This semester, after their return from their two semesters abroad, the 6th semester students of the study program International Business Management (B.A.) were invited by program director Barbara Lier and Amit Ray the “Post Cultural Immersion Workshop”. The fun-filled experience is then shared with faculty so that the next batch of students has an equally enjoyable time while finding it easier to pass the hurdles which the previous students faced in the cities they chose to go – New York, Shanghai or Sydney.
Shanghai – during your stay in this vibrant city you will definitely hear “Nǐ hǎo”. We all have many stereotypes about the Chinese – but when you finally visit the country, you realize how untrue they are. With students first being paired with local mentors, certain language barriers were overcome. But being in a country where your first language is not spoken still has its drawbacks. “You become more grateful for what you have at home”, states one of the students. “You also learn new ways to get your point across such as hand gestures which were commonly used in Shanghai.” Shanghai, being one of the largest cities in China, had a buzzing nightlife which helped students socialize and get to know the place better. From an academic standpoint, Shanghai was fascinating as the classes included both Hochschule Fresenius students and local students. New classmates then offered insights into parts to Shanghai that were not so touristic – a new experience for a lot of the students.
New York – the city of dreams – had students feeling welcome from the moment they set foot outside the airport. The Google searches for this place are extensive – how can you fit all that it has to offer in a three-month time period stay? Yet, the students managed to do all they had planned. The English speaking country helped students practice the language skills while having to adapt to certain situations where it was a little harder to express what needed to be communicated. Although the students did not get to meet too many local students due to classes only being amongst Hochschule Fresenius students, the streets of New York with the friendly locals created an intercultural atmosphere for a pleasant time. Everyone agreed: “If you want to experience living in a truly intercultural environment, New York is the place to be.”
Sydney – the beauty of the place is something which captures one’s everlasting attention. If a student flew from New York to Sydney, they were feeling the difference. The campus life had students socializing from the moment classes began – with the local students being present in the same classes. This way, students made friends from all over the world. The students also felt part of the society instantly due to the welcoming nature of local students and friendly neighborhoods.
The study program includes a mandate to complete two semesters in two different countries as part of their curriculum. The students get to decide between 3 continents – Asia, Australia or the United States of America. Program director Barbara Lier points out the benefits: “With two compulsory integrated semesters abroad, students are seeing the world from a different view point. They learn to understood different cultures and different perspectives which helps them gain self-confidence to enter the globalized corporate world.” It is precisely this integrated component that makes the study program International Business Management (B.A.) stand out from comparable Bachelor programs.