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  • Locations: Milan, Italy
  • Program Terms: March Break
  • Restrictions: Babson applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status: Graduate Program Type: Elective Abroad
Eligible Populations: See Eligibility Link Below Pre-requisites: See Below
Academic Highlights: Cultural Studies, Economics Program Advisor: Alexandra Nesbeda
Program Description:

ECN 7575 Business Models, Competitiveness, and the Changing European Environment

Lidija Polutnik
Professor and Division Chair, Economics

Spring Semester 2019


Important Dates

Information Session

Graduate Pub Night - Spring 2019 Courses

Monday, October 1, 2018
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Roger's Pub


Application Deadlines

Application Opens

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 1:00 PM ET

Initial Application Deadline

Sunday, October 21, 2018, 11:59 PM ET

Rolling Application Opens

Thursday, October 24, 2018, 12:00 PM ET

Rolling Application Deadline

Sunday, November 25, 11:59 PM ET

Mandatory Course Dates

No partial participation is allowed.
Admitted students must participate in ALL program activities.



Pre-Departure Class #1

Thursday, January 31, 2019
5:30 - 9:00 PM ET
Wellesley Campus (Location TBD) - WebEx available for BL students

Pre-Departure Class #2

Thursday, February 28, 2019
5:30 - 9:00 PM ET
Wellesley Campus (Location TBD) - WebEx available for BL students


Course Travel: Friday, March 15 - Sunday, March 24, 2019
Class Dates: Saturday, March 16 (evening) - Saturday, March 23, 2019 (evening)



Academic Overview

Course Description

ECN7575 explores competitive and strategic dimensions of companies doing business in the European Union (EU) in the context of EU competitiveness, institutions, policies, history and culture. This course studies ways that companies organize and define core competencies to build successful global brands. It further examines emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges for business and business creation in Italy and in the EU. ECN7575 explores how companies adapt and take advantage of business model disruptions, such as changes in technology and EU regulation, in light of current market dynamics. This course is grounded in economic fundamentals of relevant market definition, competitiveness in different geographies, firm behavior and performance, and provides students with opportunities to evaluate how companies position themselves for success in global markets based on their business model and strategic choices.
ECN7575 is divided into two parts: two on-campus lectures (WebEx available for Blended Learning students) and a week-long site visit to Italy. In Italy, students will visit 5-6 companies to study challenges and opportunities they are facing in the context of the EU, its institutions, and global competition. Past company visits include among others: Amazon, PayPal, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Ducati, Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani, Eataly, Brembo and DHL. In addition, several faculty from Bocconi University will offer lectures and case discussions pertaining to the current developments in the EU and the European Competitiveness court and relate them to relevant company visits. Applications discussed will also include luxury brand management, integrated supply chains, and consequences of specific business model choices for valuation, revenue potential, and brand equity objectives. Last but not least, several activities are planned that will allow students to engage in and embrace Italian history and culture. Past excursions include a night at La Scala, a guided tour of Milan, a viewing of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper, and attending a soccer game at San Siro.

Faculty Video

[Course Video / Brainshark]

Course Information

Course Type



3 credits


Open to students who are halfway through their graduate program and have completed pre-requisite requirements.

Student must be, and remain, in good academic standing with the college for duration of the course.

Student must be in good standing with the Office of Community Standards by time of travel.

For specific eligibility information by program visit the Eligibility page.


ECN 7200 Managerial Economics
ECN 7201 Managing at the Crossroads, Business, Government, International Economics

Course Documents

[Course Syllabus]  |  [Sample Schedule]  |  [Information Session Materials]

Academic Accommodations

Students requesting accommodations due to a disability should visit the students with disabilities abroad page for more information.

Course Logistics


Milan, Italy


  • Students will be staying in 3-4 star hotels in Milan during the course in double occupancy rooms.
  • Students will have the opportunity to choose single room accommodations prior to departure for an additional fee. Single Supplement Fee: $500.
  • Students interested in requesting housing accommodations on an Elective Abroad, should visit the students with disabilities abroad page for more information.


International Flight (Not Included in Program Fee)

Students will be responsible for booking their own international flight to/from Milan (MXP or LIN). A recommended international flight itinerary will be provided to students registered for the course. Students are responsible for booking their own flight AFTER the course has been confirmed to run (i.e. participant minimum number is reached). The international flight cost is not included in the program fee.

  • Arrival Airport Code: MXP or LIN
  • Departure Airport Code: MXP or LIN

Local Transportation

The program fee includes the following transportation: charter bus and subway tickets. Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation around the city.


Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation around the city and to do significant walking.


  • Breakfast will be provided at the hotel.
  • The following meals are also included in the program fee: welcome dinner and farewell dinner.
  • Students are responsible for paying for most lunches and dinners on their own.
  • Students with food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions are encouraged to contact their Program Manager prior to committing to the course to discuss any questions or concerns.
Electives Abroad Cost Elements

Estimated Total Cost:  $3,400 + Tuition (3 credits)

Program Fee: $1,800

  • Included: Accommodations, breakfast, ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. 
  • Not included: Tuition, international flight, single room supplement (additional $500), visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.
  • Payment: The program fee is paid to the Glavin Office.
  • Cancellation Policy: All students who confirm their placement and later withdraw from the course are subject to the Elective Abroad cancellation policy. Please review this policy to understand any additional financial obligations.

Babson Tuition: 3-Credits

  • Tuition is paid directly to SFS and is billed at the 2018-2019 credit rate. Elective Abroad course is 3 credits.
  • To discuss tuition or your financial situation or to learn about grant opportunities, visit Student Financial Services.

Travel & Meals: $1,600

  • Airfare (Individual estimated to/from BOS): $900
  • Estimated Additional Meals: $500
  • Estimated Incidentals: $200
    • Incidentals and additional meals (lunches and dinners) are based on estimated expenses from the previous year's course.
    • Expenses may be higher or lower depending on student's meal preferences.
  • Visa (if applicable)
    • All students are asked to research the visa requirements for their nationality to travel to Italy (including countries transited through) before committing to the course.
    • Students are responsible for securing visas (as needed) before travel.

Grants & Scholarships

Contact Information

Lead Faculty

Lidija Polutnik  

Professor Lidija Polutnik 

Dr. Lidija Polutnik is a Professor of Economics. At Babson she teaches mainly in the MBA program in the area of managerial economics, pricing and competitiveness. Since the Fall 2014 she is also a Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.Dr. Polutnik's research and consulting work has mostly been focused on pricing, revenue management and strategic cost management. Her work in this area is based on the analysis of the relationship between the firm's costs and customers' value and the influence of this relationship on the firm's profit. Dr. Polutnik also conducts research in public finance and examines the role institutions play in market economies and specifically in countries in transition. Dr. Polutnik's work has been published in numerous academic journals and books including: The European Accounting Review, Advances in Management Accounting, Journal of Cost Management, Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance, Industrial Relations Journal, and Comparative Economic Studies Journal. She has received several grants and awards for her work; most recently she received The Davis Educational Foundation grant for the project entitled "Containing Costs While Enhancing the Educational Mission: A Study of Best Practices for Small Private Colleges".

Dr. Polutnik has extensive consulting and executive teaching experience and has developed and delivered customized corporate training programs for many multinational companies in the area of tactical and strategic pricing, customer value, cost, and profitability analysis. She regularly teaches in the Executive MBA Program at the University of Bologna, Italy.


Program Manager

Alex Nesbeda  

Alex Nesbeda 

Alex Nesbeda manages the programming for Electives Abroad & Away, International Consulting Experience, and the Global Entrepreneurship Experience for the undergraduate and graduate student populations. She is the program manager for undergraduate Electives Abroad in Japan, the United Kingdom, Uruguay/Argentina, and Israel; graduate Electives Abroad in Italy and Japan; and the MSEL Global Entrepreneurship Experience in Tanzania.


Course Administrator


Amanda Malin


Student Quotes

"The Italy elective abroad was one of the highlights of my Babson experience. In addition to experiencing the culture and delicious Italian food from the city of Milan, we were able to hear firsthand from professors and business owners on the impact of political change and economic uncertainty (e.g., Brexit) throughout Europe. We visited several niche/luxury companies, learning about the unique positioning and high standards these companies must uphold. Now that I work for a French data analytics company that works with mostly luxury brand management teams, I could not have asked for a better course to prepare me." - Isabelle Engelsted (Italy Elective Abroad - March 2017)

"The graduate elective abroad in Italy was an amazing adventure that allowed me to learn the local economic landscape, visit amazing sites in Milan, and listen to passionate professors from Bocconi University. The second part of day, we were on location at manufacturing sights from Ducatti, Brembo, and Zegna. In the evening, we had some of the best pasta and gelato that Milan had to offer, recapping the amazing day with my classmates." - Mark Kolodziej (Italy Elective Abroad - March 2017) 

This program is currently not accepting applications.