Yiwen Geng is a Chinese student of the Master of Science in International Business (MScIB) offered by ESCI-UPF, UPF and UPF-BSM. She comes from Beijing, where she studied Tourism Management. In this interview, she shares how it has been the experience of studying in Barcelona.
1. How did you hear about the Master of Science in International Business? Why did you choose it?
When applying for a school, I looked at several global university rankings, including QS and USNews. Then I paid attention to which Spanish schools were ranked high and studied one by one. That’s how I came to know UPF. When observing the website, there were not many majors taught in English and, among them, the MScIB courses arrangement was the most interesting to me. Since I don’t have a business background, the project arrangement for subjects in different fields of business within one year was more suitable for me, so I chose this master.
2. The MScIB students are from all over the world. How would you describe the experience of working in such an international environment?
I think this experience is amazing. Especially for me, although I live in Beijing and have a few foreign classmates and friends, I have never had an experience of studying and living with students from more than a dozen different countries. Sometimes when we eat or chat together, we find that our cultural background is completely different, but everyone understands and respects each other, which makes me feel particularly warm.
3. How has it been the experience of living and studying in Barcelona? Did the COVID-19 situation change your day-to-day life?
Living and studying in Barcelona is a really interesting experience. Before that, I had never lived alone in a strange city for one year. At first, I thought I would be uncomfortable, but looking back this year was particularly happy. The COVID-19 has indeed affected the lives of each of us, but it may be that before coming to Spain last year, I was used to wearing a mask and maintaining social distance in China. I feel that the impact on my life has not been that big, but the impact on learning has been undoubted. In the first semester, our courses changed to online, along with several following subjects. For me, online classes did have a certain effect on concentration because it’s easier to get distracted at home. However, the content taught by the professors was very interesting and continued to attract me to concentrate on listening to the lectures, so the efficiency of learning has not decreased a lot.
4. What are the main differences between Barcelona and Beijing lifestyles?
The main difference should be the pace of life. In Beijing, it is rare to see people sitting on deck chairs in the sun on weekdays. Everyone is busy at work and always in a hurry, unintentionally observing themselves and the world around them, and it is difficult for them to show their enthusiasm. In Barcelona, everyone enjoys life more, has more leisure activities, and more opportunities to make friends.
5. Considering that you studied Tourism Management, what are your career expectations once you finish the master?
Before studying the Master of Science in International Business, I planned to engage in international tourism or related work after completing it. But during the master, I gradually liked the accounting and financing course. I have not found an internship yet, but I plan to do it after returning to China in August, so I will try to find some positions related to this area. If I still like this profession after the internship, I might be engaged in this work area.
6. Would you recommend the Master of Science in International Business?
I would recommend it to people who want to experience the international environment, and I hope that people who can learn a little bit of business knowledge from shallow to deep can come to MScIB. This year I have learned a lot, and I experienced a lot of fun that is completely different from China.