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London, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Brussels, UK, France, Switzerland, Belgium

Program Description

Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (COB 318) introduces the ethics and legal framework of business.  Emphasis is placed on contracts, negotiable instruments, the Uniform Commercial Code, and the working of the court systems.

Financial Planning and Wealth Management (FIN 498: Special Topics) covers the financial planning process and topics of insurance, investment management, taxation, and estate planning, and is designed for those interested in a financial planning career.

Both courses are taught in the eight-week program, with the first week on campus. two and one-half weeks in Europe, and the remainder of the term online.  Schedules are designed so that students can take one or both classes.  While on campus, students in COB318 will visit the US Supreme Court and the International Monetary Fund/World Bank.  Students in FIN498 will visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the CFA Institute. 

The program includes the cities of London, Brussels, Paris, Geneva and Zurich.  In addition to the travel days to and from Europe, the proposed course-focused activities include:

CITY COB 318 FIN 498
London  Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts Education Workshop
Lloyds of London
CFA Institute
Financial District
Brussels European Parliament
Commission of the EU
Council of the EU
EU Economics Presentation
Paris International Chamber of Commerce
Palais de Justice de Paris
La Défense (financial district)
Geneva World Trade Organization
International Labor Office
World International Property Organization
Palais des Nations
Fondation Geneve’ Place Financiere
Zurich Federal Court of Lucerne
FinTech Hub
Swiss Exchange

In addition, cultural events will be included in each city.

Location Description

Week 1: Harrisonburg, VA (May 11th-13th)

While on campus, students in COB 318 will visit the US Supreme Court and the International Monetary Fund/World Bank.  Students in FIN 498 will visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the CFA Institute. Schedules are designed to accommodate students taking both courses.

Weeks 2 - 4: Europe (May 17th-June 3rd)

London is a large financial center and the birthplace of our common law legal system. London is a diverse city with history, art, and entertainment. We will have the opportunity to visit attractions such as Westminster, the British Library, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, and several of the wonderful museums.

Brussels is the political center of the European Union known for its chocolates and beer. In addition to visiting the EU Parliament and Commission, we will have an opportunity to visit the museums, beautiful parks, fascinating walks, and trendy restaurants and bars. Students will take short day trips from Brussels to the city of Bruges and to Waterloo.

Paris is a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy, and culture, with a growing financial district of La Defense. Its picturesque 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Opera House, the Rodin Museum, Napoleon’s Tomb, the Louvre, Notre Dame and Versailles.

Geneva is home to one of Europe's most beautiful cities, but also home to the European headquarters of the United Nations. Geneva has a long history of diversity and tolerance dating back to the Protestant Reformation. Today, the city of Geneva is also a cultural center of Europe, featuring world-class entertainment, top-rated restaurants, and unlimited opportunities for recreation. The attractions that we will visit include the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, CERN, and Vielle Ville. 

Zurich is a diverse, welcoming city known for its large financial center and chocolate. Zurich is home of many large global banks and insurance companies and is also becoming known for its innovations in FinTech. While in Zurich we will be able to visit the financial district, but also enjoy the surrounding attractions of Lucerne, Lake Zurich and Jungfraujoch in the Alps.

Weeks 5 - 8: Online (June 4th-July 10th)

Students may remain in Europe or return to the States but will finish the courses online.


Pamela Drake | | Finance & Business Law

David Parker | | Finance & Business Law


While in Harrisonburg, students are expected to cover their own housing costs.

While in Europe, students will be provided with hotel rooms with double occupancy; breakfast will be provided. Hotels will be centrally located and public transportation is easily accessible. Internet access will be provided in all hotels.

Students will have breakfast provided with their lodging. There will be a group dinner in each city. Stipends will be provided for lunches and dinners not provided by the program.

Additional Items to Consider

The program is intended for any College of Business student who has completed COB 300.

The traveler must be in possession of a passport valid for 6 months beyond the stay and a round-trip ticket.

The program description covers the cities and sites visited.  No visas are required for US citizens staying less than 90 days.

All students are required to attend cultural events with the group.

Students may enroll in one or both classes. Students not in one class may have the option to attend the other class's events on a space available basis.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Prerequisite: COB 300

Junior or senior standing

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


FIN 498: Financial Planning and Wealth Management (3 credits)

COB 318: Legal and Ethical Environment of Business (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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