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Office of International Programs

Doing Business in Latin America
Winter Break 2013 -
December 20, 2013 to January 3, 2014

MV Explorer
The Institute for Shipboard Education's MV Explorer

MSU professor of business administration, John Girard, will be leading a study tour during the winter break 2013 that will take place onboard MV Explorer- the very same luxury ocean liner that was transformed into the floating university campus of the world-renowned Semester at Sea® program.

Dr. Girard has arranged for MSU students to join a portion of the Institute for Shipboard's Education (ISE) Enrichment Voyage taking place on the MV Explorer from December 20, 2013 to January 3, 2014. Enrichment Voyages are short-term travel and learning opportunities that are open to participants of all ages. MSU students participating in this study tour will compare and contrast business practices in Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, and USA.

Itinerary Map

The 15-day itinerary includes a unique opportunity to see first-hand the importance of the Panama Canal to global trade, visit businesses in Latin America, and participate in a service learning project in Guatemala. While in Costa Rica and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico students will also have the opportunity to participate in organized field tours or travel independently.

Application Deadline: September 25th, 2013
Download an application here [pdf]

If you do not already have a passport, now is the time to apply for one.

Depending upon available space late applications might be accepted after September 25, 2013. Applicants who submit an application after this date are not guaranteed a spot on the program and might be required to pay a slightly higher program fee due to rate fluctuation in transportation costs. Rate increases are typically not significant.
Dr. Girard on a past Semester at Sea voyage

Academic Course Work
Participants of this study tour will be enrolled in Business Administration: Doing Business in Latin America (3 credits.) The course work will focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with organizational management and business strategy in the global environment, with a specific emphasis on the Latin America region.

CartagenaOld Town Cartagena, Colombia
On each day at sea, required learning activities will take up the majority of the day. Coursework will include two applied projects, both of which will focus on countries visited as part of the program.  This program is the perfect complement to any business degree, or for students simply wishing to gain an in-depth understanding of Latin American culture and practices.  

Instruction will be in three distinct phases, representing approximately 49 contact hours:

Phase 1- Minot State University (November 2013).  Students will be required to participate in a mandatory pre-departure series of lectures.  Students who do not complete the series will not be permitted to complete the study tour. College of Business classrooms will be used. The tentative dates for the lectures are 9, 16 and 23 November. Phase 1 will represent approximately nine contact hours.

Phase 2 – MV Explorer (December 2013/January 2014). On each class day there will be required learning activities of approximately four hours per day (20 contact hours).  Classrooms will be provided onboard MV Explorer.  During the port call in Catagena, Columbia there will be a required city tour (six contact hours). During the transiting of the Panama Canal, students will view the commercial activity and expansion project (four contact hours). Students will participate in a service-learning project in Guatemala (six contact hours). Phase 2 will represent approximately 36 contact hours.

Phase 3 – Minot State University (January 2014). Team of students will present their Foreign Entry Strategy projects at a series of campus open events in January 2014. Phase 3 will represent approximately four contact hours. College of Business classrooms will be used.

Travel Itinerary*

The logistical aspects of this program are being facilitated by the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE). A complete itinerary can be found on their Enrichment Voyages website. *This is a preliminary itinerary and is subject to change.





Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Orientation Meeting – 6PM


Dec 20

Embark MV Explorer:
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Depart 6PM


Dec 21

At Sea (class day)

Sunday Dec 22

Cartagena, Colombia
(Cartagena city tour)

Arrive 7AM
Depart 3PM

Monday Dec 23

Transit Panama Canal
(view Canal Expansion Project)


Tuesday Dec 24

At Sea (class day)

Wednesday Dec 25

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Arrive 7AM
Depart 7PM

Thursday Dec 26

At Sea
(informal meeting/dinner)


Friday Dec 27

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
(Service Learning Project)

Arrive 7AM
Depart 6 PM

Saturday Dec 28

At Sea (class day)

Sunday Dec 29

At Sea (class day)

Monday Dec 30

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Arrive 7AM
Depart 3PM

Tuesday Dec 31

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
(free time)

Arrive 8AM
Depart 3PM

Wednesday Jan 1

At Sea (class day)


Thursday Jan 2

San Diego, U.S.A. (Disembark)

Arrive 8AM

Friday Jan 3

*Students should not plan on departing San Diego airport before 2PM, January 3rd

Program Fees
The program fee includes an inside cabin (double occupancy), all on board meals, port fees, gratuities, and one bag of laundry.  There is a possibly of a fuel surcharge of up to $9 per person per day depending on the cost of fuel.

Two off-ship trips are also included in the program price.  The first is a Cartagena city tour and the second is the service-learning project, both of which will be coordinated through ISE to ensure high quality and safe transportation.

Program Cost
Base Program Fee* $ 2,816 Students will be responsible to arrive independently in Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic
on or before December 20, 2013. 
Tuition - 3 Credits** $ 780
TOTAL $ 3,596

Please note that prices advertised on the Institute for Shipboard Education's website do not reflect special accommodations that are being made for the group from Minot State.

* Applicants between ages of 50-64 years of age at time of travel, add $100 for the added cost of international insurance. Applicants between ages of 65-74 years of age at time of travel, add $250 for the added cost of international insurance.

**Program participants may choose to audit coursework at 50% tuition rate. Financial Aid is not available for audited courses, and grades will not appear on transcripts.

Payment Deadlines:

$400 due with the Application
September 25, 2013: $2,416 due
January 29, 2014: Tuition and fees due

Late Payments:

  • If a payment is received 5 business days or more after the payment due date, your application will be considered withdrawn and you will be responsible for any cancellation penalties.
  • If for any reason your payment cannot be processed, a fee of $50 will be incurred, plus a late payment penalty to the Institute of Shipboard Education, if applicable.
Costa Rica
View of Caribbean Sea from Costa Rican beach

Payment Policies:

Cancellation & Refunds
Withdrawal from the program is effective on the date that written notification is received by MSU’s Office of International Programs.

If you withdraw: The cancellation fee will be:
After Application is submitted $400
After September 25, 2013 $1,075
After November 4, 2013 Refund of tuition fees only per MSU business office policies
After departure No refund of program fees or tuition for the course. See details below.

Please Note:
Course withdrawal/tuition refund considerations: Participants are hereby given notice that after travel commences, dropping the course will not be allowed. Consequently, withdrawing completely from spring semester is not possible. This affects a student’s ability to receive a refund of tuition and related fees. Speak with the Director of International Programs for additional information if this is a concern.  
■ MSU will not alter its payment and/or cancellation policies for any reason. If you are concerned about being reimbursed for program fees in the event that you decide to withdraw from the program due to events such as illness, death of a family member, visa denials, natural disaster or international affairs, please investigate the possibility of obtaining independent trip insurance. MSU is not able to offer advice on independent trip insurance.

Financial Aid
Financial Aid can be applied to cover study tour fees, so students might want to consider the possibility of obtaining Financial Aid (generally including loans) to assist in funding their program. For more information about this option, please visit the Financial Aid Office, call (701) 858-3375 or visit their website:

Contact us for more information!

Libby Claerbout
Director of International Programs
MSU Office of International Programs
1st Floor Student Center
500 University Ave West Minot, ND 58701

Dr. John Girard

Learn more about Horizons Unlimited faculty-led study tours