New college student advice

My name is Mohamed Gomaa I live in Cairo, Egypt and I obtained bachelors degree in mass communication from the American university in Cairo. After finshing my undergraduate studies and working in a private business, in publishing & printing, I felt i am lacking a lot of marketing knowledge. So the thought of proceeding with graduate studies started to occupy my mind as well as studying abroad.

Getting academic experience from a totally different school and being in a different country was somehow challenging and exciting. I started looking for schools in Europe, Canada, Australia & the US. Choosing a school abroad was also a challenge. Deciding on a school and a country I would like to stay in for more than 1 year took me over 4 to 5 months. I wanted a school that would give me the enough academic knowledge I need and wouldn’t consume too much time so i wouldn’t be away from my work for a long while. I kept researching the good locations for international students; in terms of safety, weather and other basic factors anyone would care for. I finally ended up with California and specifically University of California San Diego as it was providing a great 10 months certificate in Business Management- Marketing. The certificate was so intense with 5 days a week 8 hours classes. It also offers an internship in the field of study which was important to implement what I studied at school. I did 3 months internship in wireless infrastructure company, I have implemented a lot of what i studied i.e. doing a competitive analysis of all the competitors in the same field etc.
As for my colleagues, I had the chance to deal with more than 20 different nationalities from across the world, which was very interesting for me. Living in Egypt and going to English/French high school & college gave me the chance to deal with limited number of nationalities. When I had been to UCSD it was astonishing to get to know students from across the world and get to know about their work and academic experience back home.
Studying abroad changed my life completely, getting out of my comfort zone was essential for as I was always afraid to take a step towards something I was not familiar with. Nowadays I always recommend that students study in a different place than what they were used to. Because it gives you the whole package, if chosen wisely. It gives you the life experience you need; to be away from everything you are used to and you take for granted.
Based on my modest background, choosing a school can be a life changing decision. Therefore, each student should be definite and aware of what his capabilities and dreams are. So he/she can have a plan for the near future of what they want to do with their lives. I was able to know all that after I finished my bachelors degree, which was a little too late, but better late than never.

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