“Rewarded with an unforgettable time”

Julie Hessen (center) during the presentation of a group work at ICO NIDA

“The double master’s is definitely a challenge,” Julie Hessen said. The 25-year-old spent the past summer semester in Thailand, more precisely at the International College of National Institute of Development Administration (ICO NIDA) in Bangkok. The RheinMain University of Applied Sciences partnered up with the Thai university to offer the double master’s program International Management. Another partner is the Universidad de Santiago de Chile. If students enroll in the double master program, they complete one of the two semesters abroad. The master’s theses are supervised by professors from both universities and, if passed, recognized by both universities for the respective degree.

The choice was not difficult for Julie Hesse: “NIDA’s International College offers an attractive English language program for HSRM students. The group size of the courses is manageable and thus encourages discussion. Since personalities with different cultural and professional backgrounds meet, one can learn far more than the official course content. Not only the students come from different countries and cultures, but some of the professors come from partner universities and teach the subject matter using different methods and from different perspectives.”

Lectures of six to eight hours

The study concept differs considerably from the one in Germany, reports the master’s graduate. The course schedule is designed for students to complete one module per month, she says. Lectures are usually held only twice a week, but last six to eight hours. “This sounds very demanding, but all the professors are very well prepared for it. The time is filled with a lot of discussions, presentations, and other materials, so it ends up going by very quickly.”

Julie Hessen found working in groups particularly challenging because they were made up of at least three different cultures. “Different ways of working and understandings of tasks made for difficulties in collaboration and communication,” she says. “In hindsight, though, I’m very grateful for the experience because I got to meet so many great people and develop an understanding of different ways of thinking and types of communication.”

“Definitely worth the commitment and effort”

Visa application, apartment hunting in Bangkok, shopping without knowing Thai, a lot of unexpected situations and many misunderstandings — there were quite a few hurdles for Julie before and during her stay. Nevertheless, she can recommend the double degree program to all students without reservation. “For every situation, you will find a solution, and your dedication and effort are definitely worth it in the end. You'll be rewarded with an unforgettable time meeting lots of great people and making friends, broadening your cultural horizons, and even earning two degrees in the end.”