Ecaterina Rotaru, our exchange student from Northumbria University, studied in the Global BBA program during the Spring Semester of 2020.
This semester turned out to be unlike other semesters due to the pandemic that has brought numerous changes and she has written the following article on LinkedIn (fully quoted below) about her unique and important experience at NUCB Undergraduate School.
"It has been almost a month since the completion of my study abroad in Japan, and I still haven't found the right words to describe my experience. 2020 I thought it was going to be my year, I would live in Japan for a semester, attend the Olympic games, travel around Asia and create the most unforgettable memories. Well, out of all the things I planned to do, I only managed to get to Japan (barely made it) and attend my university. My host university, NUCB Undergraduate School, had early moved all its courses online which means that despite being in Japan I didn't even have to physically attend any classes. (I only managed to take some quick snaps of the campus during the orientation day)
My exchange is not a sad story on the contrary it has become one of my biggest lessons in life. At NUCB Undergraduate School, I came across a new teaching system - case study / analysis-, where all the students were allowed to express themselves based on their own interpretation of each case. There was no judgement, only constructive feedback. There was no right nor wrong opinion, we all had our own perspectives and we were all helping each other to learn and understand better.
My teachers during the semester were my classmates, from all around the world. Classmates that had to wake up in the middle of the night, or not sleep at all in order to login in their online classes balancing their lives between time-zones. Our professors took the role of facilitators, they were the ones driving our conversations while providing clarifications, explanations and food for thought. They were all professionals passionate to give and gain knowledge, and this made them truly admirable.
I chose my exchange program in a moment in my life when I thought I had everything figured out. Therefore, I had no expectations, just an open mind and heart. After each class I always had the same question in mind "What do I really know?" constantly challenging myself to dig deeper in order to get away from my biased and fixed mind-set. I was lucky enough to receive answers to questions I never thought I had, and doubt myself and the perception that everything was "figured out". Being allowed to express my thoughts freely and listen to them, made me realize that there is and always be room for improvement.
I am thankful for my new friends, for all the knowledge I gained and the opportunity to discover my self. Due to this experience, today I feel stronger and more determined to achieve and set new goal, accept more challenges but also be wise enough to know when to step back."
Her words capture very well the essence of what we strive to achieve through our pedagogy, using the Case Method; and why exchange programs provide an unforgettable experience that will unlock many doors and broaden your horizon.