Every year, Fuqua takes in about 85 incoming exchange students from all over the world. As a Fuqua student, the diversity they bring to our school is another great thing about the experience here. I very much enjoyed talking with them about their former experiences, lectures at their home school, and career paths.
Among those topics, there is one question I always ask first: Why did you choose to come to Fuqua? And at the end of term farewell party, I also ask: Did you find what you were looking for?
Although exchange students stay at Fuqua only for a relatively short time, I think their experience can be a good example of what people can expect when they first come to Fuqua. Most of these exchange students came to Fuqua for academic reasons, and left with the memory of Team Fuqua, along with their learnings in and outside of class. Here are some comments from exchange students I met.
Guillermo Joo Novoa
SDA Bocconi School of Management
I chose Fuqua for three reasons: academics, various activities beyond those academics, and location.
Fuqua has a solid academic reputation, and when I came here, I was impressed by the level of participation and engagement Fuqua students have in every class. Lectures are guided by the faculty, but students interact and participate a lot in class, making it more about a discussion than just a regular lecture.
Also, Fuqua offered many activities besides classes, especially great sports and training facilities that are part of the larger Duke campus. It definitely helped my training for the New York City marathon, which I successfully finished last fall! Not only fitness facilities, but Duke and Fuqua also have state of the art campus facilities that cannot be outdone by any school in Europe or South America that I’ve seen. The campus is gorgeous, and there was always something going on to keep us busy, which made all of the exchange students very impressed.
It was also great to live in a small city, Durham, after living in a big one. I was able to enjoy the college experience and focus on what Duke has to offer.
I can’t say enough about the people at Fuqua. Everyone from faculty, staff, and students were accommodating and collaborative. Every time I had a question about the school, events, lectures, and other activities, I found someone willing to help me. Students were welcoming, and by working with them on teams, I felt I was part of their class.
In a nutshell, my Fuqua experience was outstanding and amazing. The courses and many other activities made the best of my time at Fuqua. It was the last term of my MBA, and I am pleased that I did it at Fuqua.
University of Otago
The keyword of my Fuqua experience is “fabulous.” I was amazed by the quality of guest speakers in class and the alumni network that Fuqua has. I made so many memories through Fuqua Friday, design thinking workshops, Blue Devil basketball games, and many other events.
The most valuable thing I got through my time at Fuqua is the people I have met and connected with. I went there looking forward to meeting super smart and like-minded people, as Fuqua is one of the top business schools in the world. The people are brilliant, well-rounded, and well-presented. It was a great experience to be surrounded by stimulating minds. I was super impressed by the ‘student-run’ culture at Fuqua as well. Student leadership groups such as club cabinets, event committees, and others spend a great deal of time and effort to maximize not only their own but also other students’ experience.
My interest in blockchain technology also led me to Fuqua. The school has a blockchain class, Innovation and Cryptoventures, by professor Campbell Harvey, and Duke University has a blockchain lab. Although I couldn’t take the course since it was not offered while I was there, I still met many students who were interested in the subject. I had an opportunity to help a couple students set up a new blockchain club at Fuqua, which was an extraordinary memory for me.
National University of Singapore
The U.S. was my destination of choice as it has been at the forefront of thought-leadership in business management. I chose Fuqua because its strong strategy and health care focuses are relevant to my pharmacy background and the career path I aspire to pursue.
Looking back at my experience at Fuqua, it was truly enriching. That includes academics, travel, and friendships, as I spent the fall semester with 50 exchange students from 15 countries. We bonded over watching American football (go Blue Devils!), Fuqua Fridays, house parties, and weekend trips to New York City, Washington, D.C., and the Great Smoky Mountains. I also hung out with several Daytime MBA students and experienced the Team Fuqua spirit first-hand.
Another bonus—the cost of living in Durham is not as high as in larger cities, and I like that I can easily access other U.S. cities via the Raleigh-Durham International Airport which is only 20 minutes from campus.
I also want to highlight my learning from peers, professors, and industry leaders in the classroom and beyond. I enjoyed hearing from different perspectives during the interactive classroom discussions and about work experience shared by top-notch professors with corporate backgrounds. I took several Health Sector Management electives, including one taught by Professor David Ridley. It was interesting to hear about his experience proposing a priority review voucher system that was passed by U.S. Congress as a law to encourage the development of drugs for neglected diseases. Having been at the front seat where the action was, his insights on pricing, reimbursement, and access to medicines were valuable. I also enjoyed the pearls of wisdom and life experience shared by distinguished keynote speakers, their perspectives on real-life challenges, and problem-solving approaches.
I am grateful for the experience, and I will always cherish the friendships made and memories forged during my fall exchange at Fuqua.