March 2018: International Travel Options for Students with Itchy Feet

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In this month’s blog I’ll be discussing a topic of increasing interest to our generation: international travel. For many readers, the range of international options available will play a large role in deciding which University to attend. Students from my course, International Business & Management MsC, have two options available to them:

Option 1: International Exchange in Semester 2

A very popular option, selected by roughly a third of the course, is the International Exchange. After Semester 1 (September – January) is spent at AMBS, students are able to attend one of our Partner Institutions in Semester 2 (February – June). A full list of these institutions is available in the link below, but potential destinations include: Melbourne, Milan, Stockholm School of Economics and Sao Paulo!

https://www.mbs.ac.uk/study/masters/masters-experience/international-exchange/

Practicalities: At the start of Semester 1, AMBS runs a Q&A session regarding the Exchange. Exchange Students from our Partner Institutions make short presentations on their University, & AMBS staff provide details on deadlines and application processes. Deadlines and application processes vary for each University – but generally a motivational statement is required in October/November for your application to then be considered by the institutions.

Is it for you?: The benefit of the International Exchange option is the ability to not only travel to a completely new destination, but to live and really become immersed within that setting. Further, you are able to do so with the support of the University in finding accommodation, meeting people and emergency assistance. However, the reason I opted not to select this option was the cost. Although there is no raise in tuition fees and living costs grants/bursaries are available from the University, they are limited, and I did not qualify. Moreover, I couldn’t really afford to leave the part time work I have been undertaking alongside my studies just yet. Which leads me on to my preferred Option 2…

Option 2: Research Outside of Manchester in Semester 3

In Semester 3 (June – September), IB&M Students are tasked with completing a 15,000 – 20,000 word dissertation. On the 28th of February I submitted my proposal to complete this work in the form of a case study in relation to Corporate Responsibility Expectations in Brazil, with data drawn from public reaction to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A couple of weeks before that I also submitted a request to complete this work outside of Manchester. On the 20th of July I will fly to Bogota, Colombia to stay with friends for just over a month. Although I plan to complete a first draft for my supervisor just prior to departure, I will be implementing any changes she suggests whilst simultaneously enjoying a few cervezas on the beach! (okay maybe not simultaneously but you get the idea.)

Practicalities: Students are asked to fill out a form available on Blackboard (the University’s online system), have it signed by their Dissertation Supervisor and then send it through to Admin for approval. My request was approved in a couple of days. Generally, the University are happy for you to leave Manchester in Semester 3 as long as they are aware of your location and you complete your work.

Is it for you? Unlike the International Exchange, the focus is on you to arrange where you plan on going to, where you will stay and how to manage your time once there. However, if you’re already experienced in travelling and can manage your time effectively then this won’t be an obstacle. Additionally, students who wish to complete their Dissertation on an International Business issue affecting one specific country setting can utilise this option to complete primary research within that setting and likely enhance their understanding and perhaps their grade as well!

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Ben Lloyd

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