As an international student who was not very familiar with living in the U.S., English language and cultural differences were some of the most concerning factors for me before starting the program. However, International Student Bootcamp (ISB) helped alleviate these concerns and me get off to a good start at Fuqua.

ISB is a program that welcomes international students and helps them adjust to the new educational environment at Fuqua. The program has been taught for years by faculty who have evolved the curriculum to match what MMS students need before beginning business school.  ISB mainly has two different stages—a one-week program before the MMS classes begin and the ongoing process that occurs throughout the year until the end of the program.

The First Week of ISB

The three biggest things that I learned from the initial week in the program centered around communication skills, case studies, and teamwork. To give you more of an idea on what that week is like, here is a simplified version of the ISB schedule:


  • The American Business School Classroom: Preparing & Responding
  • Writing Diagnostic
  • Group Tour and Discussion
  • Lunch
  • Tutor Session
  • Business Communication
    • Problem Definition
    • Memo Writing
    • Presentation


  • Visa Paperwork
  • Cold Call: Mini-Case Study
  • Story Telling (Pitch)
  • Lunch
  • Business Communication
  • Visa Paper Work
  • Mini-Case
    • Team Assignment
    • Team Work


  • Mini-Case Group Presentations
  • Lunch
  • Presentation Feedback


  • Team Work
  • Giving Effective Feedback
  • Lunch
  • Program Wrap Up

We mainly learned business communication skills from written communication (memo writing) to verbal communications (pitch, feedback, and presentation). To practice these skills, we did a mini-case study in small teams.

In hindsight, as I am going through the program, I have realized that the importance of clear communication, the presence of case studies, and the ability to work well on teams are three of the most common parts of the MMS experience at Fuqua. With the early start of the ISB you can grab a quick overview of the MMS program and it helps you to be better prepared and not get so overwhelmed once you start being truly graded on your performance.

Besides, you can meet other international students and become friends even before classes start, and this also lets you feel welcome and supported by each other.

Ongoing Process of ISB

Even after the one week program ends, ISB students can get support and personalized learning from tutors throughout the MMS program. These tutors have taught many previous international MMS students, and I have made appointments with them to improve my communication—and sometimes simply for cultural understanding. Some of my classmates are also getting help from tutors for resume writing and interview practice.