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Inside the MBA: the First Days in America

The first week living in a different country is an exercise of patience and even discipline. If on the one hand there is the fascination of being completely exposed to a new culture, on the other, this same exposure is somewhat tiresome, and the temptation to return to the comfort zone is great.By comfort zone, read it if you speak Portuguese, take a stroll or study only with brazilians, spend the day on facebook and in apps like what's app talking to with their friends who stayed in Brazil.

Inside the MBA: the First Days in America

I confess that in my early days here in Evanston, Illinois, was difficult to resist these temptations, but only were the classes begin that I'm adapting to the new routine. The course of American Culture and English for International Business Students Program, better known as ACE, started on Wednesday 24. By the way, all in Kellogg turns into an acronym... ACE, Kwest, CIM. With the time, and I think that's up to you, the reader, will get used to them. The ACE is not mandatory, so only a part of the international students register for the course and the vast majority is asian. With the exception of us brazilians (we are five, in total), a Spanish and a Ukrainian, all the rest of the 36 students are from Asia. South korea, Taiwan, Japan, China, Thailand and even India.

On the first day of class, we had to introduce ourselves to the whole room and was already clear of the diversity and cultural backgrounds professionals. Of course that has a very consultant, but has also a journalist, publicist, lawyer, engineer, accountant, analyst, fund of private equity funds, and so on. The hobbies they are also the most distinct, piano diving in deep waters. In spite of the differences, have something in common: we are all in the same boat. We are foreigners living and studying business in the United States for the next two years, we still are not sure of our fluency in English, and we want to feel more comfortable within and outside of the classroom. In addition to all this, as I already expected, the students are friendly and interested in getting involved in all aspects of school and to collaborate with others.All of this combined creates a friendly, safe, where everyone seems to not take very seriously, which allows you to take risks, make mistakes, and learn.

Classes are held four times per week and are divided into four modules – pronunciation, american culture, practices of the classroom and Kellogg faculty session. The first two modules are self-explanatory. Already the two other sessions are aimed to show us how will be the classes here. The methodology differs a lot from brazilian schools. The lectures are merged with the case studies, the professor expects the student to participate actively in the discussions and the majority of the tasks is to be developed in the group. Presentations are also on the menu.

In addition to the traditional class, there are a number of social activities, such as lunches with students from the MBA in a year, bowling, baseball game, session of american films, among others. The goal is the same of the classes: to socialize, to interact, to experience.

We haven't just had a week of class, but I dare say that the course fulfills as well the goal. Even outside of the classroom, it is visible the interest and commitment of the teachers. During the lesson, and then by e-mail or by our group on facebook, they send us links to videos, newspaper articles and tips cultural programs.

The student will also have to do your part. As I said to one of the directors on the first day, “you got from Kellogg what you put into it”. In good Portuguese, the experiences you will bring to the school are directly related to the energy, the effort and dedication that you put in their activities. With this in mind, I have dedicated myself not only inside the classroom, but also outside, organizing barbecues, meetings and even a tour by typical restaurants of each nationality present in the classroom. Keep calm, carry on and, most importantly, socialise.

Ps. If you're interested in learning more about current issues in the u.s., a good tip is to keep The Colbert show, the TV program is more useful to understand the present north american. This is a satire to the presenters of TV's more conservative. In addition to better understand what is happening in the country, you still gives a good laugh.

 

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