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Seven seas of opportunities

17 January 2017

From New York to Milan, from Singapore to Switzerland. Learn about business in Asia, or study marketing in Australia. In an increasingly global world, international experience is more important than ever.

– Today’s graduates must be able to work in an international context, whether they want to work in Norway or abroad. The private sector has become much more global and Norwegian companies have international shareholders, employees, competitors, partners and customers, says President at BI Norwegian Business School, Inge Jan Henjesand.

Henjesand notes that international experience, for example through student exchange or internships, is important for higher education graduates in order to prepare for the labour market they will be entering. Norway is a pioneer when it comes to politically established schemes for Norwegian students who wish to do parts of their education abroad.

– Norway has for a long time aimed at even more internationalization in higher education, and we have generous arrangements for Norwegian students who travel abroad. As participants in a global knowledge-championship we have to successfully refine the talents we have, says Henjesand.

He emphasizes the importance of an international focus when studying at home as well, and think students would do well to choose a school with both Norwegian and international students on campus.

"Norway has for a long time aimed at even more internationalization in higher education, and we have generous arrangements for Norwegian students who travel abroad. As participants in a global knowledge-championship we have to successfully refine the talents we have."

Choose among 200 schools

BI has partnership agreements with over 200 educational institutions in 48 countries. Many of these are among the most recognized business schools in the world. In 2016, a total of 343 BI students were on exchange.

Master student Hege Janson Skogen spent the fall semester at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Bocconi is ranked number six in the Financial Times' European business school ranking, and is one of a total of 41 schools in this ranking that BI does exchange with.

– I chose exchange based on three main points; to give my education and diploma an extra dimension, to prepare me for a career in an increasingly globalized world and last but not least, to experience something completely new, Skogen said.

– Bocconi was a natural choice for me as I am very fond of the Italian culture. The fact that the school is so highly rated was also important to me. The goal of education, besides the skills it provides obviously, is after all to stand out in the crowd for future employers.

There are plenty of possibilities outside Europe as well. All continents, except Antarctica, are represented among BI’s partner schools.

"It's amazing what a new country, a new culture, new people and new experiences can do for your motivation. I do not regret choosing exchange for one second."

Add an international profile to your degree

– Exchange is a unique opportunity to acquire international experience and improve your language skills. In addition, you quickly establish an international network of wonderfully talented and interesting people. I think everyone would do well to expand their horizon a bit, and I'm very happy that BI makes it so easy to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, Skogen said.

Besides school activities she tells of a fantastic city with lots to offer.

­– It is both cosy, intimate and impressive at the same time. You get the best of Italy, while Milan is particularly exciting because it is a city with many international visitors due to the vibrant business community. Moreover, it is perfectly located if you want to travel around a bit. You can get to the Alps, the sea or other beautiful areas of Piedmont and Tuscany with no more than a two-hour train ride.

The master student regards the school as practical in its teaching methods, and very similar to BI in terms of evaluation and learning methods. She also points out that there was a large international environment.

– There were many exchange students on each course, which was very good because it made it easy to get in touch with people.

Skogen is now back in Norway, with only one semester remaining before she can adorn her diploma with an international master's degree in Strategic Marketing Management.

– It's amazing what a new country, a new culture, new people and new experiences can do for your motivation. I do not regret choosing exchange for one second, Skogen concludes. 

Exchange 2.0

Most students, who travel abroad as part of their BI studies, take one semester at an educational institution abroad. There are however many opportunities for international experience as part of the study programme. Students who take a Bachelor in International Marketing for example, spend their entire third year abroad. This is also a possibility for students who take Bachelor of Business Administration, through the specialization option International Business Abroad. There is also a wide range of international opportunities for master students. See the complete list of opportunities to gain international experience as part of your studies below.

  • Double Degree: Master programme with one year at BI and one abroad, resulting in one degree from BI and one from one of BI's selected partners.
  • QTEM: Master Network that involves two semesters of exchange to other schools in the network and a Corporate Internship.
  • BI International Internship: One semester exchange combined with internship as an elective. (For the MSc in Business)
  • Short Exchange: Divide the third semester of the master in half. Choose from common courses or an internship in Norway first, and finish the semester with a shorter exchange. A "study trip" abroad can also be part of the course selections in the third term. (For the MSc in Business)
  • Summer School: Take courses at a foreign educational institution during the summer holidays. You can apply to have your course added onto your study plan at BI. (For the MSc in Business and Bachelor)
  • Bachelor in International Marketing: Spend the last year abroad.
  • Specialization in International Business Abroad: Spend the last year abroad. (For Bachelor of Finance and Administration)
  • Exchange: Spend one semester abroad.

Facts:

  • BI has study agreements with over 200 institutions.
  • BI students can go on exchange to 48 different countries.
  • In 2016 there were 343 BI students out on exchange.
  • BI offers a range of international opportunities. Including the entire third year abroad for selected bachelor programmes and Double Degree for Master students.

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