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New global program for undergraduates launched

Collage of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has partnered with Singapore Management University (SMU) and Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has partnered with Singapore Management University (SMU) and Copenhagen Business School (CBS) to launch an immersive exchange program spanning three continents for undergraduate business students.

The 18-month program is named TRicontinental Exchange in Business and Leadership Education (TREBLE) and will expose students to business environments and practices in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

The 45 TREBLE students will build camaraderie as a cross-cultural cohort and take a set of specially curated courses at UNC Kenan-Flagler, SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) and CBS. These courses will be thematically focused on leadership of people, organizations and markets.

TREBLE students will also have access to other courses offered by each host university. In addition, they will hone their soft skills through immersive experiences in diverse geographic and cultural settings and to grow their global networks.

“UNC Kenan-Flagler seeks to develop inclusive leaders who are committed to making the world a better place. TREBLE provides a deeply immersive global experience by building a cross-cultural cohort from three top business schools,” says Dean Mary Margaret Frank (BSBA ’92, MAC ’92, PhD ’99). “Students will study, live and travel together, creating a lifelong network with strong connections to SMU, CBS and UNC Kenan-Flagler. We are proud to be part of this important collaboration to develop global leaders.”

Pictured above from left to right are Associate Professor Roger Loh, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programmes at SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business; Associate Professor Shimul Melwani, Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Business Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School; and Associate Professor Bersant Hobdari, B.Sc. IB Programme Director at Copenhagen Business School.

The partners

SMU is a premier university in Asia. “As Asia’s innovative and impactful gateway university, SMU takes great pride in providing our students with a holistic education that includes global exposure,” said SMU LKCSB Dean Bert De Reyck. “True to this vision, LKCSB is proud to announce TREBLE with like-minded partners in Europe and the United States. The unique opportunity for SMU undergraduates to form a class with students from two renowned business schools and to live and study abroad for two terms will provide them with not only first-hand intercultural leadership experiences and global business knowledge but also the opportunity to forge a deep network of peers around the world. This program furthers LKCSB’s mission of nurturing global-minded future leaders of society.”

CBS is Denmark’s largest educational and research institution within business administration and economics. “CBS is committed to providing a global perspective to graduates building careers in business and management,” said CBS Dean of Education Anna Thomasson. “To this end, TREBLE offers exciting opportunities to students to deepen their understanding whilst attending institutions in three different countries and continents. It does so by offering a unique and strong curriculum at the technical, intercultural and managerial levels. The course offerings at each partner institution complement each other in providing insights to doing business across contexts and cultures, while developing students’ ability to think creatively and innovate globally.”

How it works

Every year, TREBLE will offer 15 undergraduates from each institution the opportunity to spend one-and-a-half years (three academic terms) studying together on the three campuses. Applicants will undergo a competitive selection process at their respective home institutions.

The student cohort will join together to begin their exchange in their junior year in the Undergraduate Business Program (UBP) at UNC Kenan-Flagler from August to December 2025, followed by SMU from January to April 2026. As seniors, they will finish their TREBLE studies at CBS from August to December 2026.

Applications for the first intake will begin in late 2024. UNC students in their second year who are applying to the UBP can indicate their interest in being considered for TREBLE during the application process and complete an additional essay. If selected, applicants will undergo a finalist interview and begin the program in their third year in the UBP.

TREBLE students will receive a scholarship award for the semesters spent abroad in Singapore and Denmark. They will not pay additional tuition fees to join the program, but they will be responsible for other expenses incurred during the program, such as travel, accommodations and living expenses.

Built on a foundation of success

TREBLE is built on the success of the GLOBE® program and similarly taps the strengths and expertise of all three partner schools to design a truly global curriculum with exposure to a range of cultures and approaches on three continents.

For two decades, GLOBE was a world leader in undergraduate business education for top-tier international undergraduate business students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), CBS and UNC Kenan-Flagler.

“We are incredibly proud of the tri-lateral exchange GLOBE program and the students – and alumni –who contributed to its legacy,” says Sherri Carmichael, assistant director of GLOBE at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “Despite health, safety and geopolitical disruptions, we have embraced the challenge of sustaining a cohesive, high-quality learning experience on three continents over the past 20 years.”

When significant semester-by-semester program instability negatively affected cohort recruitment, program cost and the GLOBE brand, all partner schools determined that program could no longer guarantee all students could partake in the cohort experience.

And while the program is ending, the GLOBE alumni network remains strong, connected with each other and the three partner schools long after graduation. Ultimately TREBLE graduates will intermix, and the combined alumni network will become even stronger.

GLOBE had a tremendous impact on the students.

“It encouraged me to expand my horizons to possibilities beyond the traditional business school curriculum, all the while building strong friendships with peers around the world and helped give me the courage to follow my personal interests in an academic setting,” said Joshua McCorquodale (BSBA ’22), a financial analyst with SpaceX. “The GLOBE legacy is stronger than ever with the launch of TREBLE.”

Alumni also attest to its impact on their careers.

“To put it simply, I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without GLOBE – and not only the education but also the real-world experience and relationships it provided,” said Troy Mullane (BSBA ’11), managing director and partner with Boston Consulting Group. “While I’m deeply saddened at the loss of the GLOBE program, I’m excited to see this new program that will still give students the opportunity to experience the best of business education across North America, Europe and Asia. UNC Kenan-Flagler continues to find new ways to live up to its mission to build and inspire leaders who make the world a better place. Thanks to Sherri Carmichael and the UBP team for all the work providing students with a unique and invaluable educational experience!”

CUHK GLOBE alumni remain vital to the alumni network, and UNC Kenan-Flagler and CBS continue to have strong relationships with CUHK through other programs.

“Despite the fading out of GLOBE, the impact that the three institutions have made together and the relationships that have been built remain significant. The experiences, insights and connections established through GLOBE have undoubtedly enriched the learning journeys of our students,” Professor Rosette Leung, co-director of global business studies at Chinese University of Hong Kong. “I firmly believe that we share the same vision of promoting academic excellence and fostering meaningful cross-cultural experiences. In the future, I hope that the collaborations between CUHK Business School, CBS and UNC will continue in other forms.”