5 reasons to study a double master's degree at an international university
Sponsored by Bocconi University
A double master’s degree gives you the opportunity to gain two postgraduate degrees from two separate business schools in the time it takes to complete one. Many students use this as an opportunity to study abroad at an internationally focused university, such as Bocconi University in Italy.
Studying a double master’s degree at an international university shows employers that you are able to work in multicultural teams and address new challenges, pushing your boundaries to learn and take on new opportunities. In other words, it proves that you would make a good future leader.
Yiwen Jin is a 24-year-old double master’s degree student from Zhejiang, mainland China. She is currently studying an MSc International Management at Bocconi University and MA Banking and Finance in St. Gallen in Switzerland.
She said: “From the start, I was determined to apply for a double degree for my master’s. I believed this would be a unique experience. I would get to live and study in a new place, which is rather different from just traveling there.”
If like Yiwen you’re considering studying a double master’s degree at an international university, here are five ways it could benefit you:
Take advantage of international experiences
After studying abroad in the UK for her undergraduate degree, Yiwen was eager to continue her international education. She liked the idea of studying in the US and first came across Italy’s Bocconi University while browsing Yale University’s website, as Bocconi is one of Yale’s partner schools.
“Bocconi is the only European school I applied to. I received offers from both Bocconi and an Ivy League school,” said Yiwen.
To decide between the two schools, Yiwen contacted alumni on LinkedIn to ask about their experiences. After doing this, she chose Bocconi University.
Yiwen said: “My first impression of Bocconi is that it is very international. As a Bocconi student, you have plenty of international opportunities, such as double degrees, exchange programmes and research projects.”
Understand what it’s like to work and study in a diverse environment
If you decide to do a double master’s degree, where you’ll study will depend on the programme you undertake.
Bocconi University in Italy currently offers three types of double degree.
The Future Leaders International Double Degree undergraduate programme joins Bocconi’s BSc in International Economics and Management (BIEM) with a degree at Guanghua School of Management of Peking University in Beijing, to form a four-year course.
Alessia Fontanari studied the China Master in International Management (China MiM) at Fudan University in Shanghai, mainland China. She said: "It was a great learning experience, and very different from the traditional exchanges. This kind of situation allows you to truly integrate into the host country”.
The graduate double degree offers graduate students the possibility to spend the first year at Bocconi, and the second year in another prestigious partner school specialising in their field of interest.
Yiwen, who is studying the graduate double degree, said: “I am so lucky I can study a programme I really like. Because of staying in a diverse environment, I know myself much better and I know what I want for my career and my life.”
Finally, the law double degree offers fourth-year law students the possibility to spend their fifth and final year of the Integrated Master of Arts in Law in another prestigious partner school, specialising in their field of interest.
You’ll have experiences that will help shape your career path
Studying abroad can expand your mindset, helping you realise your career goals and learn practical, transferrable skills.
By studying a double master’s degree, you will study in two different countries, giving you even more scope to enjoy new experiences.
Armando Cilento is an international management graduate who obtained his double degree at Bocconi and HEC Paris. He said: “This experience was an occasion to put myself to the test, to become part of another culture. It was like having a double passport".
“Thanks to this double degree programme, I can push myself and learn two different fields for my master’s in the same length of time for other single master’s programmes. I receive double the knowledge and double the happiness.”
She added: “By studying and living abroad, I can better understand people from different cultural backgrounds and also let others know my thoughts and understanding.”
Study two different degrees to build a diverse skillset
One of the main benefits of the double degree is that you will get to learn two completely different subjects at two international universities. This helps you to gain a unique, diverse skillset which will make you stand out in the graduate job market.
Bocconi’s international management programme is very interactive and aims to encourage collaborative approaches to problem solving.
“There are lots of case studies and group work activities that can help develop soft skills including quick learning, time management, effective communication, team work and leadership,” said Yiwen.
The teaching varies from module to module, and some aspects of the programme will be completed online. Yiwen explains that each of the professors at Bocconi University have different teaching styles and experiences, which only adds to the diversity of the programme.
She said: “During my year studying at Bocconi, I learnt so many interpersonal skills. My first presentation at St. Gallen for integration week was an unexpected success thanks to Bocconi’s training.”
Push yourself out of your comfort zone
Although there are many benefits of studying a double master’s degree, the programme is challenging and will push you beyond your comfort zone.
The double degree programmes contain many group assignments and presentations and students are expected to do additional reading around the subject outside of class.
“The teaching at Bocconi is very rigorous and intense because it contains many core courses, internship, foreign language study and thesis,” said Yiwen. “To some extent, this double master’s degree is quite different from my bachelor’s degree, but I am determined to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.”
This article was originally published in April 2022 . It was last updated in November 2023