Study Abroad

Experience the global reach of international commerce.

Study abroad promotes the Mission of UIW by developing enlightened citizens engaged in the human condition across the world. It offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in diverse cultures while gaining new perspectives on people and commerce.

The study abroad opportunity detailed below is made possible by the Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas, the Office of the Provost and the H-E-B School of Business and Administration.


Guanajuato, Mexico – Universidad Incarnate Word Campus Bajío

Campus Bajio

Startup Models Beyond Borders – HON BINT 4360

What are the steps and processes involved in creating, funding and operating a startup in emerging markets? This course seeks to answer this question by developing in students an understanding of global business models, market innovation and the ethical considerations of managing a cross-border startup business.

This course is offered in the spring semester on the UIW main campus in San Antonio. As part of the course, students travel to historic Guanajuato, Mexico, over Spring Break for a cultural immersion experience in partnership with Universidad Incarnate Word Campus Bajío in nearby Irapuato.

Virtual Study Abroad

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel to Mexico is not yet possible. However, the University of the Incarnate Word is excited to offer this course in Spring 2021 as its first-ever virtual study abroad opportunity.

Students enrolled in BINT 4360 at UIW San Antonio will work in groups with students at UIW Campus Bajío on a semester-long entrepreneurship project. Each team will connect with people from indigenous groups in Mexico to learn about their cultures and ethically source products for commercial sale in the United States. In order to facilitate the procurement and transport of these goods, each team will receive $500 in seed funding made possible by the UIW Office of the Provost.

This innovative opportunity helps to build an international entrepreneurial ecosystem within the UIW network. Students from UIW San Antonio will learn the process of sourcing and exporting artisanal goods from the Guanajuato region through the eyes of UIW Campus Bajío students. Likewise, UIW Campus Bajío students will learn market and customer development in the United States through the eyes of UIW San Antonio students.

Quick Facts

Learn more about the Startup Models Beyond Borders (HON BINT 4360) course.

  • This is an honors course open to all students at UIW.
  • There are no prerequisites.
  • The course is only offered in the spring semester.

Course Outcomes

This course explores entrepreneurship as it relates to building a business to operate in the marketplaces of multiple countries, specifically the United States and Mexico.

Students will work in teams to create mentor-supported startups in emerging markets. The course will use institutional framework, variations of the lean startup framework, global business model innovation framework and real-world case studies to explain startup creation and institutional challenges in emerging markets. Students will develop entrepreneurship skills, design-thinking skills and intercultural competence skills.

Click here to download the course syllabus.


Student Experience | Guanajuato, Mexico

San Antonio students and students from the Campus Bajío in Irapuato outside in Mexico

The Cardinals who made the trip from San Antonio in Spring 2020 were introduced to students from the Campus Bajío in Irapuato, who served as guides and became local friends throughout the trip.

The group visited several businesses including a strawberry processing and production company called Congeladora Niño, where the owner gave a personal tour. Other company tours included Dealba, a metal fastener producer, Conagra, which owns hundreds of well-known food brands, and Bimbo, the popular pastry and baked goods manufacturer.

In addition to tours, students had the opportunity to meet with business owners and entrepreneurs for a roundtable discussion to learn more about operating a business in the region and the increased emphasis on professional relationships that exists in the Mexican marketplace.

“Relationships are very important to business in Mexico. It really matters who you know. It was incredible how these businesspeople took time from their busy schedules to show us their businesses. We had over 15 businesspeople spend an evening with us teaching us about business in the Bajío region and offering us advice,” student Gisel Torres said.

Students experienced the unrivaled culture of the Bajío region of Mexico first-hand by visiting local markets, museums and restaurants while touring Guanajuato and San Miguel. While exploring the city center of San Miguel, the students even joined in the celebration of a newlywed couple as they were serenaded by a mariachi band.

The Startup Models Beyond Borders course and study abroad excursion offers students a unique opportunity to learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on the bountiful possibilities of Mexico-United States commerce.