September is that time of the year when a few students go missing on Indian B-school campuses, while students from foreign institutes can be spotted. The reason being – “The student exchange program” which is an initiative taken up by prime universities to enhance the learning experience of participants through diversity. Though this program begins during the final year of your MBA course, it is advisable to take a look at it right in your first year. Check out the pros and cons of a student exchange course below, starting off with the cons.
Grades: Yes, since B-schools feel that having good grades involuntarily qualifies for being their “brand ambassador”, maintaining above average grades is a must for this program. It’s preferable to stay in the top 20% of your batch in terms of grades. Besides, giving the priority to select foreign institutes based on the descending order of grades makes it a simpler process of scrutiny for B-schools. Therefore, score well in your first year to go abroad in the second year!
Ah...Now I can dream about a foreign land..
Expenditure: Everything from travel, rent, food and expenditure at the foreign university (which for obvious reasons has a high probability of going out of control) has to be borne by the students. There is the option of these expenses being covered by the student loan provided by certain banks in certain cases. Either ways you must be prepared to spend some money.
If only I was Snoop Dogg....!
Break from the usual pedagogy: A different learning experience is the primary aim of a student exchange program. But, in most of the cases it turns out with the Indian students bragging about the holistic and more liberal teaching methodologies practiced abroad, while the foreign students on our campuses are grappling with professors asking them not to use laptops in classes (because the professors feel insecure by the possibility of students engaging with something else on their PC’s out of disinterest for the lecture, ironically), and also the Hindi or Indian contexts used here and there by them. Unless you are an Indian student abroad, studying under a professor who is scared of laptops and is teaching in a foreign language, you should be fine!
Facebook posts (travelling, culture and food): Now, coming to the most exciting part of any student exchange program – The incessant activity on social media. Living in another country and witnessing a different culture is definitely a memorable experience. This program offers a chance to travel and try some amazing food and local activities. Students can take back loads of unforgettable moments, the best of which of course should be shared with friends and family. But, for a few of us, who feel not sharing almost all experiences on a foreign land with foreign people breathing foreign air and eating foreign food on social media leaves the experience incomplete, Facebook is the shizz!
Looks like Facebook is hungry!
Relationships: Without second thoughts, foreign students on Indian campuses get hit on more than their Indian counterparts, which makes it easier for them to get into flings and relationships. If you are an average looking Indian guy abroad, it is preferred to stay occupied with activities such studying, travelling, adventure and preparations for final placements which usually begins right after the student exchange term is completed.
Not happening son..
Local business practices: Lastly, if you are enthusiastic enough to visit the local business enterprises at your location and observe their practices then you have lots to learn. The knowledge of international business customs is precious for an MBA student. You can also discuss your observations with the professors from your institute and during classes to enhance your perspectives (which can earn you points as well).
Guru bhai se kuch sikhna hai?!
About the Author:
Nikhil Murthy is a second year student at IIM Indore and a part of the InsideIIM’s student team 2016-17. He is also a part of IIM Indore’s campus radio and captain of the basketball team. His interests include writing, travelling and DJing.