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Students from European schools enjoyed four-month exchange at INCAE

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thumb intercambioSeventeen students from Italy, Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland came to INCAE's Campus Walter Kissling Gam for a four-month student exchange program. They hail from eight different European universities including Luigi Bocconi University in Italy, St. Gallen University in Switzerland, HHL University in Germany, and Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, among others. Between August and December 2016 they stayed at INCAE campus in Costa Rica and enjoyed the INCAE experience.

"In addition to the cultural experience of living in a Latin American country, the added value of the exchange involves taking courses perhaps not offered at their universities, learning how to do business in Latin America, and networking with people from all over the world," said Executive Director of INCAE's Masters Programs Luis Umaña Timms. He added that INCAE has engaged in these exchanges since 1997.

Among other courses taught by INCAE faculty students learned about portfolio management, microfinance management, mergers and acquisitions, and service management.

"I chose Costa Rica for my exchange because I wanted to experience a culture completely different from mine. I found INCAE particularly interesting for being a renowned business school and because its teaching style is so different from that of my school in Germany. I learned a lot about the economic and business characteristics of Latin America. Discussions both inside and outside the classroom about Latin America's problems and business opportunities were very exciting as was talking about differences with Europe," said Eileen Slotta, a student from HHL University in Germany.

"I wanted to study in Latin America and I learned in Internet about INCAE's prestige. I enjoyed campus life, I learned a lot in the classroom, I improved my teamwork skills, and I discovered the case method as a very effective way to learn," said Baptiste Perrin from ESCP Europe University in France.

Foreign students also had a chance to learn a little about Costa Rica and its culture. A few of them took advantage of the last few days in the year after final exams took place to rest and tour Costa Rica.

INCAE Students around the World
On the other hand, regular INCAE students also participated of the exchange experience. A total of nineteen 2017 MBA students traveled to renowned universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia to learn about their cultures and the tools they provide, and to expand their networks. This international experience contributes to prepare them better to help the region develop.

2017 MBA student Álvaro Javier Bóleres attended class for four months at University of Victoria in Canada and feels this was a highly rewarding experience. In his own words, "The most valuable thing I learned was how people of developed countries think. This has been one of my best experiences. I think INCAE must continue to implement these programs as there is much knowledge not yet written in books that can be learned only by experience."

"Having a chance to share with people from all over the world and to learn from them; living the American experience, with its culture and way of life. Also, the academic side was great, since I was able to learn things that added value to my resume. It really adds value to my education," said 2017 MBA student Carlos Ortiz, an exchange student who attended class at the University of North Carolina from August to December 2016.

Another 2017 MBA student, Juan Carlos Zelada, attended Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, for four months. He said, "I learned chiefly about the different teaching and learning methodology in European countries, specifically in Master of Science programs focusing on administration, finance and economics."

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