Max studied International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) with a specialization in Emerging Markets, Fast Track at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Coming from Münster originally, the Netherlands were never far away and known as a good place for international studies. Going to the Netherlands already occurred to me in the last years of upper secondary through university fairs and Dutch-classes at my school. After a year of volunteering in Cambodia, I was looking for an international business study that would also integrate social responsibility, sustainability and international development aspects.
International Business for Emerging Markets, a specialization within the IBMS programme, was exactly what I was looking for. The uniqueness of this study brought me to the Netherlands and specifically to the HU in Utrecht.
Besides meeting many internationals in my study, I met a lot of Dutch people. The openness of the Dutch people really impressed me. They are kind and curious to get to know you. One phenomenon in the Netherlands is the big number of bikes everywhere. They shape the life of the people to a great extent and I also enjoyed getting around on a bike myself while living in Utrecht. In my opinion, Utrecht is ‘the’ student city to be in. Especially in the summers there lies a fantastic vibe over the city, when lots of cafes are open and life takes place on the streets and along the canals.
From my experience, international interactions definitely develop empathy and intercultural awareness. An important competence when engaging in an international business environment. The most valuable and educating part of the study was the exposure to "real" business in the course of the two internships and the immersion in another culture in the course of the study abroad semester in Nicaragua. It enabled great personal and professional development and allowed for insights that I would not have had if I went to a regular university.
For my study abroad I went to Nicaragua. Before I did not speak any Spanish, but I developed an intermediate level of Spanish during my time there. The language and experiences are definitely supportive for my future. The general cultural experience has provided me with great insights into cultural differences and created more awareness and sensitivity for potential clashes and dilemmas. Something that is of great value in real business life as I could experience in my recent internship. Also the fact that I spent another semester abroad shows eagerness to engage in international settings and openness to take on international assignments.
Studying abroad comes with challenges and great experiences. I experienced that it is important to be aware of potential challenges and have the courage and energy to step out of your own comfort zone. In my opinion studying abroad is an opportunity to develop yourself in a personal and professional manner and gains insights and perspectives that really broadens your horizon.
For me, it is important that I get the chance to be exposed to a great variety of people when studying abroad. Diversity, after all, allows for a great deal of new experiences and different perspectives on topics, challenges and issues. At HU, I got this chance in a class with people from diverse backgrounds and different countries. I also liked the concept of the study at HU. Combining theory and practice encourages students to test personal boundaries and continuously seek new international experiences. It is a great learning experience for people to grow (up)!
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