Sadia Bates

MAJOR: Business Administration/Management
PROGRAM: SJSU Exchange – Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Winterthur, Switzerland

BIO: Hey! My name is Sadia Bates. I am from San Jose and I am a third year business management student at SJSU. I recently got to fulfill a dream of mine; traveling abroad for school. I spent six months in Switzerland living my best life making friends, traveling, and of course going to school. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and helping out fellow students who want to go abroad.

GOALS: I accomplished many goals having left from my time abroad. I was able to make many friends who I am still in contact with today. I experienced a different application of academic learning, I gained a wealth of professional knowledge from professors.

PERSONAL GROWTH: During my time abroad I pushed myself to make friends and learn from them. I was able to travel to different countries with many of the friends that I had made and that was the most exciting part of my time. The people I met had the biggest impact on me, growing my intercultural communication while having the time of my life.

ACADEMICS: How would you describe your academic experience abroad? In Switzerland I took only business courses and the format of the courses threw me for a loop. I was not used to of the gravity of the finals in addition to the lack of homework. At ZHAW, they do not evaluate your progress throughout the course. An adjustment compared to SJSU, which I now have more of an appreciation for our academics.

CAREER: What skills did you learn / sharpen during your study abroad experience? Many of the courses I took abroad have developed my business skills. I participated in several projects that focused on different areas of business like marketing, negotiation, supply chain, ethics, and management. Not only have these projects developed my interest and skill level but also my experience. I now have the option to add these projects to my resume to enhance my opportunities in career goals. In addition I have gained experience in working in an international setting with people from many cultures, this experience will prove helpful in my future career exemplifying my understanding of intercultural communication.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: How has your immersion impacted your perspectives on the world? Arriving home there was an adjustment that I went through and still go through today. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how different Swiss life is compared to life in the Bay Area. I notice people are always on their phones, there is not the same level of respect for others and their surroundings, and it’s not as safe. I take life lessons I learned from Switzerland to heart, moving effectively, being more forgiving and helpful to those in my community, among other things.

FUTURE: How has study abroad prepared you for your future? Like I mentioned earlier, my time abroad has definitely enhanced my resume and my business toolbox. I gained many skills on a global level that I wouldn’t have otherwise. For instance, intercultural communication, adaptability, international experience, and self-awareness.

TIPS: What advice would you give to future Global Spartans? I would tell future Global Spartans to go for it. The application process and booking/accommodation hunting will be challenging but it will all be worth it in the end. I would also advise them not to set expectations and to stay open, they will have fun no matter what so I suggest they go in with a clear mind and go with the flow. Take advantage of opportunities that are laid before you even if it’s a decision made in a short time.

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