Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE)

When it comes to global business, being there is the best way to learn. The Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE) is an elective course  for EMBA students that invites you to focus on a region’s history, politics, economy, and culture—both in the classroom, and in person as you and your classmates travel through the region.

GATE students have travelled to residencies in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America; starting in 2025, the program will offer a GATE course on an African country, likely South Africa, for EMBA students.

The 3-credit GATE course is offered as a two-part elective during Elective Term 2 of your program, consisting of a 1.5 credit course for the in-class academic portion plus a 1.5 credit course for the in-country trip portion of the course. (Students who are unable to travel can still enroll for academic credit in the academic portion of the course to learn in-depth about a region that interests them.)

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During the classroom portion of this elective, you’ll take a deep dive into a region’s history and current economic, political, and social context. GATE courses are highly participatory—classmates educate each other on findings as you engage with regional experts in class discussions. Your coursework may include company research and presentations, discussions of business case studies, as well as individual and group deliverables on a focus topic in preparation for your trip.


During your trip—which will last around 10 days—your instructor serves as a consultant, guiding you and your classmates through the region you’ve been studying. You’ll meet with business and government leaders in a wide variety of industries and economic sectors, gaining insights through visits with multinational corporations, local enterprises, government agencies, alumni, and more.

Your trip will include field visits where you’ll get an in-depth view of a company or organization and learn about some of the current challenges facing each organization. You’ll also gain exposure to the culture of the region with a range of experiences like city tours, museum visits, hikes, and local events that will expand your understanding and appreciation of the people and the area you are visiting.

Please note: the travel portion of the course will occur after the conclusion of Elective term finals (typically mid- to late March).

Fuqua students atop Table mountain in South Africa.

Recent GATE experiences include:

  • A meeting with the U.S. Commercial Services office in Johannesburg to learn how the U.S. government supports investment and growth in the region
  • An insightful visit to Robben Island
  • A visit to ArcelorMittal in Johannesburg, a global steel and mining company
  • Overnight stays in the Pilanesberg National Park & Game Reserve with game drives in search of the "Big 5"
  • A formidable hike up Table Mountain (or a relaxing cable car ride) for amazing views of Cape Town
  • A tour through South Africa's renowned winelands, including tastings, tours and talks to gain insight and understanding about the industry, both its challenges and its impact on the economy