Students & Campus
04 June 2021

The Advantages of Partaking in an Exchange Programme....Online

Among the many challenges and setbacks faced by students during the 2020-2021 Academic Year, was the cancellation of the majority of the exchange programmes at our partner institutions; only a handful of students were able to pursue their exchanges, mainly in Switzerland and Europe. As a fallback solution, a few of our partner institutions offered the exchanges online. 

While the nature of an online exchange inevitably renders inaccessible many of the important features of a traditional exchange, it can still prove to be a worthwhile experience. Alina Poliakova, the first student from the Graduate Institute to participate in an online exchange at Bocconi University in Milan, shares her experience.

anna polikova

When I received confirmation from the Institute that I was selected for the exchange at the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milano, I was so happy and excited about the journey to come. However, the COVID pandemic changed everything and forced our lives online, which was also the case for my exchange semester; it was a challenge that I had to deal with!

It’s not easy when plans fall apart, but the experience taught me to look at things from a perspective of having new opportunities and making the most out of it.

Now, after the successful completion of five online courses, dozens of projects and all the virtual exams at Bocconi, I can sincerely tell you that this experience was definitely worth it.

Over the semester I was delighted to meet and work with bright students and professors from all over the world on the challenging projects, cases and assignments.

Throughout our online academic projects we managed to interview representatives from corporations like Tesla, Black Rock and Starbucks.

We compared national competitiveness strategies shared by governmental officials from different countries during our class seminars, and we even talked to the owners of wineries and furniture factories about the regional and COVID specifics of their businesses, offshoring and acquisition strategies and the implementation of sustainability concepts into their operations.

Bocconi offers online workshops and webinars, more than a hundred student clubs and various career services sessions to its online exchange students as well.

I encourage you to take the challenge and participate in the exchange programme, even if it is online.

Learn more about the Graduate Institute's Exchange Programmes