Updated on Friday 1 March 2013
With the unemployment rate at a consistent standstill its times like these that students take advantage of acquiring a higher education. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education the number of students who are attending graduate school is on the rise and is expected to keep growing. These dedicated students who want to take their education one step further may choose to pursue their master’s degree through a consortium of different schools to get the best education possible. This is where collaborative study abroad programs come into play.
Who wouldn’t want to earn a degree while traveling the globe? Currently, there are hundreds of collaborative study abroad degree programs available to students. These collaborative programs offer students a slightly different experience than your average study abroad program, wherein a student would only attend one school in a foreign country. A collaborative degree program involve students attending several universities in different countries, offering these students the most international exposure possible as they attend classes and work towards their degrees.
An example of a collaborative degree program would be the University of North Florida’s Ibero-AmericanMBA program. This Ibero-AmericanMBA program is a bilingual, collaborative double-degree program offered by a three-institution consortium in Spain, Argentina, and the United States. The course involves four semesters; the first semester involves online courses taught by one faculty member from each of the consortium institutions. The next semester is taught at the Instituto Universitario ESEADE located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Third semester’s classes are taught at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos of Madrid, Spain. The final semester is taught at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Students who participate in and complete this program will earn two master’s degrees in both business administration (MBA) and administration and business management of Latin American business.
The benefits of participating in programs like these are countless. Not only do students get to experience different cultures, lifestyles, and languages, they also gain a broader understanding of the global community. It has become apparent, especially for business students, that studying and experiencing different cultures is key to successful business endeavors. It makes perfect sense for a business major to go to Europe to observe how businesses are managed and operated so that they can compare and improve their business practices in the states. The same scenario can be applied to education majors; if future teachers were able to observe and learn how European curriculums are designed and taught, they would be able to combine the best aspects of the two methods and create the best teaching techniques possible.
Because of the obvious benefits the collaborative study abroad degree programs generate, the majority of universities and colleges in the United States offer similar programs. Usually information about study abroad programs such as the one discussed can be found on a school’s website. Students unsure of what graduate programs or universities to apply to should visit Internationalstudent.com. Searches can be made on the International Student website based on a particular student’s interest. For example, a student who wants to pursue a master’s degree in Switzerland can use the site’s resources tool. Once the “Resources” tab is clicked, select the University/College search tool. This tool gives users access to information on almost every university and college in North America, South America, Europe, Middle East/Asia, Australia, and Africa. You can visit UNF on InternationalStudent.com here.
As stated earlier, individuals who study abroad will not only gain a formal education but will also gain knowledge and experiences that cannot be taught in school alone. Participating in collaborative study abroad programs enable students to experience firsthand the different cultures, languages, and lifestyles of the countries they study in. These experiences will ultimately give them the upper hand in whatever career path they choose after graduation.