Student Stories

29.10.2020

Expect the Unexpected - Exchange at University of Cape Town - Yo Ichiro

Yo Ichiro (Japan)
Class of 2020
Pre-MBA: Education Consultant, Overseas Education Research Co, Ltd
Post-MBA: Chief Executive Officer, Comfyxx Co., Ltd | Executive Officer, Ichiro Co., Ltd

If you want to have a once-in-a-life experience, I recommend you to join the exchange program to Cape Town, especially for first-timer to African continent.

People

In Cape Town, most of the MBA classmates are African and European. Due to the cultural and historical differences, their ways of thinking, points of view, and ways to manage group works are different from what I had experienced in HKUST. It was interesting to experience how students from different backgrounds come up with similar concepts or ideas to reach the same answer. Apart from that, Asian is a minority in Cape Town, you will be very welcomed by the students!

GSB (Graduate School of Business) campus, previously a prison. Located on the waterfront and with nearby mall and beach.

Nature and Culture

Africa is on the side of the world from Asia. If you have never been there, you will have a breathtaking experience of the beautiful nature, animals, and culture. The school terms in Cape Town are quite different from HKUST so it was more feasible to plan trips besides schoolwork. One of the best experiences was a 27-day camping tour by truck. I was scared to join as a solo traveler and a first-time camper, but it turned out to be the best choice I have ever made during my exchange program. You would never experience camping with a bunch of strangers from all over the world and spending 24/7 to see wildlife! At the end, you will have lifelong friends from around the world.

Sunrise in the canyon in Namibia. Overwhelmed by the beauty of nature and it brought me to tears.

Potential

Through some courses during my exchange in Cape Town, I learnt different aspects of the African culture and understood the situation of Africa. Similar to the potential of China, countries in Africa also have chances to be economic leaders in the future; they also have good potential leading major business fields. It was exciting to imagine and connect your background and knowledge with the future vision of Africa. To me, “people” and “experience” are the most valuable elements. Both Cape Town and University of Cape Town have served this well. At the end of your MBA journey, I highly recommend you to get out of your comfort zone and experience something different. Also, take some moments to look back at your MBA journey and think about your future with a clear mind, especially after the intense MBA study at HKUST.

Beautiful nature of Cape Town

Expect the Unexpected

This is a favorite motto I inspired from my camping trip. Let us be ready to “expect the unexpected” because life and the world are always beyond our imagination. Are you ready to embrace new experiences?

Wine tram. There are about 300 wineries around Cape Town. Best place to enjoy good wines and food.

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