Friday, February 22, 2013

Returned Student Spotlight- Bradley Marshall- CBS Business School Fall 2012

“Learning abroad takes careful planning and consideration. I was able to take courses that complemented my degree at the University of Utah. The classes I took at the Copenhagen Business School were unique to Denmark, which makes the knowledge I obtained there priceless.”

Bradley Marshall is a junior, majoring in marketing here at the U. We recently caught up with Bradley to ask about his exchange program to Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Copenhagen, Denmark. As an exchange student, Bradley lived and studied in Denmark for the entire fall semester. For some students, the idea of being away from home for such an extend period of time is unappealing. However, as Bradley tells us, this program afforded him a unique opportunity to become comfortable with the host culture: “My first few weeks in Denmark were a whirlwind of orientations, paperwork, and even some traveling. It wasn’t until I had been in Copenhagen for about a month that I finally felt at home there. I was able to live like a local for the next few months - taking classes and exploring the countless historical, cultural, and social offerings of my new home.”

CBS, like many of the U’s exchange schools, offered a language crash course to students like Bradley. “The class was a great way to become familiar with the confusing language,” he says, noting that even learning basic phrases like greetings and ways to order food “made living in Denmark so much more enjoyable.” This is the kind of realization that makes learning abroad programs so educational for students; living and studying within a new culture teaches students the elaborate ways in which language, tradition, culture and history interact. As Bradley puts it, “Even though the majority of people speak English very well, having a basic knowledge of the language allowed me to understand more aspects of Danish culture and lifestyle.”

Of course, there are many challenges that exchange students encounter while abroad. Bradley tells us that, “taking courses abroad is a unique experience,” sometimes similar to taking classes here at the U and sometimes very different. “In many ways, it feels the same as taking courses at the U. You are expected to show up to class every week, participate, and engage with your classmates. For me, that was the fun part. Some of my closest friendships were formed as a result of working in groups.” While group work and class participation were interesting and exciting for Bradley, he found the tests to be less so. “The biggest adjustment was getting acquainted to the testing format in Denmark. Several of my tests were oral presentations, which required a slightly different style of studying and preparation.” Despite this new format, we are happy to note that Bradley completed all of his classes and tests with flying colors.

When we asked Bradley about how those courses would fit into his academic and career goals, he responded: “The skills and experience I gained abroad will help me in my future career path as a marketer; whether it be an increased understanding of the European Union, or a newfound passion for several areas of business I was unaware of prior to studying in Denmark.” Bradley further remarked on the unique learning experience of his exchange, “The classes I took at the Copenhagen Business School were unique to Denmark, which makes the knowledge I obtained there priceless.”

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