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Team-Building Strategies: Building a Winning Team for Your Organization

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Discover how to build a winning team and boost your business negotiation results in this free special report, Team Building Strategies for Your Organization, from Harvard Law School.

  • Top 10 International Business Negotiation Case Studies

International business negotiation case studies offer insights to business negotiators who face challenges in the realm of cross-cultural business negotiation.

By PON Staff — on March 26th, 2024 / International Negotiation

case study for international business

If you engage in international negotiation , you can improve your odds of success by learning from these 10 well-known international business negotiation case studies:

International Negotiations

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  • Apple’s Apology in China

When Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook apologized to Apple customers in China for problems arising from Apple’s warranty policy, he promised to rectify the issue. In a negotiation research study, Professor William W. Maddux of INSEAD and his colleagues compared reactions to apologies in the United States and in Japan. They discovered that in “collectivist cultures” such as China and Japan, apologies can be particularly effective in repairing broken trust, regardless of whether the person apologizing is to blame. This may be especially true in a cross-cultural business negotiation such as this one.

  • Bangladesh Factory-Safety Agreements

In this negotiation case study, an eight-story factory collapsed in Bangladesh, killing an estimated 1,129 people, most of whom were low-wage garment workers manufacturing goods for foreign retailers. Following the tragedy, companies that outsourced their garment production faced public pressure to improve conditions for foreign workers. Labor unions focused their efforts on persuading Swedish “cheap chic” giant H&M to take the lead on safety improvements. This negotiation case study highlights the pros and cons of all-inclusive, diffuse agreements versus targeted, specific agreements.

  • The Microsoft-Nokia Deal

Microsoft made the surprising announcement that it was purchasing Finnish mobile handset maker Nokia for $7.2 billion, a merger aimed at building Microsoft’s mobile and smartphone offerings. The merger faced even more complexity after the ink dried on the contract—namely, the challenges of integrating employees from different cultures. International business negotiation case studies such as this one underscore the difficulties that companies face when attempting to negotiate two different identities.

  • The Cyprus Crisis

With the economy of the tiny Mediterranean island nation Cyprus near collapse, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Commission teamed up to offer a 10-billion-euro bailout package contingent on Cyprus provisioning a substantial amount of the money through a one-time tax on ordinary Cypriot bank depositors. The move proved extremely unpopular in Cyprus and protests resulted. The nation’s president was left scrambling for a backup plan. The lesson from international business negotiation case studies such as this? Sometimes the best deal you can get may be better than no deal at all.

  • Dissent in the European Union

The European Union (EU) held a summit to address the coordination of economic activities and policies among EU member states. German resistance to such a global deal was strong, and pessimism about a unified EU banking system ran high as a result of the EU financial crisis. The conflict reflects the difficulty of forging  multiparty agreements  during times of stress and crisis.

  • North and South Korea Talks Collapse

Negotiations between North Korea and South Korea were supposed to begin in Seoul aimed at lessening tensions between the divided nations. It would have been the highest government dialogue between the two nations in years. Just before negotiations were due to start, however, North Korea complained that it was insulted that the lead negotiator from the South wasn’t higher in status. The conflict escalated, and North Korea ultimately withdrew from the talks. The case highlights the importance of pride and power perceptions in international negotiations.

  • Canceled Talks for the U.S. and Russia

Then-U.S. president Barack Obama canceled a scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing a lack of progress on a variety of negotiations. The announcement came on the heels of Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who made confidential data on American surveillance programs public. From international business negotiation case studies such as this, we can learn strategic reasons for  breaking off ties , if only temporarily, with a counterpart.

  • The East China Sea Dispute

In recent years, several nations, including China and Japan, have laid claim to a chain of islands in the East China Sea. China’s creation of an “air defense” zone over the islands led to an international dispute with Japan. International negotiators seeking to resolve complex disputes may gain valuable advice from this negotiation case study, which involves issues of international law as well as perceptions of relative strength or weakness in negotiations.

  • An International Deal with Syria

When then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, announced a deal to prevent the United States from entering the Syrian War, it was contingent on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s promise to dismantle his nation’s chemical weapons. Like other real-life negotiation case studies, this one highlights the value of expanding our focus in negotiation.

  • A Nuclear Deal with Iran

When the United States and five other world powers announced an interim agreement to temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program, the six-month accord, which eventually led to a full-scale agreement in 2015, was designed to give international negotiators time to negotiate a more comprehensive pact that would remove the threat of Iran producing nuclear weapons. As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani insisted that Iran had a sovereign right to enrich uranium, the United States rejected Iran’s claim to having a “right to enrich” but agreed to allow Iran to continue to enrich at a low level, a concession that allowed a deal to emerge.

What international business negotiation case studies in the news have you learned from in recent years?

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International business case studies books, case studies on the web, analysing case studies, case study analysis and written response.

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Case studies are descriptions of real or hypothetical business problems.

Case studies can be found in:

  • books, ebooks, and journal articles via Library Search (include the phrase "case study" in the search)
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  • Tourism Cases "Tourism Cases is a growing collection of case studies written by international practitioners and academics. Designed to share experiences and expertise from the Tourism Industry, our case studies offer practical, real-life examples in one easily searchable platform."

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These websites provide a few free case studies. Information on what is publicly available is generally noted in the details of the cases.

  • Business Ethics Business Ethics is the study of ethical dilemmas, values, and decision-making in the world of commerce.
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The following resources provide advice on how to read and interpret case studies, and how to prepare written case study analysis.

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Breaking Into International Markets

From the outset of Bondi Chai, Martin Buggy knew that he eventually wanted to expand his business into the international market.

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Attracting Attention In The US Market

Thinking big has always been a motto for Mellissah Smith, Marketing Director and founder of Marketing Eye. After establishing her company (a marketing services provider) in Australia, she saw a gap in the US market and seized the opportunity to expand. “The US was a space that had no global player,” she says.

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Conquering Customer Skepticism

Vertaccount is an online bookkeeping, payroll and accounting company. Established only two years ago, it has experienced outstanding growth thanks to outsourcing its back-end administration to Manila. However, they had to deal with initial doubt regarding their offshoring business model.

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Doing Business Across Multiple Borders

Manufacturing costs in China are cheap and turnaround time is fast, however, the process can be fraught with problems. Read on to see how Matt Cave of VAVAVOOM overcame obstacles and fostered a successful business that works across multiple borders.

Increasing Dollar Makes Exporters Holler

Discover how one business is managing the rapid and severe changes in business competitiveness because of the high Australian dollar (AUD).

Nightmare In China

An Australian designer learnt some tough lessons about doing business in China when she found her designs being onsold to manufacturers in other countries.

Deep Water Harvest

Founding a diving services business at the start of a massive boom in WA caused plenty of headaches for one entrepreneur. But surviving the boom has brought great results.

Now Hear This ...

Running a radio network with an audience of 150 different cultures and a staff that is almost as equally diverse has taught valuable lessons to an Australian expatriate.

Bouncing Baby

Building an export market during a world economic downturn has had its problems - but mainly to do with customs clearance and quality nappy wrapping.

Box Of Treats

Transforming a suburban Melbourne TAFE into an international education brand is a thrilling challenge for its CEO.

Sitting Pretty

When Moran Furniture began losing market share to low-cost Asian imports, it was time to change its manufacturing strategy. So it went to China.

Green China

A firm of Australian engineers has won its first big project in China, which is providing plenty of challenges and opportunities.

Cheap And Cheerless

Cheap imports can end up costing money and reputations. The key is to find good suppliers – and that takes research, effort and money.

The Personal Touch

A mid-life crisis got two Melbourne entrepreneurs into the book trade. Following their instincts and relying on a personal style of doing business have got them exciting new markets.

Business Projection

An Australian events company has hurdled the obstacles to opening its first overseas office - and managed to retain its unique culture.

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IKEA - A case Study for International Business

Profile image of Suhair Jab

Related Papers

Shaik Nabil

case study for international business

Artur Twardowski

Hiba Sellaoui

Phuong Pham

Anthony Olabode Ayodele (Bode Ayodele)

DASH | Delft Architectural Studies on Housing

Irene Cieraad

Masud Gaziyev

This paper analyses multinational corporation IKEA and its sustainability strategy as described in its official sustainability strategy document. Several theoretical frameworks each describing various levels of analysis, namely individual, organisational, and network perspectives are introduced and applied to IKEA. Moreover, the justifications for why certain theories have bene chosen as well as insights they provide to understand IKEA and its sustainability strategy are discussed and analysed critically.

SSRN Electronic Journal

Jakob Lauring

Kevin Zentner , Rachel Killoh , Zhen Sun

Ikea is a worldwide success story; their stores were visited 915 million times and their website was accessed over 2 billion times in 2016 (Highlights, 2016). As the world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea services a number of market segments. With significant volume discounts and a vertically integrated supply chain, the production of low-cost goods target young families and low income segments. Conversely, the flagship Stockholm line of furniture entices sophisticated consumers towards mid-priced, superior value products with quality materials such as walnut, bone china, and rustic grain leather.

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  • November 07, 2022

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TikTok and Kuaishou: A Tale of Two Short-Video Sharing Apps from China to the Globe, Teaching Note

  • Zhigang Liu
  • Jianggan Li
  • Xinhe Zhuang
  • July 08, 2021

Uber's incursion into Uruguay (A) and (B), Teaching Note

Popular topics, partner center.

Hertz CEO Kathryn Marinello with CFO Jamere Jackson and other members of the executive team in 2017

Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2021

Two cases about Hertz claimed top spots in 2021's Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies

Two cases on the uses of debt and equity at Hertz claimed top spots in the CRDT’s (Case Research and Development Team) 2021 top 40 review of cases.

Hertz (A) took the top spot. The case details the financial structure of the rental car company through the end of 2019. Hertz (B), which ranked third in CRDT’s list, describes the company’s struggles during the early part of the COVID pandemic and its eventual need to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

The success of the Hertz cases was unprecedented for the top 40 list. Usually, cases take a number of years to gain popularity, but the Hertz cases claimed top spots in their first year of release. Hertz (A) also became the first ‘cooked’ case to top the annual review, as all of the other winners had been web-based ‘raw’ cases.

Besides introducing students to the complicated financing required to maintain an enormous fleet of cars, the Hertz cases also expanded the diversity of case protagonists. Kathyrn Marinello was the CEO of Hertz during this period and the CFO, Jamere Jackson is black.

Sandwiched between the two Hertz cases, Coffee 2016, a perennial best seller, finished second. “Glory, Glory, Man United!” a case about an English football team’s IPO made a surprise move to number four.  Cases on search fund boards, the future of malls,  Norway’s Sovereign Wealth fund, Prodigy Finance, the Mayo Clinic, and Cadbury rounded out the top ten.

Other year-end data for 2021 showed:

  • Online “raw” case usage remained steady as compared to 2020 with over 35K users from 170 countries and all 50 U.S. states interacting with 196 cases.
  • Fifty four percent of raw case users came from outside the U.S..
  • The Yale School of Management (SOM) case study directory pages received over 160K page views from 177 countries with approximately a third originating in India followed by the U.S. and the Philippines.
  • Twenty-six of the cases in the list are raw cases.
  • A third of the cases feature a woman protagonist.
  • Orders for Yale SOM case studies increased by almost 50% compared to 2020.
  • The top 40 cases were supervised by 19 different Yale SOM faculty members, several supervising multiple cases.

CRDT compiled the Top 40 list by combining data from its case store, Google Analytics, and other measures of interest and adoption.

All of this year’s Top 40 cases are available for purchase from the Yale Management Media store .

And the Top 40 cases studies of 2021 are:

1.   Hertz Global Holdings (A): Uses of Debt and Equity

2.   Coffee 2016

3.   Hertz Global Holdings (B): Uses of Debt and Equity 2020

4.   Glory, Glory Man United!

5.   Search Fund Company Boards: How CEOs Can Build Boards to Help Them Thrive

6.   The Future of Malls: Was Decline Inevitable?

7.   Strategy for Norway's Pension Fund Global

8.   Prodigy Finance

9.   Design at Mayo

10. Cadbury

11. City Hospital Emergency Room

13. Volkswagen

14. Marina Bay Sands

15. Shake Shack IPO

16. Mastercard

17. Netflix

18. Ant Financial

19. AXA: Creating the New CR Metrics

20. IBM Corporate Service Corps

21. Business Leadership in South Africa's 1994 Reforms

22. Alternative Meat Industry

23. Children's Premier

24. Khalil Tawil and Umi (A)

25. Palm Oil 2016

26. Teach For All: Designing a Global Network

27. What's Next? Search Fund Entrepreneurs Reflect on Life After Exit

28. Searching for a Search Fund Structure: A Student Takes a Tour of Various Options

30. Project Sammaan

31. Commonfund ESG

32. Polaroid

33. Connecticut Green Bank 2018: After the Raid

34. FieldFresh Foods

35. The Alibaba Group

36. 360 State Street: Real Options

37. Herman Miller

38. AgBiome

39. Nathan Cummings Foundation

40. Toyota 2010

case study for international business

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Business Case Studies - Introduction

Library databases, peer-reviewed journals, newspaper & magazine articles, university-affiliated collections, other online collections, case studies available for purchase.

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Welcome! This page was created to help faculty find business case studies that are readily available through the University Library or elsewhere on the Internet. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Shen at [email protected] .

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Business news and analysis. Peer-reviewed research. Case studies and SWOT analyses. Country reports. Includes Harvard Business Review. Read more about this resource or watch a how-to video.

  • Asian Case Research Journal Found in Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities
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  • Bloomberg Businessweek Library subscription to Bloomberg Businessweek. Published since 1929.
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  • Harvard Business Review Library subscription to HBR.org. Published by Harvard Business School, this online magazine focuses on business strategy, general management, technology, leadership, human resources and innovation.
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5 Common Challenges of International Business You Should Consider

business professional considering international business on laptop

  • 24 Nov 2020

The world is big and, when it comes to business, everyone is intertwined. Whether or not you produce and sell goods internationally, global business impacts every organization.

“Everybody has to care about macroeconomics and the global economy,” says Harvard Business School Professor Forest Reinhardt in the online course Global Business .

So, how can you, as a business owner, manager, or employee, stay informed and find your organization’s place in the global market?

Here’s an introduction to international business, some common challenges to consider, and suggestions for how you can prepare.

Access your free e-book today.

What Is International Business?

International business is the production and sale of goods and services between countries. There are several ways a business can be international:

  • It produces goods domestically and sells both domestically and internationally.
  • It produces goods in a different country but sells domestically.
  • It produces goods in a different country and sells both domestically and internationally.

Businesses typically produce goods overseas due to lower labor costs or taxes, and they sell products and services in the global market because of the high potential for gaining a larger audience, new customers, and increased revenue.

“Although international business is extremely exciting, it can also be risky,” Reinhardt says in Global Business .

Because every country has its own government, policies, laws, cultures, languages, currency, time zones, and inflation rate, navigating the global business landscape can be difficult. Here are five challenges to consider.

Related: 3 Economic Indicators to Consider Before Expanding Your Business Globally

5 Common Challenges of International Business

1. language barriers.

When engaging in international business, it’s important to consider the languages spoken in the countries to which you’re looking to expand.

Does your product messaging translate well into another language? Consider hiring an interpreter and consulting a native speaker and resident of each country.

One example of a product “lost in translation” comes from luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz. When entering the Chinese market, the company chose a Mandarin Chinese name that sounded similar to “Benz”: Bēnsǐ. The name translates to “rush to death” in Mandarin Chinese, which wasn’t the impression Mercedes-Benz wanted to make with its new audience. The company quickly adapted, changing its Chinese name to Bēnchí, which translates to “run quickly, speed, or gallop.”

It’s also critical to consider the languages spoken by your company’s team members based in international offices. Once again, investing in interpreters can help ensure your business continues to operate smoothly.

2. Cultural Differences

Just as each country has its own makeup of languages, each also has its own specific culture or blend of cultures. Culture consists of the holidays, arts, traditions, foods, and social norms followed by a specific group of people. It’s important and enriching to learn about the cultures of countries where you’ll be doing business.

When managing teams in offices abroad, selling products to an international retailer or potential client, or running an overseas production facility, demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to understand their cultures can project the respect and emotional intelligence necessary to conduct business successfully.

One example of a cultural difference between the United States and Spain is the hours of a typical workday. In the United States, working hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., often extending earlier or later. In Spain, however, working hours are typically 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8 p.m. The break in the middle of the workday allows for a siesta, which is a rest taken after lunch in many Mediterranean and European countries.

3. Managing Global Teams

Another challenge of international business is managing employees who live all over the world. When trying to function as a team, it can be difficult to account for language barriers, cultural differences, time zones, and varying levels of technology access and reliance.

To build and maintain a strong working relationship with your global team , facilitate regular check-ins, preferably using a video conferencing platform so you can interact in real time.

Research by Gallup shows that employees who have regular check-ins with their managers are three times more likely to be engaged at work than employees who don’t.

When distance divides teams, as it has for many during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, communication is key to ensuring everyone feels valued and engaged.

Related: How to Foster Employee Engagement When Your Team Is Remote

4. Currency Exchange and Inflation Rates

The value of a dollar in your country won’t always equal the same amount in other countries’ currency, nor will the value of currency consistently be worth the same amount of goods and services.

Familiarize yourself with currency exchange rates between your country and those where you plan to do business. The exchange rate is the relative value between two nation’s currencies. For instance, the current exchange rate from the Canadian dollar to the US dollar is 0.77, meaning one Canadian dollar is equal to 77 cents in US currency. Make it a point to watch exchange rates closely, as they can fluctuate.

It’s also important to monitor inflation rates , which are the rates that general price levels in an economy increase year over year, expressed as a percentage. Inflation rates vary across countries and can impact materials and labor costs, as well as product pricing.

Understanding and closely following these two rates can provide important information about the value of your company’s product in various locations over time.

5. Nuances of Foreign Politics, Policy, and Relations

Business doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it’s influenced by politics, policies, laws, and relationships between countries. Because those relationships can be extremely nuanced, it’s important that you closely follow news related to countries where you do business.

The decisions made by political leaders can impact taxes, labor laws, raw material costs, transportation infrastructure, educational systems, and more.

One hypothetical example Reinhardt presents in Global Business is that if the Chinese government decided to subsidize Chinese dairy farms, it would impact dairy farmers in all surrounding countries. This is because, with extra funding, Chinese dairy farms may produce a surplus of dairy products, causing them to expand their markets to neighboring countries.

It’s both exciting and intimidating that the nuances of international politics, policies, and relations can impact your business. Stay informed and make strategic decisions as new information arises.

How to Formulate a Successful Business Strategy | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Preparing for International Business Challenges

Global business comes with unique challenges but can be an opportunity for enormous organizational growth. To prepare for those challenges, vary your news intake and closely follow foreign politics, make connections in countries where you hope to do business, invest in interpreters to overcome language barriers, and consider taking a global business course to develop your international business skills and prepare for today's nuanced, interconnected business world.

Are you interested in breaking into a global market? Sharpen your knowledge of the international business world with our four-week Global Business course, and explore our other online strategy courses .

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Cincinnati Business Courier: GE Aerospace launches in Cincinnati

Uc students continue to benefit from co-op experience at fortune 500 company.

headshot of Cedric Ricks

Greater Cincinnati welcomed a longtime friend who is now sporting a new image. With much fanfare, area business leaders and officials celebrated the relaunch of Evendale-based GE Aerospace earlier this month.

GE Aerospace is the legal successor to the General Electric Company, founded in 1892, and split into three companies over the past three years. GE Vernova and GE Healthcare also continue the company’s legacy. That breakup was completed April 2 with the company’s aerospace and energy businesses trading on the New York Stock Exchanges as separate entities.

The facility in Evendale has housed GE’s aviation division since 1979.

“This is going to be a moment that, 50 years from now, we look back and say it contributed to our growth in an incredibly meaningful way,” Cincinnati Regional Chamber CEO Brendon Cull said.

The Cincinnati Business Courier covered the official announcement of GE Aerospace .

Students in the UC College of Engineering and Applied Sciences benefit from co-op experiences at GE Aerospace and companies throughout the Tristate and beyond. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand.

GE Aerospace's footprint in the Tristate is enormous. It employs more than 10,500 in the Cincinnati and Dayton regions, representing the single largest concentration of GE Aerospace employees worldwide. Most are in Evendale, but hundreds more work at facilities in West Chester Township, Sharonville, Springdale, Hamilton, Dayton, Peebles and Erlanger.

Cull told the Business Courier the chamber is working with universities to create and retain talent in the region. Around a third of the company’s U.S.-based university-level new hires come from Greater Cincinnati colleges and universities. 

Many are University of Cincinnati grads who have completed a co-op or internship with the company. Co-ops are mandatory for the 7,000 students in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. GE Aerospace and its suppliers are among the program’s major partners.

UC, the birthplace of cooperative education, has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as being in the Top 5 and No. 1 in the Midwest for its co-op program. The program, which partners with 1,851 co-op employers nationally, has provided paid experiences to over 8,200 students who have earned over  $75 million collectively each year.

Read about other co-op employers like Kinetic Vision and Honda . 

Learn more about cooperative education at UC .

Read the Cincinnati Business Courier article .

Featured image of GE turbine engine on a Boeing 787 dreamliner passenger aircraft. Credit hapabapa/iStockphoto. 

Beyond the Classroom

UC invented cooperative education more than 100 years ago, and we continue to innovate all aspects of experience-based learning, including internships, service learning, virtual co-ops, community projects and industry partnerships.  Learn more.

  • Student Experience
  • In The News
  • Experience-based Learning
  • College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies

Related Stories

Wvxu: how university co-op programs help reduce student debt.

July 17, 2023

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a plan to cancel student debt, many borrowers will have to start paying back their loans later this year. UC started its co-op program more than 100 years ago and continues to create more experienced-based learning opportunities for its students, even helping some students graduate debt free.

Chronicle of Higher Education: More international students finding success in U.S., Cincinnati

October 17, 2023

UC's Jon Weller speaks with the Chronicle of Higher Education for a story about growth in new student visas. India has overtaken China as the largest source of international students in the United States. At UC, India also continues the largest share of international students on campus.

April 12, 2024

A Cincinnati Business Courier story on GE Aerospace's relaunch mentions the company's long-standing partnership with UC Colleges of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Cooperative Education and Professional Studies.

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