CBS Exchange Part 8: Indian Institute of Management

October 31, 2013  //  By:   //  EXCHANGE, Featured  //  No Comment

Natalie enjoying India to the max!


Name:Natalie Fresia
CBS study program:MSc in Strategic Market Creation
Exchange school: Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode
City: Kozhikode (Calicut), India

What is Indian Institute of Management like?

The school is very beautiful from the outside. The area surrounding it is very green and filled with amazing palm trees and the facilities are fresh and modern. The courses here are MBA courses and means that people are even more serious about their work. They also provide a clean and nice library that is open 24/7 and gives you a chance to study any time of the day. The administration office is however a bit chaotic and you get the impression that they aren’t really aware of what is going on.

Was it easy to make friends?

Indians are very open to become your friend. I have never had that many Facebook friend requests in such a short time in my life. They are happy to bring you along to dorm parties and show you around. Also they are extremely helpful and kind.

What is the culture like?

India is indeed incredible!! The country is absolutely chaotic but it’s a part of its charm. It is one of the most diversified countries in the world because of the different traditions, languages, cultures and environment. You can find any kind of climate in India and it sure has a bunch of splendid sites! I like the culture. It involves a lot of caring, education and selling. It’s completely different to the Western cultures but it mainly left positive tracks on me.

Have you had any language difficulties so far?

I haven’t faced that many language barriers. Most people speak English in India, however there are exceptions of course. You have to be very clear and work on your hand gestures. In worst case, find someone who speaks English. It’s far from impossible.

Where do you live? Did you have to find your own accommodation?

I live on campus. We were all delegated a room from the very beginning and who we share it with. I’m lucky to have a great roommate from France who shares many of the same interests as me and can give me some inside information since she has been here three more months than me. You are normally being put in a room with another exchange student but it can also happen that you have to share with an Indian.

What courses are you taking?

I am taking strategy implementation, marketing of services, consumer behavior, business environment in India, integrated marketing communication, international logistics and a leadership workshop. I like most of them; some of them are challenging me and others don’t. The workload is massive though and you have to work a lot and very hard to meet the deadlines of cases and presentations, and manage all the amount of exams and quizzes they have.

What are the main differences between CBS and the Indian Institute of Management?

It’s a difference of day and night. People take a lot more part in the classes as they are mandatory. At CBS you are only being graded on exams and project work while here you are being graded on participation, quizzes, presentation, midterm and end term exams. I think we work a lot harder here. Also since all of the students live by the campus, everything feels like home. People don’t care as much how they are dressed here compared to CBS, where people look like they could leave for work or a party after class. Classes take part on weekends which sucks a lot and makes you feel like you are stuck and isolated from the wonderful world outside campus. The grading system is also different, but there is nowhere in the world you have such a weird grading system as Denmark.

What has been your most different experience so far?

Coolest: All of India and my travels around the country – absolutely loved them and all the amazing sights.

Strangest: Being 9 people in an auto rickshaw! Amazing how many people can fit in and that it is actually is able to move!

Most bizarre: The train station and the transport system here are extremely bizarre. I took the train from New Delhi to Agra and it was horrific and chaotic. People everywhere. The smell of urine, poo, garbage and spices together is disgusting, plenty of rats on the train tracts, cockroaches on the platforms, even a dead man on the platform covered in flies that nobody cares about, and monkeys running around on the trains. The trains are constantly delayed (not always with clear information of departure), the toilets should be strictly avoided an there is no information whatsoever about what time the train will arrive to your destination if it is delayed.

Unexpected: The distance to go anywhere. Everything is in an extreme slow pace here. Whatever you have to do and the time you expect it to take…triple it! All kinds of unexpected things can and will happen.

Unique: my participation in Onam -a traditional Keralan festival we took part in. All the girls got to wear saris and men had to wear mundo. We ate delicious Keralan food, danced, saw traditional dance performances and had a banana eating contest. Amazing day and experience!

Why should other students from CBS go to India for exchange?

To get slapped so hard (in a good way of course)! This is an amazing opportunity to explore and experience a new culture so different from yours. This country is developing so much and will definitely become even greater than what it already is. The university is great and will be a good qualification on your CV as it has a reputation of being excellent. Really, I’m so happy for this opportunity and think everyone should take it!

About the Author :

A multi-culturally confused person, Jazzy is half Swedish and half Filipino-American but grew up in Singapore. She is currently studying a BSc in International Business. In her free time, she is addicted to cooking great food, working in marketing, buying too many pairs of shoes and of course eat all the food that she cooks!

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