Global Study Tours are an opportunity to learn firsthand about other business cultures. Students meet with leading executives, government officials, and alumni while visiting company headquarters, factories, and cultural sites.

Students travel on behalf of Columbia Business School and are expected to act as ambassadors of the School brand by actively participating in company visits and alumni receptions. The culture of study tours is open and inclusive to build and strengthen relationships between students.

Study Tour Basics

  • Students have an average of two company visits a day (8-12 throughout the week), and all meetings are mandatory.
  • Study Tours last from 7 to 12 days, taking place over winter break and spring break, with occasional May or August tours. Students must attend the entire trip.
  • Tours have a minimum number of 20 students and a maximum of 40. Some tours may have lower caps for logistical reasons.

The Chazen Institute reserves the right to cancel a study tour due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the study tour non-viable. If a study tour is cancelled, your deposit and bid points will be refunded.


  • Only current, full-time Columbia Business School students (no significant others).
  • Students must not have holds on their student accounts. Each student must reconcile his/her account prior to submitting a tour deposit.
  • Students not officially enrolled in the study tour cannot participate in any study tour activities. 
  • All students traveling on a Columbia program must have valid travel medical insurance that covers routine and emergency care.

How to Bid for a Study Tour

Registering for a tour uses a Dutch auction method similar to BOSS bidding. Bidding for winter tours takes place in September, spring tours in November, May tours in February, and August tours in April.

  • Each student is given 2000 upfront lifetime "Chazen bid points” – separate from course BOSS bid points – that carry over from year-to-year.
  • There is only one round of bidding.
  • Students can place their bids anytime during the bidding period.
  • The lowest successful bid becomes that study tour’s “clearing price.”
  • Students can secure spots on multiple tours, but must ensure that they do not confirm spots on overlapping tours. 
  • No swapping tours with another student, or switching between tours allowed.

Before you bid: Please review your schedule prior to bidding for study tours!


Those not able to get on a study tour are placed automatically on a waitlist, ordered by highest to lowest bid amount. There is no separate waitlist bidding round.

Students that get off the waitlist are charged the bid amount they placed on the study tournot the lowest “clearing price" for the waitlist, so make sure to bid what you are willing to pay.

Students can add themselves to the waitlist at any point during or after the bid period for no bid points by entering the zero-bid point waitlist. The zero-bid point waitlist is first-come first-serve. If a study tour does not fill to capacity during the bidding period and does not have a waitlist, it is open on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Study Tour Fees

Fees vary depending on the study tour, but generally range from $1500-$2500. They include:

  • Double occupancy hotel room
  • Local transportation
  • Some meals
  • Some cultural activities

Students are expected to stay in the same hotel. International airfare is not included.

Payment Process

Payment is a two-step process:

  1. Students with successful study tour bids have 48 hours to pay a non-refundable deposit online or they forfeit their spot (bid points will be refunded).
  2. Six to eight weeks before the trip, students make a final payment.

Students are not able to increase their loan eligibility for a study tour unless they are doing an associated independent study.

The Chazen Institute Travel Fund offers need-based financial assistance. Applications are due in the summer.

Withdrawing from a Study Tour

Once a deposit is made, you are considered on the tour. If you must withdraw from a Study Tour, please consider relinquishing your spot before making a payment. It will  help other students take your spot sooner and without additional costs and work.

Deposits and bid points will not be refunded except for the reasons listed below (documentation may be requested):

  • Medical illness that would prevent you from traveling
  • Family emergency such as death or serious illness of immediate family member (parent, child, sibling)
  • Military service
  • Religious observance
  • Court appearances, such as jury duty or a court summons
  • Visa denial – students must submit proof that they made a concerted effort to apply for the visa (Chazen will not accept last-minute denials)

There are no exceptions for classes (including Global Immersion and Block Week classes), interviews, weddings, student activities, conferences, personal travel, etc. 

Requests for Withdrawal

Requests for withdrawal must be made in writing to the Chazen Institute at [email protected] for consideration and include the reason for appeal and supporting documentation.

If the request is approved, Chazen will credit a refund back to the original credit card used for payment. Chazen will refund the  deposit and final payment, minus any non-refundable fees and expenses already incurred (these fees will vary from tour to tour).

If the drop is made after the final payment deadline, the student may be responsible for the full cost of the tour depending on the cancellation policies of the respective study tour.

Vaccinations and Immunizations

Vaccinations and immunizations are recommended for many global destinations. Please review the latest health and safety information from University Health Services and schedule travel appointments if needed. Health Services is particularly busy leading up to school breaks, so please schedule an appointment as early as possible.