I had always wanted to get international experience in terms of a post-graduate degree, and the Master of Arts (MA) in International Communication (MIC) at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Hanze UAS), seemed like a good choice. Through the programme I could easily see myself acquiring not only communication skills, but also research, management and business skills.
The MIC programme is full-time and can sometimes be overwhelming - group work, final papers, weekly assignments, workshops, client presentations and capstone assignments. The programme lays a great emphasis on the theoretical background in solving communication problems. We are encouraged to take a strategic approach to communications, and to think of long-term organizational value. The bonus is that the rigorous schedule is punctuated with field study trips. Besides normal class hours, the faculty regularly organizes workshops, professional coaching and networking opportunities for jobs and internships. My first academic trip was to the Volkswagen plant in Emden, Germany. The objective of the trip was to understand how the company was communicating its ‘Blue Technologies’ campaign. We have also been on familiarization tours at the NATO headquarters in Casteau, and at the European Commission in Brussels. We looked at communication-related issues of social media and the digital agenda.
The other advantage of the MIC programme is the privilege of meeting company CEOs and working on actual case studies for their companies. For instance, we participated in the NRG Battle and the Health Battle in which we received briefs and were required to recommend feasible communication solutions. In addition, we also worked on and presented a communication campaign proposal to Quintel Intelligence in Amsterdam.
Being in an international programme at Hanze UAS has also allowed me to meet people from all over the world. My classmates are from Brazil, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Taiwan and the USA. The second semester is in a different European city as required by the MIC Consortium. Upon applying for the programme you get to decide which two cities you will study in depending on your specialization – either Groningen, Vilnius, Leeds, Milan or Sofia. Does it get better than this?