In 2015, SBM ITB launch a business international class that required its students to study abroad at SBM ITB partner university in the third year. Living abroad and go out of the comfort zone might not be easy and become a challenge for students who took a double degree. Adaptation is key to thrive in its lifestyle, culture, and even academics.
As for Abdalla Fauzan (Adib), Faza Ahmad (Faza), and Aldrei Dibyantoro (Aldrei), a double degree student at Rennes School of Business, France. Living abroad for study in France is a new experience and adjustment for them, most people there don’t speak English, so it is a challenge to adjust communication style. Luckily, they’ve taken French class in Indonesia before departure. Despite that challenge, Aldrei being grateful to get a chance studying in France given the issue that France will close the border due to a pandemic.
Not only adaptation in communication style, but also the culture which there’s a difference between west and east culture. But for Faza, the culture of France it’s what interests him most to study there even he wishes to visit the Cannes Film Festival. But for Adib, Rennes is known as a city of students and also thinks that study in Rennes aligns with his future given the country’s prospect.
In Rennes School of Business, they are involved in a lot of group project and assignment with other international students that makes them study about diversity and the uniqueness of each country’s culture. They also learn how to do cross-culture interactions that might be different from Indonesia. Other than languages and communication style differences, the challenge is to match their time zone to work on a project, because not all the international students are in France (some of them do online classes from their respective country due to pandemic). To handle this, the key is being adaptive towards the situation.
Just because they are given tons of work and assignments, doesn’t mean they can’t do other things besides academics. Aldrei loves to play soccer (before the France lockdown) with other international students and spent some time to explore Rennes. In Rennes, Adib being a leader of the Indonesian student community in Rennes (Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia Rennes), which is an information-sharing platform for students. First time being a leader in an organization, Adib learns from experience for the organization’s improvement.
For those of you who wondered, “What to prepare for double degree?”, well it is not a one-night process. There’s a lot of steps needed to be prepared. The first is that the students will be given SBM ITB university partner (there’s from the UK, other countries in Europe, etc) from IRO (International Relations Office) and requirements since every university might have different requirements. But in general, the documents needed are motivation letter, CV, essay, TOEFL iBT or IELTS, and also GPA in SBM ITB. Another thing that might take a long time to prepare is a visa. All of the preparation needs to be done months before departure started by determining your university destination. Experience is the best teacher and Adib, Faza, Aldrei proved that by experiencing living abroad can sharpen their ability to adapt, plan, and balancing all the activities.