Jakob GlibstrupBusiness Studies BSc (Hons)
Jakob Glibstrup, a final year BSc Business Studies student took the opportunity to spend a year abroad as part of his undergraduate programme.
A unique international experience
I chose to study at Cass to broaden my academic, professional and personal horizons. Living and studying in London is an experience I will have with me all my life, and I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity. Studying at Cass provides you with a truly unique and international experience. I have met so many different people from various cultures, backgrounds and experiences.
As an international student at Cass I was already studying abroad, but I wanted to add another aspect to my international education. With that in mind I chose to study abroad for one year at one of Cass’s partner institutions.
An inspiring study abroad opportunity
I was attracted to go to the University of Maryland because it was based just outside of Washington D.C. which I found to be of tremendous value. If I wanted to, I could go for a walk next to The White House, The Capitol and Nelson Mandela's memorial. To be in an environment where I could have these opportunities I found to be extremely inspirational. Living and studying in a large American campus is something I strongly recommend – you have everything nearby, and there is this strong community feeling, which you instantly feel a part of. It was an experience filled with hard work, yet with so many unforgettable positive experiences both in and outside of university life.
One of my best experiences was at a basketball game on campus. Just before the game was about to start, President Barack Obama walks in and sits down next to the court. I was approximately 30 metres away from him and I remember thinking to myself: "Wow, you come from a small town in Denmark, and now you are experiencing this."
There are some notable benefits studying here and in America; for example I specialise in marketing and the American aspect of that is highly different than the European one so you get more than one perspective. Education is all about acquiring capabilities. These come in various shapes and sizes: interpersonal, analytical, problem-solving, social skills among many others. I believe my year abroad provided me with an essential expansion and upgrade of these capabilities.
My favourite module that I studied at the University of Maryland was Cross-Cultural Challenges in Business – a case study based module. The class consisted of 15 students from 10 nationalities and having a Chinese, American, Japanese, Polish and Danish perspective truly created an interesting and beneficial learning environment; both academically and professionally. From studying this module and my time at Cass has led me to believe that experiencing another culture is crucial in every relation to business
Developing an international mindset
I would say to someone thinking about studying abroad: focus on the possibilities and opportunities instead of the few bumps everyone will experience both before and during a study abroad year. It can take time to settle in and you have to get use to a new environment, social setting and academic requirements, however, the crucial advantage of Cass's study abroad offering is that it is an entire year, not just a semester, so you have more than enough time to settle in and adjust.
When you return to Cass, you will realise how much you have changed as a person but that the environment you left hasn’t that much. That feeling was an eye-opener to me. My experience has taught me to think within an international framework consisting of cross-cultural and cross-national opportunities and challenges.
I learned a lot of things outside the classroom, and I believe that all employers look for the 'whole' person, which a year abroad will help you develop. In addition to this, I have expanded my network substantially, which may prove to be important for my future career. When I go back to Denmark upon graduating, I will have a better understanding of the world I live in, and not solely the country I live in. This is highly important to me, as I will be seeking a career within the international non-profit industry.