and your resume must be clear of spelling and grammatical errors.

If you would like to discuss your options in person, please contact the International Programs Office at (213) 740-5705 or by email at