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2012年09月 Archive

日本人MBA学生のResidential School体験記

MBA2年目の日本人学生のResidential School体験記がオープン・ユニバーシティの

A Japanese Student's Impressions of an OU Residential School

03 September 2012

Mr Kazuyuki Okumura, a student from our partnership with NetLearning, Japan, has recently returned from the residential school for his MBA Stage 1 module, Management: Perspectives and Practice, which was held in Brussels. One of the aspects of European life that Kazuyuki was most struck by was the polyglot nature of many social and business interactions: "I noticed that when my residential school teammates asked for directions on the street, they would alternate languages, depending on the speaker's language, such as French and German. I thought this was amazing!" Such vibrant impressions led Kazuyuki to reflect more widely on his residential school experience from an Asian point of view, which he summarises in four main points:

■ Practice-based activities: Universities and business schools in Japan are mainly passive, lecture-based institutions, but studying with the Open University involves much more than just listening to the lecturers. I was repeatedly involved in an active learning cycle, working in teams with my classmates, writing up our results and then presenting them.

■ Organic integration of course content: This approach really helped me consolidate everything I have been studying during the past few months. What I had approached as separate units suddenly became integrated as we reviewed the unit and worked together. The activities also helped me refine my negotiation skills!

■ Language proficiency: I work for a foreign-owned international firm in Japan and am exposed to English far more than the average Japanese worker. However, most European students operate at a very high level of English proficiency and it was quite challenging for me to actively participate in some of the activities. My fellow students were very kind in helping me express my ideas and refine my understanding of what was being discussed and the experience really helped improve my English and made me set a new personal target for the level of proficiency I wish to achieve!

■ A global business school: Studying alongside other managers from many different countries made me contemplate international business issues that had not occurred to me in Japan. I'm sure I'll be able to apply some of these lessons to my own work!

Whilst residential school attendance is not a requirement of the programme (there is an online alternative), I strongly recommend that all students who can take part in it. It's an intensive time to reflect on everything you have learnt so far, giving you the opportunity to work together, face-to-face, with students from all around the world.


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