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4 Benefits Of An International Experience On Your Master’s

From creating lifelong friendships to discovering new cultures and career paths, here are the benefits of having an international experience on your master's degree

Tue Apr 23 2024

Choosing a master’s degree program is a pivotal decision in your academic journey, influenced by factors ranging from career aspirations to personal interests. 

Among the options available, those business master’s that have an international element stands out as a popular and advantageous choice. 

If you’re interested in an international degree there are a host of top business master’s, offering opportunities to not only learn business management fundamentals but also broaden your horizons and network in a different country. 

Having an international element, whether it’s a semester abroad or an international career forum, can help you get the most out of your business education, as it offers a blend of academic rigor, cultural immersion, and personal growth. 

Here we delve into four benefits of pursuing a master’s degree that offer an international experience.

1. Cultural Immersion and Global Perspective

One of the most obvious yet profound benefits of studying for a master’s degree with an international dimension is the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture.

Whether it’s exploring historic landmarks, savoring local cuisine, or participating in cultural festivals, the immersion experience offers invaluable insights that extend far beyond the classroom.

Experiencing life in a foreign country goes beyond textbooks and lectures, allowing students to engage firsthand with diverse customs, traditions, and perspectives. 

Understanding different cultural and workstyle differences can elevate your professional success. It builds understanding and empathy, leads to open-mindedness, and enables you to build strong problem-solving skills. 

At many schools, international awareness is intrinsic to the educational experience. Often, these schools don’t just provide international study experiences for students; they also enroll students from all over the world. In fact, all of the world’s top 20 most diverse business schools have over 90% international students. 

This exposure fosters a broader worldview and a deeper understanding of global issues—essential qualities in an interconnected world. 

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2. Networking Opportunities and Professional Development

Building a robust professional network is crucial for career advancement, and gaining international exposure provides an excellent platform to connect with individuals from around the world. 

“You create a strong network with people who are going to be successful one day, and you make friends with them, which makes a difference,” says Giacomo Altadonna, a Master in Finance student at HEC Paris. 

Establishing relationships with peers and mentors from different cultural backgrounds not only enriches your academic experience but also lays the groundwork for future collaborations and career prospects. 

Additionally, international internships, research projects, and industry partnerships, offer hands-on experience and practical skills highly valued by employers in today’s global marketplace.

Matthew Donnelly, a student in the Master in Management at University College Dublin (UCD), says the international excursions are a major benefit of the program. 

“Students across Europe and beyond descended for a career forum in Barcelona where there were corporate partners and 40 different companies presenting.

“Then in May, students are going to go to Budapest to take part in a Model UN. It's really exciting to get opportunities to work with the other schools in different settings around Europe,” he explains. 

3. Personal Growth and Adaptability

Stepping out of your comfort zone and navigating unfamiliar settings can benefit your growth and resilience. Experiencing a foreign country challenges students to adapt to new environments and communicate across language barriers. 

You will also elevate your interpersonal skills throughout your master’s program, through working in groups with people from varying backgrounds with differing opinions.

This is something that Arthur Lamy, a dual degree student completing a Master in Management at HEC and Master in Finance at Bocconi, values. 

“During your extracurricular journey with clubs and societies, we learned how to deal with people from very different backgrounds with different views and opinions.” 

Overcoming cultural differences and challenges abroad builds confidence and broadens perspectives, skills that will be highly beneficial in your career. 

4. Friendships and Memories

Beyond the academic and professional benefits, international experiences create lasting friendships and memories. 

“You make great friends,” says Giacomo. "It can be at parties or in professional settings, but we have this sense of community that makes a real difference to the experience.”

The friendships formed during an international master’s program often extend beyond graduation, serving as a global network of support throughout your personal and professional journey.