After getting to know more about my study program and the school itself, I must say there is truly a reason why the school has the word "international" in the name.
In one of my previous blogs, I already mentioned the possibility of studying in 6 different countries (including France) during the program, which was one of the major factors why I decided to study at this school.
Learning and experiencing new cultures and customs is something that can't be achieved through reading books or watching TV. Yes, you can read and study cultures through what others write. However, that information usually comes from the writers' own perception. In addition, you also interpret that information using your own experience and imagination to create a "picture" that may or may not be close to the reality.
I believe that to get the true experience one needs to be exposed to cultures directly, either through an interaction with native people or by full immersion. At ISM, I will get to do both; full immersion during the international study trips and seminars and the interaction with my fellow MBA colleagues.
I was interested to see how many nationalities are represented among all my IEMBA colleagues. To my surprise I learned that there is a total number of 31 different nationalities and in many instances, only one or two students represent one nationality. In my first class, that I plan to take at the beginning of January, there will be 10 nationalities and only in a few cases there are two or more students of the same origin. I anticipate that this will be the case for all my future classes.
Cultural diversity in a classroom brings various experiences and view points that everyone can learn from. In classes, such as "change management," "negotiation and conflict resolution," cultural diversity can ignite very interesting discussions, resulting in priceless experience for someone wanting to work or already working in a global environment.
There aren't many programs that can provide such diversity when comparing the total number of students to the total number of nationalities. At ISM, there is not space for creating groups of people of the same nationality within the school (which I experienced in my undergraduate studies). It is the time to fully interact with truly international colleagues. I couldn't ask for a better preparation for the "real world" scenarios outside of the classroom!