We all know that one of the most exciting features of international graduate school is the possibility of learning about different cultures. Whether you’re studying abroad or in your home country, university is a place where you can expand your horizons.
Here are some of the best ways to spread your wings, fly to unfamiliar places, and learn about new cultures.
For keen travellers, one university campus is simply not enough. Programmes such as the ones at Hult International Business School offer Masters students the option to switch the country of their studies up to three times in just one year. For example, if you start your studies in Hult’s London campus, your studies can continue in any of five other cities.
As described by the school itself, every city has something different and exciting to offer international students:
“San Francisco has the edgy feel of a startup. Boston has a traditional academic air about it. London and New York are ideal for immersing yourself in international business, especially finance, while Dubai is perfect if you want to understand one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Shanghai is the right choice if you’re considering doing business in or with Asia after graduating.”
Prospective applicants who would like to study management can also opt for the reputable CEMS Master in International Management programme. It enables students from a select number of top universities to transfer to another institution for the second year of their studies; not to mention another perk – after graduation, students receive two diplomas!
If the university of your choice doesn’t offer campus rotation but you are still eager to explore another country, then signing up for an exchange programme is the perfect option for you. Many international graduate schools have partnerships that enable students to spend an entire term or more in a university abroad. Exchange programmes are a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture in a way that travelling and holidays cannot match up to.
Here is what Michele Tarawneh, who obtained his Masters degree from Rotterdam School of Management (the Netherlands), shared about his exchange in Tsinghua University, Beijing:
“I will never forget the friendliness of my fellow Chinese students, the beautiful campus and the fascination for China’s ancient history. Tsinghua has been a privileged point of view on something so different from what I have been used to.”
International clubs and societies
The best part about international Masters programmes is that even students who prefer to stay in their home country will get to experience foreign cultures. Every respectable school features an exciting mix of clubs and organisations that enable students to mingle informally. These might include sports clubs, networking events, entrepreneurial hubs, language study groups, and many more.
While they provide a great opportunity to socialise and make new friends, clubs and societies are also your window to new traditions and cultures. Earlier in 2019, the International Connection Team at Audencia Business School (France) – a club that organises cultural activities and welcomes new international students – hosted a celebration of the Lunar New Year. Other student associations at Audencia include “The Banquet” which focuses on wine tastings, trips to vineyards, and exploration of French regional cuisine, and “Shamrock” which promotes music through a bimonthly magazine and has its own festival.
Are you already enrolled in university and cannot find an association that sparks your interest? Just reach out to the school board and set up your own club!
Internships and volunteering
Of course, life outside university has plenty to offer in terms of multicultural activities too. Many graduate students choose to take up part-time work in their free time or start an internship programme. Beyond helping with your finances, this can be a valuable opportunity to gain work experience and to meet professionals from different backgrounds who you would not otherwise have met. The internship is often a compulsory element of international Masters programmes, encouraging class participants not only to discover their dream job but also to explore the work culture of another country. So, if you are not able to travel abroad for your studies or go on an exchange, don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone during your internship placement.
Signing up for volunteer projects is another useful way to get out there and learn about other cultures. Festivals about foreign cinema or music and initiatives of social importance are just some of the formats you can sign up for to help people in need while also expanding your view of the world. Don’t forget that if you are already studying abroad, volunteering can be a great way to get to know the local traditions too.
Are you ready to go off the beaten track and explore the rich cultural heritage of the world? Start with your Masters degree!