By Adam Britten, Class of 2011
I’m a big fan of the app TimeHop. Using posts from your various social media accounts, it reminds you what you were doing exactly one year ago. For me, this means that for the past few months, I’ve been seeing my old Foursquare check-ins from the grocery store near my flat, Facebook statuses about term papers written from a computer lab near Buckingham Palace, and even Instagram photos of my favorite museum in Brussels.
After obtaining my Bachelor’s in Marketing Management from Whitman in 2011, I pursued a Master’s in Digital Marketing at Hult International Business School in London. Attending an international grad school was one of the best choices I made for my career and for my personal growth. If you’re considering attending a graduate program in another country, here are a few things I’d recommend.
Do Your Research. When you were applying to college, you might have done a few campus visits before making your final decision. This can be much harder when you are considering international schools. Try to absorb as much online content about the school as you can. It also helps to look for local conferences and other events that the schools you are considering are attending so you can talk with representatives. Make sure you are making an informed decision so that if and when you do get on that airplane, you’re confident in your decision and ready for what’s ahead.
Plan Your Finances Carefully. Bank accounts, rent, emergency funds, and health insurance can be a lot to deal with. This can be especially taxing if you are doing it under a different set of regulations, or in another language. Consider things like foreign transaction fees and currency conversion rates. Be prepared for things like needing to pay a really large deposit for your apartment or a trip to the doctor. Don’t forget to build in spending money to enjoy your surroundings! (My budget included enough money for occasional theater tickets. It was one of my favorite things about living in London!)
Explore Safely & Often. One of the benefits of living in another country, especially a European country, is the opportunity to travel. During my breaks in between terms, I visited Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and even Disneyland Paris. Traveling across cultural and language barriers can be intimidating on your own, so it’s important to be prepared. Embrace it as an opportunity, but keep your wits about you. Your family will also frequently want to know that you are safe and well; a good way to do this is by writing a travel blog or tweeting about the places you visit. (This will also give your future self a lot of amazing TimeHop content!)
Overall, the decision to attend graduate school in another country is one that I would highly recommend. It helped me develop skills that I use to my advantage at work, as well as gave me several amazing experiences that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Adam Britten has a Bachelor’s in Marketing Management from the Whitman School of Management (2011) and a Master’s in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School (2012.) He is the Social Media Manager at 16 Handles frozen yogurt. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBritten or at his blog TheDigitalCareerist.com.