2017年初，Grace 郭芳瑜（左）收拾好行李，帶著在GHRM一年半的經驗前往英國諾丁罕，準備攻讀Nottingham Trent University的國際企業管理 (International Business) MSc學位。Grace坦言其實本來沒想過申請雙學位，但因交換學校的志願排序結果不理想，轉而覺得GHRM提供的雙學位機會既可以作為出國交換的畢業標準，又可以取得英國學位，「一石二鳥，何樂而不為呢？」她笑說。
在Nottingham Trent University的雙學位計劃中，學生可以選擇兩種不同的課程路線，喜歡發想的Grace選擇了Innovation Route。 在英國，上課的方式跟在台灣很不一樣，路線中的每個課程以密集班的形式，在一段時間集中上課，「那邊課業其實不輕，雖然集中上課很好吸收，但一段時間後就很像被作業跟資訊追著跑。」Grace也順帶點出了時間規劃的重要性，為了取得學位，自然不能像交換一樣自在玩樂，但也因為課業壓力大，學習到有效率的自我管理。
不再限制自己，自由展翅！More possibilities ahead!
Spring, 2017, after one and a half year in GHRM, Grace Kuo (left) packed her belongings and headed to Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom, ready for her dual degree studies in International Business MSc. Grace had never thought she would apply for the dual degree program, but after the result announcement of exchange studies, she decided to apply for the dual degree program in the UK and fulfill the graduation requirement at the same time. “It’s two birds with one stone. Why not?” She said.
With the dual degree program at Nottingham Trent University, students are able to choose between two course routes, and Grace, who has tons of ideas, chose the innovation route. The way of how semesters roll in the UK is very different from how things go in Taiwan. All courses in each route are taught in “blocks”, in other words, one course in a period, intensively. “The loading of the studies there is actually heavy, although, with blocks, it is more efficient to absorb the information. After some time, it kind of feels like you're caught up with all the assignments and information load.” Grace brought up the importance of organizing time. To successfully get the degree, one can not enjoy themselves as if they are only doing a semester abroad, but with the heavy loading of studies, she improved self-management effectively and efficiently.
To Grace, who chose to go abroad during the second semester of her senior year, making progress on her thesis is one of the most important objectives. Without going on exchanging during the 3rd semester, Grace had already completed a part of her research, but to work with the schedule in Nottingham, she had to keep in contact with her thesis advisor in Taiwan despite the time difference. Furthermore, Nottingham Trent usually assigns a supervisor to each student to oversee their progress of theses.
“The expenses in the UK is something one should pay attention to. A well-organized financial plan can be helpful.” Most local students support themselves with their part-time jobs, but if one is not planning to seek for part-time jobs, it is important to think thoroughly about how one can support themselves financially, in assuring the effectiveness of the studies while living abroad. Grace decided to cook by herself several days in a week, but for people who are not comfortable in kitchens, they can always go to the all-you-can-eat restaurants around the campus to let out their student instincts, eating!
Final suggestions to future dual degree students? Grace suggests some early preparations for international internships. In Nottingham Trent, it is required that students perform a 12-week internship outside of their home countries. “Finding internships in the UK is more difficult than expected. You can most definitely start to send out CVs right after getting nominated for the dual degree program.”
The experience in Nottingham Trent University is a windfall to Grace. She planned to seek for opportunities in the HR field due to her studies in Taiwan. “After my studies in the UK, I think there more opportunities ahead!” she smiles with ease, not limiting herself anymore.