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        Global Immersion: Growing Significance For B-Schools

        Consider a scenario where you have to attend a meeting with Japanese delegates. It may ruin your first impression if you are unaware of the greeting differences.

        With the onset of the 21st century, world has shrinked and boundaries have shriveled. Technology, cultures, trade and business, economic and political affairs, have been taking up a global shape to fit in the bigger picture which can be conveniently called Globalization. Today, having traveled to one country, experienced the culture there, just isn’t sufficient. Especially, when it comes to the ever-changing nature of businesses world-wide, one has to be smart globally. By this we mean, one must have sound knowledge of varied global cultures, customs, practices and traditions. And this is possible only if you allow yourself some well-thought out and planned global immersion opportunities. So, then the question is, why is ‘Global Immersion’ indispensible? Why is it radically important to learn about global customs and cultures in business?

        Consider a scenario where you have to attend a meeting with Japanese delegates. It may ruin your first impression if you are unaware of the greeting differences. In India or USA, shaking hands is generally a norm whereas in Japan, people usually greet each other with a simple bow as opposed to handshakes or hugs. Similarly, in the UAE, it is considered inappropriate to offer to shake hands with women whereas men usually would shake hands for a while longer and hug close colleagues. This is what makes it imperative to know cultural differences. Immersing in global environments makes one culturally sensitive to varied customs and traditions and how locals meet and communicate. This is a key to successful business relations as individuals can quickly establish a sense of comfort knowing you are someone who respects their cultures and thus, easy to communicate with.

        In the 21st century, experiential learning is on the rise. Global immersion paves way to knowing, learning, experiencing these cultural differences and making it easier for an individual to adapt to different cultures and geographies with ease. With businesses getting globalized, the need for immersing oneself in the cultural, economic and political affairs of various regions is increasing by the hour which is why colleges and institutes are running global immersion programs at graduate and post-graduate levels. Global MBA programs are running ahead in the league where global immersion is emphasized upon. With multi-city campuses, many colleges such as those offering MBA in Dubai, Sydney, Singapore and in other cities have incorporated global immersion in their curriculum as an important segment of learning and student personality development.

        As a part of the global immersion program, students are made to involve, participate in and experience the varied cultural differences that are followed by locals in that region. Living and studying in different geographies exposes one to the lifestyle and business norms that promises to remain in the learners’ minds for years to come. Various local tours and events are often conducted by colleges to enable students to explore new places and cities. Simultaneously, guest talks with industry veterans and industrial visits are conducted to keep students abreast with real-world work scenarios.

        Believe it or not, today, it’s all about global knowledge and if you are business -minded, you cannot go one day without deciding what it is you want from your management course. If global immersion isn’t a part of the bargain, you may as well reconsider your options.