FAQs

Application

    How do I apply?

    Who can apply?

    What is the deadline for the application?

    Is there a maximum number of participants per project/company that
    can apply?

    What are the language requirements?

Academics

    What classes will we take?

    Who are the professors who will be teaching the classes?

    Is the work done individually or in teams?

    How will we be assessed?

    How often do we meet during the online modules?

    Where and how do we attend online classes?

    What if I have to miss a class?

    What is the role of the faculty adviser?

Program Information

    What are the exact dates for the program?

    How does the payment for the program work?

    What is the deadline for the payment of the ECLA program fee?

    What are the cancellation policies?

    What is the deadline for booking flights to program locations?

    Where will we stay?

    How do I get a visa?

    Will I get alumni benefits?

How do I apply?

You can access the online application by clicking here.

Who can apply?

The ECLA program is targeted to entrepreneurs from Latin America with mid-size companies who are looking to expand their companies across borders. Click here for a profile of the ideal candidate for the ECLA program.

What is the deadline for the application?

All online applications must be received by October 31, 2013, to be considered for the program.

Is there a maximum number of participants per project/company that can apply?

Only companies with two individuals participating in the ECLA program will be accepted.

What are the language requirements?

All program components will be in English: all modules will be taught in English, and all written and spoken deliverables will be in English. As such, participants must be sufficiently fluent in English to complete reading assignments and meaningfully participate in discussions and working groups.

As a guideline, we recommend that participants have a level of English equivalent to a TOEIC score of 700. This score indicates that participants are able to communicate with success in various situations where they have expertise; their vocabulary and grammar may not always be the best choice or completely accurate, but their meaning is understood. Participants do not need to take the TOEIC or submit test scores with their applications, but they should self-assess at this level and demonstrate through their written application materials that their language abilities are at this level.

If you need to improve language skills, we suggest that you enroll in an English language course in your home country with emphasis in spoken English; alternatively, we can recommend English language providers in the United States. Contact ecla@gsb.columbia.edu for more information.

What classes will we take?

Click here for a tentative agenda. Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Final schedules will be distributed prior to the start of each module and posted on the Program Curriculum page.

Who are the professors who will be teaching the classes?

A list of possible faculty, which includes links to their individual bios, can be found here.

Is the work done individually or in teams?

All project work will be done in company teams. Each team should expect to devote five hours per week to the Process Improvement Project, Business Growth Plan, and Case Study that they are preparing for their company.

How will we be assessed?

Since all project work is done in company teams, assessment and evaluation will be for the team, not for the individual. It is expected that company teams will successfully demonstrate the skills, tools, and perspectives introduced in the program through three program deliverables: a Process Improvement Project, which involves the creation, implementation, evaluation, and presentation of actionable strategies to improve company performance; a Business Growth Plan, which outlines steps for cross-border expansion; and a final Case Study, which reports how students attempted to grow their businesses throughout the program. Teams will receive continuous feedback on their work through consultations with their faculty advisers and industry coaches. No examinations or grades will be given. Teams that cannot demonstrate impact on their companies as the result of their Process Improvement Projects will not be asked to continue the program after Module Four; decisions about program termination will be made by the Faculty Director in consultation with faculty and other program contributors.

How often do we meet during the online modules?

During the online modules (Module Two and Module Five), classes will meet synchronously (in-time) once per month. Classes that include case instruction will be 90 minutes, and classes that focus on discussion of projects will be 60 minutes. Students will also have access to online course materials throughout the full program period, which they can review asynchronously (on their own time).

Where and how do we attend online classes?

We are in the process of developing a web-based learning environment that will support online case instruction as well as allow students to access materials and student profiles; post information and assignments; and communicate with other students, faculty advisers, and industry coaches. More information about the online platform - as well as training in its use - will be provided during Phase I of the program.

What if I have to miss a class?

Attendance in all six program modules is mandatory, since absences will prevent students from being able to successfully complete program deliverables. However, for firms sending two participants, this attendance requirement can be loosened for the international immersion trip: although both students are encouraged to participate in Module Three, only one representative per firm is required to attend.

What is the role of the faculty adviser?

A faculty adviser from Columbia Business School will be assigned to each student to provide direction, suggest relevant materials and/or resources, and ensure academic rigor throughout the duration of the program. Faculty advisers will communicate with students at the beginning, middle, and end of each project period.

What are the exact dates for the program?

The next ECLA program runs from January 2014 through January 2015, and follows three phases:

    Phase I: Improving Efficiency: January - August 2014

    Phase II: Business Growth Planning: September 2014 – January
    2015

In-person classroom learning takes place during these dates:

    Module One: Foundations of International Business and Project
    Definition, Columbia Business School, New York: January 6-17, 2014

    Module Four: Global Expansion and Value Creation, New York: August
    24-29 2014

    Module Six: Challenges of Growth and Business Plan Presentations,
    Columbia Business School, New York: January 11-16 2015

The international immersion trip takes place during these dates:

    Module Three: Entrepreneurship and Innovation: March 16-22 2014

Modules Two and Five are distance learning. Classes will meet synchronously (in real time) once per month. Exact dates will be determined once the program has started.

How does the payment for the program work?

The cost of the program is $30,000. This program fee covers the tuition of two participants of the same company, books, case materials and accommodations. Airfares to program locations and some meals are not included.

Once participants have been selected, they must make an initial deposit of $4000, 10 business days after they are accepted to the program, to guarantee their place in the program. If you have been accepted into the ECLA program, you can make your deposit payment by clicking here.

Deposits will be applied toward the ECLA program fee. First payment toward the program fee will be due on December 15, 2012, and second and final installment will be due on June 1, 2014, half-way through the program. Additional information about how to make payments will be sent to participants prior to the start of each program phase, when invoices are distributed and payments are due.

What is the deadline for the payment of the ECLA program fee?

Payments must be made according to the following schedule to avoid late penalties:

  Due Date Amount Due (USD)*
Deposit November 10, 2013 $4,000
First Installment December 15, 2013 $12,000
Second Installment June 1, 2014 $14,000

What are the cancellation policies?

Click here for a full description of our cancellation policies. You must agree to abide by these policies when you apply to the program.

What is the deadline for booking flights to program locations?

Each person will be in charge of booking his/her own flights and covering his/her own airfare.

Where will we stay?

Since accommodations in all program locations are included in the program fee, participants will not be responsible for arranging or covering the costs of lodging. Participants should expect accommodations in all program locations to be double occupancy rooms in mid-range hotels in close proximity to classroom or meeting spaces. Information about travel, accommodations, and other program logistics will be circulated a few months prior to the start of each module.

How do I get a visa?

If you require a visa, we recommend the B1 business visa for our programs. Note that some embassies may ask that you apply for a student visa. Since our programs are non-degree and our participants are visiting the United States on business, however, the B1 is the appropriate visa. We follow U.S. State Department guidelines. It is against university policy for a representative to contact the embassy directly for a participant. However, we do have a standard letter that we can send to you to present to the embassy if needed. If you would like to request this letter, please contact us at ecla@gsb.columbia.edu.

Will I get alumni benefits?

Participants will receive limited alumni privileges at Columbia Business School Click here for a list of program benefits.