Study Abroad

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 November 19, 2013

Advice from Alumni Chris Dugan

Chris DuganU of R and the Navy worked together to get me to Madrid within the bounds of my NROTC scholarship. I showed up with a seabag and a bicycle, and I spent weekends pedaling to Toledo and other nearby towns. I had never been abroad before, and I quickly learned how to navigate (both physically and figuratively) my way around Spain.

That experience was tremendously valuable in my subsequent careers as a Navy SEAL and as the President of a global manufacturing business. I think, in much the same way that engineering firms ascribe value to "practical engineers" who can both solve equations and assemble dune buggies, the business world sees tremendous value in an employee who can comfortably operate across cultures and in multiple languages.

In fact, in an increasingly global economy, if you can't do that, you are at a disadvantage. Fully half of my Wharton business school classmates spoke at least one other language, and most Europeans spoke three.

Heineken Brewery
Chris Dugan and his son (who is now on study abroad in London at Northeastern University) at the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, summer 2013.