By Rahul Jain:
Being in a nation obsessed with education and employment, no stone is left unturned to get the best. These options in the form of what is called a ‘Semester Abroad Program’ or a ‘Semester Exchange Program’ are a great way to provide a boost. Some of the prestigious colleges in India have taken this concept to another level and have developed specific programs to cater to the imperative need of globalization. Some primary examples come in the form of Institute of Management (IMT) Ghaziabad’s Dual Country Program (DCP), Management Development Institute Gurgaon’s Postgraduate Programme in International Management (PGPIM), and S.P. Jain’s Global MBA program.
Needless to say, these courses are expensive and alternate options are available in India by the respective institutes. Then what makes a student choose such programs?
A student, at best, is given an opportunity to immerse in the culture and make networks on these programs. The onus is on the student to make the most of this period and enrich themselves through extracurricular participation of various forms, industry interactions, attending events, learning about the culture and the work culture while maintaining the academic rigour the institutes provide, and that requires a considerable effort on the student’s part.
An IMT Dual Country program student stated, “I chose this program over other options because it gave me the best of both worlds. It provided me with true global exposure as Dubai is the hub of international business while IMT’s excellent and rigid curriculum provides a solid foundation.”
Like that dilapidated and over used coin, this one too has two sides.
The cultural differences provide a lot of challenges for students which may affect their performance. Also, if classroom learning is what you are after, you should reconsider your decision about going for one of these programs. The excessive fee charged can only be justified if you are willing to spend over it.
If the extracurricular opportunities available distract you, save the exposure for your career where you will still rise thanks to the qualitative higher education platforms available across India. But if one has the option and the capability to opt for these programs and have enough command over themselves, it can make a world of a difference. Self-introspection is crucial at this junction simply because the stakes are higher.
Today’s world is a global economy and boundaries are getting muddled. The culture shocks can be really useful as they open up an individual to the world. A student will get qualitative education from both Indian methodology and foreign curriculum. While these attributes may appear highly abstract, interactions with industrial psychologists (psychologists who study organizational behavior) will tell you that they can make a lot of difference in a person’s career and even in their personal life.
As an industrial psychologist and IMT Nagpur faculty, Dr. Smita Dabholkar says, “Under such programs, exposure to students and faculties from various backgrounds and walks of life is great for a learning environment. For instance, the DCP program provides an opportunity to interact with and observe numerous nationalities. These observations can then be inculcated and utilised in the job tomorrow.”
As Albert Camus once said, “You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” With life as well, it is not about education OR experience, it is about education AND experience.
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