Applications are now open for this program for January 2020! Click here to apply now.

The ‘Business Communication and Leadership’ program (formerly known as the Business Communication & Negotiation Skills program) taught at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte is essential for anyone who wishes to expand their leadership and business communication skills.

Leaders often set the stage for how well a team develops and works together and great communication skills can go a long way towards achieving this. As part of the program you will undertake interactive workshops and team building activities that will give you a chance to develop your negotiations skills and provide with you great insights on how to deal with conflicts in the workplace. Over the course of 3 weeks, you will learn about leadership styles and have the opportunity to work on your presentation skills to become adept at producing informative and persuasive presentations.

Another exciting aspect of the program is the section on business communication for meetings and negotiations. In this part of the course, not only will you learn the theory about how to conduct meetings, interviews and negotiations in a US context, but you’ll learn and practice real-world skills. You will also study how to enhance creativity and brainstorm effectively. To top it all off, you’ll be visiting a range of businesses to put your new skills to the test. This is genuinely stepping out of the classroom and into the ‘Real World’.

** Details to the program are still subject to final change **



Business Communication & Leadership Core course

This seminar series will provide participants the opportunity to discuss and experience communication and leadership as it applies to American business. Faculty will address the current themes, listed below, utilising various methods of delivery. Participants will depart the course with a greater appreciation of the complexity of communicating well as a leader in an organisational environment.

Core Course Themes:

  • Leadership Styles
  • Team Building
  • Presentational Skills
  • Social Influences on Leadership

Business Seminar Mini-Sessions

 Participants will engage in a series of custom-designed weekly mini-sessions which address specific themes pertinent to the topic of U.S. and global business.   Participants will depart this course with the ability to apply business theory to tangible business outcomes.


  • Negotiation Strategies
  • Crowdfunding
  • Integrated Marketing Communications

University of North Carolina, Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. Located in the state’s largest metropolitan area, UNC Charlotte is among the fastest growing universities in the UNC System. A large public university with a small college feel, more than 27,200 students consider UNC Charlotte’s 1,000-acre campus their home away from home.


Instructor Information

Sandy H. Hanson

Sandy has been teaching communication skills for over thirty years and currently enjoys the position of Senior Lecturer in the department of Communication Studies at UNC Charlotte. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Speech Education, went on to Florida State University to receive a Master’s degree in Interpersonal Communication, and finally attended Purdue University to work on a Ph.D. in Organisational Communication. With all but her dissertation completed, she left Purdue and began teaching at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1983. She has taught courses including Organisational Communication, Small Group Communication, Team Building, Public Speaking, Communication and Conflict, Time Management, Career Exploration, Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Persuasion, and more. One of the highlights of her career is the many workshops per year she provides for the Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte. These include Fulbright scholars from worldwide, teachers from Japan, Korea and Brazil, Japanese Business Leaders, the Australian AIM Overseas program, Korean undergraduates in education, etc.

Sandy Hanson likes to focus on the skills portion of communication. She believes that communication knowledge must be delivered in a useful format that blends experience with concepts and her students enjoy her ability to take theory and apply it to daily life. Her great success working with Fire and Rescue Management as well as Emergency Medical Services personnel exemplifies her ability to reach different audiences (from firefighters to administration) and she is proud of her work in helping build more successful teams for emergency scenarios.


Cindy Fox

Cindy Fox has held a variety of positions at UNC Charlotte, but teaching Marketing is a thread through all her years. In addition to teaching, she is the President of the American Marketing Association Charlotte Chapter and Faculty Advisor for the Student Chapter of the AMA. Cindy’s topics in Marketing include Sales and Negotiations, Creativity and Innovation, Retail and Logistics, and Integrated Marketing Communications. She is a proponent of experiential learning, so her classes use on-site visits and “real-world” projects to enhance the learning experience. Cindy has also taught Faculty-Led study abroad programs in India, Brazil, Europe, Panama, and Costa Rica.


The program includes a range of professional visits to businesses. Visits will be to a range of both large and small, locally based companies that have both local and international focuses. During these visits, you will be given extensive opportunities to interact with professionals, managers and executives to apply the new skills and knowledge you’ve acquired during the academic classes.

To give students an appreciation for US culture and attitudes, the program also includes a range of activities, e.g. NBA professional basketball game, professional hockey game, motor speedway tour.


Students will be accommodated in student dorm style housing on the UNC Charlotte campus. The housing consists of single-gender, 4-person, 4-bedroom apartments. Students will have access to a shared full kitchen, living room, and bathroom within each single-gender apartment. Students will have access to wireless internet and there are in-building washer/dryers. 


Hear the experiences of other students on this program

“Thursday would be our last business class for the program (Business Communication & Negotiation Skills). After the class we all went back to the hotel to get ready for an NBA game! I was looking forward to the NBA game because it would be my first professional sports game that I had ever watched! The game was amazing and definitely not what I expected. During every break the crowd started dancing and yelling the name of their team. As well, Cheerleaders would come out and started dancing on the basketball court. I would definitely recommend going to one of those games as the atmosphere is so much fun and you get to experience the American culture at its best.”

- Viktoria Makstman, Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting. READ MORE 


North Carolina is located in the South East of the United States and has a diverse landscape ranging from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. The edge of North Carolina owns some of the most beautiful beaches and stunning islands that acts as an attraction to people all around the country. North Carolina is home to 1500 lakes of 10 acres or more in size as well as almost 60 000 kilometres of fresh water streams. The state also houses the Whitewater Falls, which is the highest waterfall in the Eastern United States and a popular sight to visit.

Charlotte, known as the ‘Queen City’ is the largest in North Carolina and is a commercial hub. As much as it is known for being the business town - Home to several Fortune 500 companies, it also has incredible museums, stately old neighbourhoods and lots of fine food to feast on. It holds the Levine Museum of the New South, which explores post-civil war history of the South and the NASCAR hall of fame that celebrates the sport of auto-racing. Because of the states many rivers, in Charlotte there are fun activities like kayaking, canoeing, river rafting and tubing to do, as well as many walking, food and shopping tours.



All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.



You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation. 

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.


Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

The application process for this program are as follows:

1. Apply online via the “Apply Now” button or by clicking this link.

2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.

3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.

4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.

5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.

6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.

7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.

8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.

9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.

10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 28th October 2019.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest. Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.