Saturday, November 18, 2006

The pre-MBA week for internatinal student

As an international student, I actually had two different orientation week at the Olin school of business at Babson College: from 08/14 to 08/18 is the Pre-MBA session specially designed for students who never had studied or worked in US before and from 08/21 to 08/25 is the official orientation week that everyone is required to attend.

Roughly 60 international students of the total 80 had attended the Pre-MBA session. Others and I find out that's very useful since we had a great opportunity to know those 60 students better before there are 167 students in the orientation week. There are 11 Chinese students, 15 Indian students and 8 Mexico students, plus 9 from Japan. So Asian students have a clear majority in the Pre-MBA session and Spanish-speaking student, include students from Mexico, Salvador and Chile. I did start realizing that US is going to be a bilingual country, no matter how strongly the White house or the Capital hill vote for the English country, at least in terms of business environment. After all, businesses just care about how to best woe the consumer to spend their money. Just like almost every thing has both English and French version, it's also easy to find out Spanish version of product description, city map and so on. One of my goals is to join a Spanish class in my 2nd year at Babson when I have more time.

Babson did a good job to help us getting familiar with US culture and society. Some events like "Ice breaker" that all students are organized into different subgroups based on various factors such as who loves travel, who has engineer background and who is from the same country, or speech skill workshop with smaller groups, are very helpful. However, since all the people working in the Office of Program Management are American, they can't complete understand international students' need and thoughts. For example, we find out it's very inconvenient to do shopping without a car but Babson doesn't organized some bus to drive us to shopping malls 20 miles away. Especially for people like me living on campus, facing an almost-empty apartment, I really feel lucky I'd brought basic stuff like toothpaste etc with me. I'd addressed this problem together with other suggestion in an email sent to MBA program director and hope life will be easier for the class of 2009.

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