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Global Experience | HFT Stuttgart, Germany

Covid-19 did not only tremendously hit the world’s economy but also the international exchange program among educational institutions. We are both dual master students from Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School (AAGBS), UiTM undertaking the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The dual master program is a program in which selected MBA students from AAGBS also undergoes the Master General Management program at HFT Stuttgart, Germany. Every semester, a few students from AAGBS would travel to Stuttgart to spend a semester studying at HFT. Similarly, participating students from Stuttgart would travel to AAGBS to study for a semester in Malaysia.

We arrived in February 2020, not knowing that the Covid19 situation would worsen. The official classes were supposed to start in March. In the beginning, we still attended face-to-face classes but due to the lockdown, classes were switched to the online mode. Honestly, we were not prepared at all for the lock down.

One of the best experiences after we arrived was having to attend the intensive German course. During our completion of the course, we made new friends from Hong Kong, Scotland, India, Taiwan and Mexico. Also, we visited the campus to meet up for international coffee breaks. In the beginning, we were quite confused when the lockdown started in March. Of course, we preferred face-to-face activities because the lecturers could build a stronger connection with the students. And the language barrier was another challenge.  However, we tried to do the best out of the situation and learned to adapt and cope with the current issues. And it turned out quite good! In the end, we liked online classes. We are very thankful for our classmates who always guided us through the assignments and helped us in every way possible.

Even though we were in lockdown from March onwards, there were still some possibilities to meet and travel around Europe afterwards. We travelled with our Mexican friend from one of the bachelor courses to Switzerland, Amsterdam, and a few cities in Germany. Of course, we traveled by train or rented a car. Even though there were not many places that we went to, we enjoyed every single minute of our travels. It was very uncomplicated and we could enjoy the time to the fullest even while maintaining the social distance regulations and the restrictions like the need to wear a mask at all times and to bring hand sanitizer along. We also experienced the time when all the shops were closed and we went for groceries shopping with limited items in the store.

The intercultural differences were one of our biggest adaptations that we experienced. We were the only Malaysian students there and had to go through the fasting month despite the long hours in the Summer and also the celebration of Eid in Stuttgart. We were so lucky that we got to know the Malaysian families staying in Stuttgart and we had the chance to celebrate with them. Another intercultural difference between Germany and Malaysia that we observed was that the importance placed on punctuality is different. We noticed that everyone and everything was on time and punctual. However, in Malaysia we do not have a strict time schedule, not even for buses and trains. Another aspect is food! The food is very different but we enjoyed being adventurous in sampling food from Germany and other countries. We went for dinner occasionally with our German classmates, and of all the German food we tasted, we liked the German pasta Käsespätzle a lot!

The experience that we gathered from this Dual Master program was so meaningful for both of us. The Covid-19 situation has indeed made us stronger physically and mentally. With Allah’s mercy and grace, we could go through it with ease and success.

We ended our semester and received our transcripts of results from Prof Georg Hauer

We ended our semester and received our transcripts of results from Prof Georg Hauer

With our Intensive German Course classmates

With our Intensive German Course classmates

Munich!!

Munich!!

First place we visited once arrived, Mercedes Benz Museum.

First place we visited once arrived, Mercedes Benz Museum.

Switzerland!

Switzerland!

First time meet-up with classmates

First time meet-up with classmates

First time meet-up with classmates

First time meet-up with classmates

Leonie Baumeister

Leonie Baumeister

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Mohamad Arif Bin Mohd Som

Mohamad Arif Bin Mohd Som

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Wassim El Maaboud

Wassim El Maaboud

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Nur Fazana and Syamim Jannah

Nur Fazana and Syamim Jannah

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Anika Sedlacek

Anika Sedlacek

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Mohamad Fauzi Md Nor

Mohamad Fauzi Md Nor

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Arshad Ayub
Graduate Business School,

Kompleks Al-Farabi, Jalan Ilmu/1,
Universiti Teknologi MARA,
40450 Shah Alam,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA

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Sunday, 03 March 2024