6 Benefits of Experiential Learning in Your Master’s

By H. Young

Updated August 23, 2021 Updated August 23

Sponsored by Lingnan University

There are many things to consider when deciding which master’s degree is the right one for you, but one often-overlooked aspect is whether experiential learning opportunities will feature as part of your studies.

Experiential learning opportunities can not only boost your career prospects but there’s a bunch of other benefits it can have on your professional and personal development.

We take a closer look at the benefits that experiential learning can offer in a master’s degree.

Opportunity to apply what you’ve learnt straightaway

Perhaps this is the most obvious benefit, but it’s probably the most important too.

There are some situations and concepts that can be difficult to master without direct, hands-on experience. This is why experiential learning is so valuable – it creates real-world relevance as you take your understanding and learning to a whole new level by building upon and integrating your classroom knowledge and training into something that is meaningful and relevant.

Master’s students at Lingnan University in Hong Kong have the opportunity to take part in international symposiums and seminars to keep up with growing trends and challenges, as well as take part in exciting international internships and cross-cultural interactions and exchanges.

Access to real-time mentoring and feedback

It would be redundant to be able to understand how, when and why to use certain practices, processes, and methods in an almost-real workplace environment if you don’t have access to instant feedback.

It’s not just your professors that can offer feedback on the task at hand, but your peers can too. Learning through such experiences and reflection can also make it easier to recognize your accomplishments and achievements.

Develop reflective practice habits and understand the value in mistakes

Experiential learning yields real results when you put theory into practice – but it’s important to keep in mind that they might not always be what you were hoping or expecting.

It’s here where you will face new challenges and inevitably make a couple of mistakes and errors along the way. It’s important to remember that making mistakes and learning from them is just as important as getting it right first time. Being able to take ownership and accountability of your decisions and mistakes, as well as developing reflective practice habits are highly-valued by employers.  

Prepares you for the real world of work

Experiential learning is a valuable opportunity that offers insights into the real world of work which no textbook, journal or lecture truly can.

Experiential learning is designed to holistically complement your degree’s curriculum and enhance your professional and personal development. It equips you with a wide-range of highly sought-after skills, knowledge and experiences that are essential when it comes to facing the various challenges and opportunities in the 21st century job landscape.

One of the main elements of experiential learning at Lingnan University is the opportunity for master’s students to attend various global conferences, seminars and forums.

In 2020, Lingnan University hosted three significant conferences: The Conference for Higher Education Research (CHER) 2020, The Global Higher Education Webinar Series, and Cities and Governance Seminar Series, where they invited renowned speakers and scholars from several international universities.

Opportunities such as these allows students to gain experience in real world settings and helps broaden their global mindsets and widen their research horizons.

Promotes the development of skills that are more difficult to master in the classroom

There’s no sugar-coating it – reading a journal or listening to a lecture can’t always provide the same learning experience. Sometimes, you have to do it for real!

It’s important to keep in mind that experiential learning isn’t always about learning a specific topic, or how to do a particular task. Practicing how to apply new knowledge by acting it out or doing it on the job means other skills are also developed simultaneously and is why experiential learning and emotional intelligence go hand-in-hand.

Skills like communication, teamwork and leadership are learned by practicing how to behave in the workplace and helps develops you into a well-rounded individual. 

Enhances enthusiasm and motivation for learning

Every student has their own individual learning style. Fortunately, experiential learning in its various forms can bridge the gaps where traditional classroom learning cannot. When you are learning about something that you have a genuine interest in, it can boost your engagement, enthusiasm and motivation to want to keep learning and learn more.

Lingnan University’s brand-new MSc in Health Analytics and Operations Management and MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Business Analytics programs, as well as its MA in International Affairs (China-Africa Studies) and MA in Curating and Art History actively incorporate experiential learning into their curricula in order to appeal to the multitude of learning styles amongst students.

**If we’ve got you interested in experiential learning, Lingnan University is the only public liberal arts university in Hong Kong and ranks highly for internationalization among more than 650 universities in Asia, according to the latest QS Asia University Rankings 2021.

It was also recently awarded 5 stars in the QS Stars and offers a wide range of taught master’s programs across its Graduate School, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Business and Faculty of Social Sciences.

This article was originally published in February 2021 . It was last updated in August 2021

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