Exchange Impressions


刘震寰12工程管理 1250259
Part 1
When I decided to go to Spain as an exchange student, the teaching level and internationalization of IE Business School was my primary consideration. It is known as the "The Harvard of Europe" in that it is the cradle of Spanish entrepreneurs and business elites, among the best in international rankings of business schools. Although the reputation and recognition extent in China is not veryhigh, it is indeed quite competitive in Europe. Superb faculty, excellent quality of teaching, active class atmosphere, and outstanding students from various countries around the world, make me become full of expectation.
Here I chose four courses in total, that is, entrepreneurship and innovation, finance 2, management information system, Spanish B1. The former three are taught entirely in English, a total of 18 credits. In a word, modest and prudential professors, active and intelligent students, as well as vivid yet profound teaching content, left a fabulous impressions on me. Now, please allow me to introduce these four courses one by one:
Entrepreneurship and innovation
The Teacher who taught this course is an academic gentleman, looks handsome, just like a movie star. The content of this lesson is to introduce the basic principles and innovative approaches to the entrepreneurial process to be followed. Wedid a lot of readings, case studies, class discussions and group works to have a clear understanding of business methods, approaches, and other factors. The greatest feature of this course is a lot of readings. According to my statistics, there are seven case studiesand at least 20 pre-class readings, elaborately chosen from Harvard Business School professors’ articlesand each one has a length of 10 pages or so. Through the cases of Swatch, IKEA, Ryanair and other several successful businesses analysis, we learned all aspects of the market, including the segment selection, team building, product development and other practical knowledge and experience. Undoubtedly,substantial readings strongly support abstract theories and concepts. In each class, the teacher will guide us to discuss different topics, in a very friendly atmosphere. From time to time, there were new and insightful comments surprising me, make me feel so enlightened. In addition, the group activities in the class, such as innovative games, rallying competitions were also eye-open. After thestudy ofthis course, I was not only clear with the   knowledge about entrepreneurs, but also more comprehensive grasp of the various aspects related to business analysis and business development.
Finance 2
This is a highly professional and practical courses. It is mainly about the usage of powerful excel for bond, stock dividends, futures, options analysis and calculation, as well as a variety of business index which is calculated and then analyzed for the development of the enterprises to decide which place to choose, what is needed to improve and advance. The professor was wealthy in knowledge, with all kinds of knowledge related to financial in this mind. He always said that, "these questions were very simple." However, no other than these "very simple" calculations, often made us a headache. Before each lesson, we need to read the textbook "Essentials of investment" in order to keep up with the teacher in the class schedule. These readings tended to take three or four times longer than the school hours. While the preview process was exceptionally difficult, what professor taught in class are comparatively clear and effective. He always patiently repeat again and again, to ensure that each student can understand the contents. There are five after-school assignments, by working to complete in a 2 or 3 persons’ group. This group-learning model is very efficient and often made complement for the knowledge of each other, by discovering and solving problems together. After this semester, I was improved a lot in the theoretical and computational aspects of finance.
Management information system
The professor of this course is a humble and elegant gentleman. His teaching style is to intake a lot of knowledge and to sum up the essence of the content. The contents of each class are very refined, some short videosplayed a nice role in helping us to understand the knowledge. The main content of our study is the development and application of information systems technology, such as cloud computing, geography-based, social media construction, big data, and so on. Through the learning of concept, practical applications, and trends presentation, we generally grasp the application of these technologies and the direction of improvement. And these are expected to be the basis of shaping future business form and information technology landscape. After studying this course, we understood both the specific technologyand the overall form from the macro and micro perspective. The course is mostly taught byour professor, added by twice classpresentations as a team, demonstrating our respective study absorption capacity and in-depth inquiry.
Spanish B1 (intermediate Spanish)
Now that we came to a strange country, why not learn her language? Spanish has the second-most number of speakers, just behind Chinese. A total of more than thirty countries worldwide regarded it as official language, whose popularityonly a little bit inferior to English. Therefore, the importance of learning Spanish both from the perspective of career development or the angle of living needs are evident. To be able to quickly adapt to the life in Spain, I studied Spanish in China for two weeks. Thus, According to the entrance exam grades, I was "lucky" assigned to the Intermediate (B1) classes. But until the first lessons, I didn’t find this level was too difficult for me. Basically, all the teacher teaching in the classroom were in Spanish, and all of my classmatesalmost have learnt the Spanish for four or five years or whose native language is Portuguese (90% similarity with Spanish). There is no doubt that I was the weakest one in basis of the language, namely, the worst student at the very beginning. Faced with such a difficulty, I did not give up, apply for degrading or canceling. I think the self-challenge is an essential part in exchange experience, and eventually you will see a different view after persistent. With the help of my professor and classmates, in spite that I did not understand nearly anything initially, I can keep up with the rhythm of the class after several lessons. Through my arduous review, I have successfully completed all the questions in the final exam. I do not know the outcome, but I’m really proud of myself. Now, I mastered the six different tenses, and did not have big difficulties in reading and writing. The capability of listening and speaking has made substantial progress. The most important thing is that I’ve fallen in love with the language, and cherished it as my second foreign language.
Different atmosphere in the class, different teaching modes, different learning methods, gave me a different semester. These will be a valuable asset in my lifelong learning in the future, and let me stand on a new height, have a more broad perspective. All in all, dedicated, hard-working and permanent effort are served as guarantees to make me do more with less.
A few months passed by, my life is still colorful, but never would I hear the cry from Bernabeu, see the master pieces in Prado, the wonderful show on the Puerta del Sol. I miss the old villa creaking wooden stairs and Natacha’s picture exhibition and her daughter Elena’s photography exhibition. Yes, they only stay in the memory.
I do not know since which day, I have regarded Madrid as my second home. And when chatting with friends, “my Madrid” was always appearing in my exchange story. Now, I’ll start by talking about my experience of Spanish culture. Spaniards are warm and enthusiastic, just like the weather there: When strangers meet for the first time, they are generous to greet, and between men and women orbetween females,cheek kisses are common to see. Spaniards are confident, they show their own talent everywhere, and graffiti and street artists are all around the city.There are guitar players singing in every subway station, and my Spanish classmates usually give hard-edged presentations. They love art, museums, exhibitions; they are passionate; they love their motherland, they are sincere guardians of their own language, their own history; they are lazy andrelaxed, slow-pace and enjoying life.
To begin with, let me show my experience of renting rooms. We can find many room-renting websites with the help of the guide documents provided by IE University. I have to say that the school dorm is very expensive, we would better rent a room not far away from the school. Compared with other European cities, Madrid is so cheap.With about 300 Euro per month,you can rent a very nice room. Our landlord Antonio is a nice old man, and he and his wife Natacha had taught Spanish together in Japan for 13 years, so they understand a lot of oriental culture. He has chopsticks and Chinese recipes in the kitchen, and also a tenant is Korean. Beatris is my best chatterwho lived in Malaysia for several years. She loves tea, hangs Chinese knot in her room. The landlord’s daughter Elena, a beautiful angel, holding her camera every day. She is an artist and hasher own websites and photography exhibition.
When it comes to the culture, it is Eva and Ornella who brought me into teenagers’ life in Madrid. We get to know each otherin theirgroup work, to investigate foreigners living in Madrid. As thanks for my receiving the interview, they took me to enjoy a night of happy time, starting after the dinner, we went to the museo de jamon (ham museum) and enjoyed tapas (snacks) and then went to a one euro grill bar, started chattingand playing games. After midnight, activities continued to change. In a distinctive bar, ice cream flavored drink surprised me a lot. The last part of the carnival was the dancing, when we dismissedall troubles!
On top of that, let’s sum up the life in Madrid. First of all, some basic Spanish will be needed, because the older people in small shop, mini-bar and even smaller banks are not good at speaking English. When it comes to the bank, I think there is no need to have a local office card, a Visa card is enough for you to travel around Europe. Madrid’s traffic is very developed, the subway is convenient.What’s more, because the city is very small, if the distance is not very long, you can just walk there with the google map. Around Madrid there are several small cities that have fabulous scenery and exciting history. I travelled to several other big cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilleand Granada in Spainby the Renfe high-speed railway. The beaches, the architecturesand the food are really enjoyable. Madrid is safe and well-ordered, except in the migration area in the south. There may be stealers ordefraud people in the city center on big festivals from time to time, so I alwayswent there with friends. Honestly, Spanish food are not as delicious as France and Italy, especially therestaurants which Spaniards recommend to you, are generally not very consistent with our tastes. When first arriving at Madrid, Usera and Tetuan (two Chinese regions) played a significant role in buying telephone cards, having haircuts, and daily necessities, spices and so on. In addition, Madrid can be called shopping paradise, except for Las Rosas Outlets, Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear, Campus and other local brands aresold at reasonable prices and are fascinating in styles. The discount season in January and July every year made me had the desire to buy everything. There are many small parks in Madrid, where I kept running and doing sports every day.
I wish my experience can act as a guide to other students who want to go to Spain. The nice weather, the fresh air, the unforgettable experience will make you fall in love with this country.