“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
Having survived two hectic terms and triumphing the grueling summer placement process, PGP1s have started making holiday plans to ‘chill’ for a while; and what better way than to travel to exotic locations around the globe with your friends.
It’s that exciting time of the year when PGP1s bid for their dream universities, to study and experience things from a whole new perspective. It’s Exchange time! But is exchange only about traveling and holidaying? Taking a ‘Euro-trip’ with your friends?
To gain some insights, we decided to ask a couple of PGP2s about their exchange experience and what they feel about the exchange process in general.
“It was an amazing experience”, says Navdha Khera, who went on exchange to the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. She mentioned that St. Gallen had a dedicated program specifically designed for exchange students which enhanced her experience greatly. There were people from all around the world and a great friendship developed among them during the course of the program. According to her, St. Gallen provides the perfect opportunity to learn and travel to new places. There were regular industrial visits during which they got a chance to interact with industry stalwarts. Commenting on the pedagogy, she said that a lot of emphasis was given on group work and in-class group activities were regularly conducted. The highlight of the program was the convocation ceremony held for the exchange students.
Navdha is a proponent of the exchange program. According to her, it gives the person both an academic as well as a non-academic exposure. One can get familiarized with new learning methodologies, learn to plan and manage one’s expenses, be frugal and travel with friends.
Vijay Lavhale, who spent his exchange term at HEC Paris, said, “It was a very academically enriching period.” HEC Paris, which is considered to be the 2nd best MBA college in Europe, offers specialized courses based on your interest. HEC offered courses in 2 slots during the exchange term. One upside of this was that one could choose to complete all the courses in one slot, and travel in the second slot. Vijay also believed that the infrastructure and facilities at HEC were world-class and students had some flexibility in choosing their accommodation.
According to him, a top ranked university does reflect well on your resume. Commenting on who should go on exchange, he feels that it is a personal choice and depends upon the individual’s priorities and goals. Apart from the significant monetary investment, some of the other opportunity costs of choosing to go on exchange include losing a chance to win case competitions, participate in the IIMB club activities, and studying to improve your GPA.
Both Navdha and Vijay agreed that Exchange is not just about travel and should not be just seen as a holiday. Rather, it is a chance to explore a new perspective, challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.