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What Studying Overseas Was Like:

A Diary Entry by Tessa St Clair
By Expert Tips - For review
Date: November 05 2015
Tags: education, travel,
Editor Rating: 0154.2
As part of my Bachelor of Commerce, I completed a semester abroad at INTI International University in Malaysia – an experience that, looking back on it now, has taught me much more than anything I could’ve learned from a book.
A mixture of cultures, how they interact, what they find important and how it is living on a day-to-day basis are some of the greatest strengths of Torrens University Australia’s International Institution Partnership Program (IIPP).
During my time in Malaysia, Ramadan occurred. While we are aware of this important Islamic holiday in Australia, it was fascinating to observe the differences that take place in business operation during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Having come from a country where we are increasingly used to the serve-me-now business model of 24/7 operations, this was very new to me.
Most notable is the creation of businesses with bazaars that only open specially for Ramadan.  From my observations, and the education I received, I now understand that international business is closely tied to local culture, the country’s political system and its economy.
International education, just like travelling and the melding of cultures in any setting, is important because it introduces methods and practices that are wildly different from your own, and by doing so you are engaged to create your own observations and opinions. The cross-cultural knowledge I have gained will enhance my understanding of the different ways of living and working, and crucially of doing business with others from various cultures. I believe the cross-cultural understanding will mean better professional relationships and better business decisions. 
Studying overseas is a challenging yet rewarding experience. Not only have I learned cultural codes and processes that could never have been taught from a textbook or from the front of a lecture theatre, I’ve made authentic human bonds to Malaysia too – not only with home country nationals but third country nationals, such as a Hamza Amjad from Pakistan.
Studies aside, the cultural understanding that I have developed would never have been obtained without travelling to a different country, which is itself a confluence of the world’s cultures.
As far as the understanding of the international business landscape is concerned, what I have gasped to-date is that the way in which people operate in Asian businesses varies widely. Malaysian businesses do not operate in the same way as Chinese businesses, Japanese businesses do not operate in the same manner as Korean businesses.
The differences, within Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world, not only have significance when initiating a business, but crucially in the way Australians or people from any other culture may wish to operate and carry out business in the region. The opportunities in the Malaysian business world are many, but if one is to tap into these from the outside, he or she must first understand the rules of engagement before entering the arena.

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Tessa St ClairTessa St Clair is a mother and current student of Torrens University Australia where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce. Tessa travelled to Malaysia after she was awarded a scholarship to travel overseas. Tessa is looking forward to travelling to the World Business Forum in November after submitting an essay on social entrepreneurship. The World Business Forum will present two days of powerful stories – of individuals who face shocks, both personal and organisational, and who use those shocks to achieve the extraordinary.
As Australia’s 40th comprehensive University, Torrens University Australia aims to deliver an innovative environment for learning, scholarship and research that is culturally diverse, career-oriented, and with a distinctive global perspective. Offering a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree by research programs – for study on-campus, online or a mix of both depending on the program selected – Torrens University Australia is a part of Laureate International Universities, with more than 1,000,000 students at 80 institutions in 28 countries.
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Jennifer Hahn Masterson says: 2019 10 24

Such a lovely read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. They say that studying abroad broadens your horizons. My son is packing for Europe, as he recently enrolled at this master in design management in Barcelona, an international educational institution specialising in design, fashion, visual communication and management for creatives industries.

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