4 Benefits of Multicultural Business Schools

Published 11 October 2017

At Kaplan Business School, we love how international our classrooms are. We have students coming from all over the world learning alongside locals. In fact, in the past year, our student mix covered over 85 nationalities. We’ve long believed that all our students benefit from a multicultural learning environment in their lives and in their careers. So, we’re absolutely thrilled to discover that not only do our students agree, the research also shows that we’re onto something. If you’re wondering what attending an international school can do for your business education, you might be surprised to read the following 4 points.

You become a more resilient person with better coping strategies for life

When it comes to personal development and leadership qualities, everyone wins from a diverse classroom. This is just as true for local as for international students. The reason? Put simply, being exposed to different cultures and overcoming language barriers develops students’ confidence, resilience and independence.

A 2013 study by Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed 5600 graduates in the United States. They found that those American students who reported greater interaction with international students demonstrated more developed cognitive skills such as independent learning, the ability to question ideas and to formulate new ideas creatively.

For foreign students, personal development is just as significant. Adjusting to a new society and learning a new language can be some of the biggest challenges a person can face. Our students are reminding us that you don’t learn and grow unless you set personal challenges and overcome them. It seems that science supports this, too. In a 2013 study on the effect of international travel on German students, psychologists discovered that those students who exposed themselves to different cultures abroad demonstrated greater confidence, extroversion and emotional stability than those who stayed home.

Studying in a foreign language and coming from a developing country is difficult… Now I’m able to say that I’m enjoying my studies. They are challenging all the time, but at the end, I’m so grateful. I love meeting new people and getting to know new cultures and places. – Paula Bosolasco, Master of Business Administration

You build international business networks

International business has grown bigger than ever before over the last few decades. With the creation of international markets and lowering of trade barriers worldwide, it’s now become essential to many businesses that they span the globe. Going to an international school is one of the best ways a graduate can meet other aspiring business leaders from all over the world.

Students who can bring a broad network of international contacts to a potential employer are going to be more desirable because they can use their networks to add value to the company. Imagine it: Contacting your old school friends to find out about opportunities in their country, do some background checks on suppliers or explore the potential for expanding into a new market. Your boss would be thrilled.

Being immersed in a multicultural campus environment means that KBS staff pay special attention to everyone’s individual needs, to ensure your success is driven as best it can. I am already working in accounting and can use my acquired knowledge from KBS to further accelerate my career!” – Jacqueline Santos Maciel – Master of Accounting

You develop cultural awareness and essential ‘soft’ skills

You go to school to study the coursework so you can develop your skills and knowledge, and thus further your career. Simple. But, did you know that ‘soft skills’ are just as important to a successful career in business? This is particularly the case if you’re going to be doing something people focused like project management.

Active listening, cultural awareness, empathising, collaboration, and taking personal responsibility are all ‘soft skills’ that are only acquired through experience and practise. The good news is that diversity in the classroom is a great way to practise these skills. Some student outcome studies demonstrate that students exposed to different cultures are more likely to question their ideas and empathise with others.

Having cultural awareness and sensitivity to other’s experiences is essential when managing diverse workplaces and dealing with international markets. The more you openly and consciously engage with people of cultures different than your own, the more developed your soft skills will get. Plus, who could forget language? Learning English is, of course, imperative today, but there are advantages to picking up other languages, too. Imagine impressing your new boss with the Chinese you picked up from your classmates. You’ll get an international job in no time.

I knew that when the time came for me to graduate, my English was going to be so much better and enable me go back to Europe with my strong business skills and find a great job anywhere. – Klaudia Miskoova, Bachelor of Business

Diversity encourages innovation

Recent studies show a direct link between diversity in classrooms and workplaces and the level of innovation that occurs. A recent Forbes study showed that diverse teams drive business growth, while a Mckinsey Study discovered a link between diverse leadership teams and more significant profits. Plus, Harvard Business School has also found that diverse groups come up with more creative strategies.

These studies point out that the more variety of perspectives in a discussion, the more creative the whole conversation gets. That leads to more innovation and thus better returns.

A big part of your business school education is group tasks and peer learning. Just as diverse businesses drive higher innovation, the evidence shows that students benefit from vaster creative outcomes when engaging in multicultural peer learning. There are indeed challenges involved in conducting group tasks across cultural and language barriers. But as our students themselves say, it’s these challenges that bring the deepest rewards.

Kaplan has a great international reputation and this was always reflected by the friendly staff and the high calibre of students I had the pleasure of getting to know from different cultures. Overall, my time at KBS was very rewarding and my Master of Professional Accounting will be highly regarded internationally. —

Ehsanur Rahman Safwan

– Master of Professional Accounting

Studying with KBS is a lifelong investment. As a personalised Business School, we offer a wide variety of choice, study flexibility and academic support to suit your needs. Find out just how far a KBS degree can take you!