The Path to Earning a Second Master’s Degree Abroad

0
430
All classmates are present. INEMA typically accepts approximately twenty students each year; we are the twelfth INEMA cohort, which includes individuals from Indonesia, Germany, Egypt, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Brazil.
All classmates are present. INEMA typically accepts approximately twenty students each year; we are the twelfth INEMA cohort, which includes individuals from Indonesia, Germany, Egypt, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Brazil. Source: Personal Documentation

Some individuals may feel the need to pursue a second master’s degree to enrich their skills and knowledge, Benni is currently undertaking a joint Master’s degree in International Education Management in Germany and Egpyt. This article chronicles Benni’s journey in seeking out his degree and scholarship, the insights gained throughout his studies, and offers a word of advice for those contemplating furthering their education abroad.

The journey begins to study in Germany and Egypt

Humans, I like to say, are like onions; once you start peeling them, you’ll find more and more layers. However, the act of peeling can irritate the eyes and cause occasional tears. Human potential is similar in that, when completed or trained, there are always surprising new abilities, but the process can leave one exhausted, angry, and even in tears. This belief inspired me to pursue my education in Germany and Egypt. 

My bachelor’s degree in economics was awarded in 2010, and my first master’s degree in educational technology was completed in 2019. I frequently asked myself, “Was it enough?” Or was another study journey necessary? Long story short, I decided to return to academic journey. I searched for a second master’s degree abroad that could combine my previous two majors in economics and education, before doing a PhD program, probably? 

Early 2020 marked the beginning of my search for study abroad opportunities. Europe was my first choice, as I believe and have heard that European universities offer superior academic quality. In addition to the fact that the majority of European countries are among the happiest in the world, the offered study programs are focused and student-centered, and the faculty are professional and very supportive. 

However, in terms of tuition fees and living expenses, Europe was among the most expensive regions in the world. Obtaining external funding or a scholarship was my only option for pursuing a second master’s degree abroad; otherwise, it would have been a pipe fantasy. I began listing scholarship organizations and funding bodies, the requirements for receiving a scholarship, and the types of individuals, potential, and skills they seek. It was a crazy ride, like a roller coaster, and I think a lot of scholarship holders can relate to that. My current academic journey has not been without its share of self-doubt, self-loathing, and hard work. 

After six unsuccessful attempts, I was eventually awarded an overseas scholarship on my seventh and eighth try. In 2022, I was given a scholarship in Germany and Sweden but ultimately decided to go to Germany with a DAAD scholarship.

This picture shows my colleagues from INEMA intake 11 from Pakistan, France, and Angola. We attended an autumn festival in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
This picture shows my colleagues from INEMA intake 11 from Pakistan, France, and Angola. We attended an autumn festival in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Source: Personal Documentation

Majoring in International Education Management (INEMA)

This is where my studies abroad start; my major is International Education Management (INEMA). INEMA is a collaboration program between Germany’s Ludwigsburg University of Education and Egypt’s Helwan University. The program is intended to provide and cultivate managerial and leadership skills, as well as competencies for cross-cultural challenges in education management and international education reform processes. It is a two-year master’s degree program that is accredited in both Germany and Egypt. Graduates receive a joint master’s degree. 

Due to the international focus of the program, the curriculum is tailored to the globalization of markets and the requirements of the students. As mentioned previously, I searched for a second master’s degree program that could incorporate my two previous majors, and INEMA is the answer. The program addressed managerial practice from both an educational and a business standpoint. 

Among the most important modules are Educational Leadership and Management, Human Resource Management, Education Marketing, and Strategic Management. The program structure incorporates onsite and online phases, including self-study, group discussion, and project implementation. The theory-practice transfer approach is another aspect of this program that I particularly like. While in Indonesia, you may use your newly acquired expertise in a real-world setting. 

It is a tumbler from the Ludwigsburg University of Education, which was founded in 1962, making it 61 years old today.
It is a tumbler from the Ludwigsburg University of Education, which was founded in 1962, making it 61 years old today. Source: Personal Documentation

Onsite class in Germany or Egypt, on the other hand, provides opportunities for freewheeling intellectual discourse with other international students and professors. Also, the program features professional coaching for personality development, project management and career guidance. On their website, you can find more information about the program. I am currently in my second year of study and will shortly return to Egypt and Germany. 

As many Indonesian students who reside and study in Europe can attest, the academic environment in Europe is vastly different from that which I encountered in Indonesia. Higher education in Europe requires students to peruse countless books, academic articles, and journals. We are required to contribute to the class through group discussions and the presentation of our projects. As an Indonesian who was born and raised in an Asian culture, we are not used to expressing ourselves and our ideas; furthermore, English is not my first language, making it difficult for me to navigate my current academic voyage. But, sharing your vulnerability and admitting your weakness is, in my opinion, the beginning of development. 

My motto is “Fall down seven times, get up eight times.” Somehow, I made it through the first year of my study program in Germany and Egypt, and I am currently preparing my research proposal, which will most likely examine the issue of whether or not the school system stifles creativity. I can share this with you all at a later time. 

Overall, the journey thus far has been a mixture of happiness, gratitude, and self-doubt, but wouldn’t life always be filled with such colors? One of my friends always says that to reach new goals, you have to try new things. In between, you will have both successes and failures, therefore the key is to be adaptable and resilient.

A piece of advice for young Indonesian

I realize that my story here will reach some of you who may be confronting a great deal of difficulty in pursuing your dream of studying abroad. I wish I could state that the ability to study abroad is all about technique and strategy, but it is also a matter of mindset. For those, if you are able to fund your own international study, you should not pass up this opportunity. 

Living as a foreigner in other countries and interacting with diverse cultures and professionals will, in my experience, enhance your empathy and social skills. The majority of universities abroad look for prospective students who have a well-defined reason for wanting to study at their institution, as well as those who realize that reading and writing skills cannot be separated from academic life. 

I visited a pumpkin festival near the university during my first autumn in Germany
I visited a pumpkin festival near the university during my first autumn in Germany. Source: Personal Documentation

On the other hand, fellow Indonesians who desire to study abroad on a scholarship should remember that it is not your exceptional background that will help you obtain one, but rather your determination. Most scholarship and funding organizations seek candidates with exceptional communication skills and leadership potential. In addition, you must have a clear intention and future goal. 

My experience indicates that learning how to identify yourself professionally and reaching out to scholarship alumni will be helpful. My article will conclude here, but I’d love to connect with you all on social media. Benni Taslim can be used to locate me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


SHARE
Previous articleBelajar ‘Ratoeh Jaroeh’ di Taman Kampus: Cerita Eksplorasi Budaya dan Pengalaman Volunteer Ahmad Syukri
Next articleIndonesia Mengglobal 11th Anniversary: Unleash Youth Potential, Energize the Essentials
Benni Taslim is an experienced education management specialist with a track record of working in K-12 schools and an education consulting firm. He is able to provide expertise in Educational Leadership and Study Abroad Advising. He has degrees in economics and education. In 2022, he was awarded a DAAD scholarship to pursue a second master's degree in International Education Management in Germany and Egypt, and is also currently enrolled in a professional certificate in School Management & Leadership at Harvard. Benni has a genuine interest in educational leadership. His career progressed from academic staff to school director and study abroad mentor. As a school leader and volunteer in the Indonesian Christian Education Council, he has interacted with thousands of Indonesian schools and educators. He also participates in professional networks such as the Indonesia Marketing Association and Ayo Dongeng Indonesia. His exposure to business leaders and social activists has enhanced his perspective on the advancement of education, the economy, and society. Benni's career line has focused on ensuring the quality of education in Indonesia, and it is aligned with SDG 4: Quality Education.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here