Study abroad. It's worth every penny.

Monday, February 22, 2016

As a Part-Time MBA Student, studying abroad is the single best course experience you can take while in your program at the University of Minnesota. It offers a major resume builder, a life experience, and relationship building you simply won’t get in class.

The ugly part first – it’s expensive. Really expensive. It’s roughly twice the cost of a normal 4-credit class. You’ll be paying for your own plane flight, program fees, and anything you choose to do while you’re over there. So start saving now, it’s worth it.

The best part, however, is spending 2+ weeks with fellow classmates traveling somewhere you’d likely never go just for vacation. Developing relationships that last a lifetime. Those people you hoped to meet in class, who don’t bother socializing, and go home to their families instead of that happy hour with you? This time they are all in another country together, with no other responsibilities to go home to. It’s a lot like freshman year at your college dormitory all over again.

If you choose the live case, which I recommend, it really adds a flavor to your resume and interview skills you can’t duplicate with a standard class. “Tell us about a time you had adversity?” How about trying to meet a deadline in a country that doesn’t speak your language, all while working with international students and presenting the following day to the Best Buy Vice President. You learn a lot about yourself, how you respond under pressure, and how you react when you’re put in unusual situations in a completely different culture.

I can’t recommend enough that if you decide to study abroad for your program, go early or stay late. My program was in Beijing, China for 2 weeks. Beijing is not the cleanest city, or fully representative of China. On our weekend off most of the students went to Shanghai, which was a fantastic side trip. And I was fortunate enough to convince two of the other students in our program to join me in Hong Kong for several days before the program started.  Quite possibly one of the coolest cities on earth! 

Study abroad. It’s worth every penny.

Group Posed in Front of Beijing Skyline at Night
Photo of Group Seating at Restaurant in Beijing
Three Students Posed Together