Experiencing WBS as an international student: Making new friends, appreciating different cultures, and learning to live independently
10 July 2019
Ben Son, MSc Business with Marketing student shares his experience of living and studying in the UK as an international student. WBS offers students unlimited opportunities to interact with people from all over the world and learn about their culture, creating a hugely diverse community of students, and this is what makes WBS a global leading educational institution.
Joining a global institution
I will always remember my first day WBS, it was the beginning of term where I attended a first-term briefing session and received general information regarding my timetable, and the schedule for the entire course. I was a bit surprised when I looked around the lecture theatre because the majority of my classmates were from outside the UK and Europe. Many of my classmates were from China, Thailand, Kenya, Portugal, India and Kazakhstan, and I was excited by the fact that I had joined a truly global institution.
I have always enjoyed meeting new people from different cultures and learning from them, and this happens every day at WBS. During our group discussion on the topic of international market expansion, one of my classmates volunteered to share her opinion and ideas about the East Asian market, which was very different from my perception. By listening to other students whose perspectives differ from mine allowed me to acquire new knowledge, and broaden my international outlook. I believe that this is one of the greatest advantages of studying at WBS, where you are surrounding by numerous international students who you can learn so much from.
Experiencing different cultures
It is also great to socialise with your international classmates and experience a taste of their culture. During my second term, my Indian friends took me to Holi, the Indian colour festival. There were thousands of people dancing, laughing, and throwing coloured water at one another. It was a completely unique event, which I would never had experienced if I was not a student at WBS. Another memory that makes me smile is the celebrations we had at the end of second term. I was invited to my classmate’s accommodation along with some other international students from Asia and Europe, and we participated in a cooking competition night. Each of us cooked a traditional recipe from our own country and shared the dishes with one another. It was a wonderful evening and we took some great photos which will provide me with some amazing memories from my time at WBS.
Moving away from home does have its pros and cons. Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at WBS as an international student, however there have also been some frustrating moments. Living and studying with students from different backgrounds means that we all have different ways of communicating and behaving which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings. The language barrier can also be an issue that you have to try and overcome. Nevertheless, those difficulties can also be an important learning point. Whilst trying to understand other students’ behaviours and opinions, I have improved my interpersonal, communication and collaboration skills which we be really important skills to have in my future career.
Becoming a global citizen
In my opinion, by pushing the boundaries and deciding to pursue a Masters degree internationally I have been exposed to many different people who I have learnt so much from. This has made my learning experience at WBS far superior to studying in my home country or taking a distance learning course. In the near future, I aim to work within a global organisation where I can utilise the skills and knowledge I have learnt at WBS, and I look forward to working with colleagues from all over the world.