At ESSEC Business School’s Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) program, developing the leaders of tomorrow goes beyond simply training students in business skills.

It also includes developing global citizens—culturally and socially aware people who understand global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and more.

Here are three ways the program at ESSEC Asia-Pacific achieves this.

1 | Avenues for International Exposure

Students are encouraged to explore the world by leveraging the school’s intercampus mobility to study at the ESSEC Cergy and Rabat campuses, exchange with one of ESSEC’s over 175 partner universities, or take on a double-degree program.

These immersive experiences are more than a chance to seek adventure and explore the world—they are also a time to develop cultural understanding and see in person how history and geopolitical factors can impact a country.

Indian alumni Akarsh Thodupunuri, who went on exchange in Paris and Rotterdam, recalls the experience as “truly transformative.” “It completely transformed my perspectives and gave me a deep understanding of cultural nuances as well as how to think holistically,” he shares, adding: “It also motivated me to participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives to help others open doors in the field of business.”

2 | Diversity on Campus

That said, GBBA students barely need to leave campus to begin their global journey. Diversity of the student body means one will be interacting with classmates from China, India, Europe, and more from the first day of school.

Group projects are a curriculum staple, giving them ample time to develop intercultural communication skills and collaborate with classmates of different nationalities in a setting that mimics the workplace.

In addition, GBBA students are required to take at least one foreign language while at ESSEC. This, too, is a form of cultural immersion, as it offers them a chance to learn another country’s etiquette and social norms.

3 | Emphasis on Social Responsibility

Finally, the school’s curriculum also emphasizes the importance of social responsibility. This theme is woven into classes, and those interested in it can take on the Responsible International Leadership (RIL) track in collaboration with the Darla Moore School of Business in the United States.

All students must also take on a one-month social project with a non-profit or charity. This exposes them to the challenges communities worldwide may face and, in the process, fosters a sense of empathy and social responsibility.

The social project led a final-year student from Korea, Eun Li Seo, to an internship at the Social Service Agency (SSA) Lions Befrienders. The benefits to her were twofold: besides training her planning and time management skills as she organized activities for senior citizens at active aging centers, she also became more conscious of the needs of an aging population.

Arkash, who spent his social project at the Singapore Red Cross, feels similarly. Looking back at his time at ESSEC, he says: “The school truly taught me the value of being a responsible leader and giving back to society.”