MBS bachelor’s alumnus Giuseppe Liuzzo chose ESIC Business & Marketing School in Madrid for his semester abroad. In the blog article, he tells us how he came to this decision and how he spent his semester abroad.
How do you do a semester abroad?
The International Business bachelor’s program at Munich Business School has a mandatory semester abroad which is usually scheduled for the fourth semester (for program start in September). In your third semester, you get introduced to how the semester abroad will work, which partner universities you can choose to go to, the requirements, etc. The main part of this process is to choose one of the many universities that are available for your choosing. The great thing about the MBS’s semester abroad program is that there are partner universities all around the world. I remember first looking at this list and thinking “Ok I can literally go anywhere in the world next year”. Some options I remember reading were Buenos Aires, Boston, Dublin, Barcelona and many more.
The logical next question I asked myself after reading that list was: “Ok…now which university do I want to go to”. I believe the thought process for this question varies for each individual. Personally, I knew deep down I wanted to go to Spain. The reason for this was that I took Spanish classes in high school and picked Spanish as foreign language at MBS. I knew a semester abroad in Spain would be a great way for me to not only better my Spanish but also experience the culture and embrace it more than I did when I just went for a 1–2-week holiday. Spanish culture always intrigued me, and Spain was simply where I wanted to experience living. As I explained before I think that for most people the process of choosing where to go will be different. If I had to give any advice on how to choose, it would be to choose a university that finds itself in a country that you have wanted to live in and experience its culture.
How do you spend a semester abroad?
From my university choices in Spain, I ended up choosing ESIC in Madrid. Before leaving I chose my courses which varied from Financial Solutions for Entrepreneurs to Project Management. Living in Madrid for my semester abroad is difficult to express in words. The city and the vibe in Madrid is amazing. I was living close to the city center and there were small bars and restaurants everywhere. Huge monuments and parks to hang out with friends, a bunch of nightclubs filled with university students and young people. I made friends through the university I was attending and had friends living there as well. We would go out for dinners throughout the week, meet up at bars or parks, hang out at each other’s places and much more. Doing all these things in a different city and country changes your perspective and is completely different from doing them at home. It allows you to really understand the way other people live and adapting to those cultural differences is in my opinion the way in which the semester abroad truly changes and improves your character.
Is a semester abroad worth it?
Even if the semester abroad were not mandatory, I would recommend every single student to take the opportunity. It is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, experience a new culture, meet new friends, and learn new skills. I would recommend Madrid specifically to any student who is learning Spanish, as living in Spain really helps improve your Spanish proficiency, and anyone who is intrigued by the Spanish culture or just Spain in general. Living in Madrid I was also able to travel around Spain by train, bus and plane. Some of the other spots I visited during my stay were Málaga, Granada, and Marbella. Overall, I am glad that Munich Business School gave me the opportunity to have a semester abroad!