This year marks the 25th anniversary since Carleton’s Bachelor of International Business (BIB) program was founded.  At that time it was the most comprehensive international business degree program in Canada and remains so to this day.  By requiring students to become proficient in an additional language and spending a year abroad at one of our partner institutions the students acquire skills and attitudes that have allowed them to pursue careers around the world.  As BIB graduates will tell you, the firsthand the life lessons they learn during their year abroad are irreplaceable in advancing their comprehension of cultural differences and how they can be overcome, as well as helping them to understand their own identities.  While the experiential component of the BIB program is priceless, the travel costs associated with going abroad can be challenging for some students especially if unanticipated circumstances arise.  This bursary is designed to make sure that all students are able to complete their year abroad successfully.

Renamed in 2016 in honor of David Cray, one of the founders of the Bachelor of International Business program, the David Cray BIB Bursary helps students entering their mandatory year abroad, who have demonstrated financial need, to help offset exceptional costs.

The Background

The Sprott School’s Bachelor of International Business is a four-year Honours degree program that equips graduates with specialized business knowledge, fluency in a new language through both intensive courses and an immersive experience, cross-cultural skills, and first-hand international experience.

The hallmark of the BIB remains the year of study abroad. In the third year of their program students attend one of our 40 partner institutions in a country where their new language is spoken. During this year students develop their cultural awareness and an international perspective through their experiences in living and travelling abroad.

Their interactions with domestic students, staff and international students from other countries provide an ongoing basis for increasing their appreciation of the diversity that permeates international business. Many of these relationships persist far beyond their time in their host country. Students become more adaptive, resourceful, and better communicators as a result of their year abroad.  Graduates will also tell you that it is the compulsory exchange component to the program that gave them a competitive advantage in the job market:

“The BIB program allowed me to build my tenacity to operate in highly dynamic and complex environments. Since graduating, I’ve learned the nuances of business abroad and acquired sales for a software company owned by one of the original BIB alum. Through this experience, I was led back to China where I fully apply my language skills and degree to co-develop a department for The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to support bi-lateral trade still in operation today. Upon completion, I returned to Canada and found a company that required my language skills and experience in China. I now manage Global Operations for this semiconductor company in Ottawa” – Chia Lian BIB/10

The Rollout

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BIB program we want to raise $5,000 by the end of December. December 3rd, 2019 is Giving Tuesday and gifts made through FutureFunder.ca will be matched dollar-for-dollar (to a maximum $10,000 per donation) by Carleton University. We encourage you to consider signing up for monthly donations so that we will continue to build the endowment.

We have achieved our initial goal, raising over $27,000 and establishing an endowment fund for the David Cray BIB Bursary allowing us to provide an annual bursary in perpetuity.

Our plan is to double the amount in the endowment over the next few years.


The Impact

The David Cray BIB Bursary currently produces at least $1,000 each year for bursaries that will directly support BIB students embarking on their year abroad.  Increasing the base of the fund will allow us to offer more support.

“BIB set me on a global path that has winded around the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean, among other places. My skills – in particular management, strategy, and communication, across languages and cultures – were first instilled in me at the BIB. As for all BIBers, the friends I made are the most lasting impact of my year abroad, in life but also my career. The two men by my side at the altar on my wedding day are from my time abroad, and my business trips regularly feature lunches with contacts from BIB years”. – Peter Holland BIB/98

“Of my professional accomplishments the one that I most treasure is helping to found the BIB program. When we first discussed the structure of the program we considered sending students abroad for a semester as most exchange programs do. We decided that three months was not long enough; students needed time to move beyond the status of a visitor and become a real part of the local culture. In talking to hundreds of BIB students and grads over the years I have been convinced that we were absolutely correct in our assessment. When I retired and the Sprott School named the BIB bursary in my honour, I was deeply touched not just because of the recognition, but also because my colleagues could not have done anything that would have pleased me more”David Cray

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