Agnes Lasota, a member of the International Office team at the International School of Management (ISM), is fully aware of the questions students usually ask when planning to study overseas.
Actually, if you plan everything carefully, the stress will be significantly less: “Questions about visas and accommodation are the most urgent ones that students want answered,” explains Agnes, who has gained lots of experience planning and organising the integrated study abroad programme for the part-time MBA General Management course at ISM. Students on the programme spend one week at each of the four overseas partner universities in order to enhance their management skills at international level and to discover more about the business and cultural characteristics of various countries. The destinations are Hong Kong, India, Brussels and the USA. In September, the students jet off to China and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The ISM students will learn about “Doing Business in China” and “Strategic Sourcing” at the university’s Business Centre. Besides classroom work, the agenda also includes guided tours of local firms. India features on the itinerary in November. At the Indian Institute of Management in Indore the focus will be firmly on “Managing in Emerging Markets” and “Information Management”.
Students are provided with as much help and support as necessary. “There’s always a local advisor who students can turn to if they need help, support and advice,” says Agnes. She also acts as a “backup” in Germany if the students require any help while abroad. She additionally provides the students in advance with important information about preparing their stay overseas. Individual advice and guidance sessions are also available. For instance, the students discover whether and when they have to apply for a visa. Furthermore, various types of accommodation are recommended and there is also the opportunity to book student rooms directly through the partner university. “We obviously benefit here from our vast experience and are able to suggest lodgings located in the immediate vicinity of the partner university,” Agnes explains. In India, for example, there is a shuttle bus between the hotel and the campus. “Students generally follow our recommendations,” adds Agnes. Participants also receive a timetable in advance, which gives them an overview of how the days are structured and the content available.
The students are excited and looking forward to the unique experience of travelling to different countries – not just as a tourist, but also as a student. The visa applications have already been made and the accommodation booked. All they need to remember now is to take their luggage, passport and toothbrush along.