Go Abroad: Bangladesh

Our MSc Development Economists alumni share their experiences of travelling to Bangladesh and studying at BRAC University.

In 2021 Kent signed a Memorandum of Agreement with BRAC University based in Dhaka, Bangladesh to allow for the co-supervision of students on Kent’s School of Economics’ MSc in Development Economics. BRAC, widely considered to be among the top universities in Bangladesh in also has an international development organisation based in Bangladesh which is now one of the largest NGOs in the world, operating in Bangladesh as well as ten other countries in Africa and Asia.
MSc Development Economics students, Gladness and Rebecca, decided to take part in this collaboration by studying in Bangladesh for their dissertation work and share their experiences with us. 

“I embarked on a journey to Bangladesh for my MSc Development Economics dissertation, I did not plan for it initially. However, the opportunity presented itself, and I grabbed it. I felt like I needed a change of scenery to concentrate on my dissertation without distractions for four weeks.

‘My love for travel, exploring new places, and meeting new people influenced my decision.

‘I studied the Effectiveness of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Program, specifically the Coastal Climate Resilience Infrastructure Programme (CCRIP), on Food Security in Bangladesh. I received fantastic guidance, a lot of assistance, and plenty of attention during my research. The team at BRAC University was incredibly supportive, aiding me in tasks such as data collection and arranging transportation. Their help significantly improved the entire research process.

‘During this experience, I gained valuable insights into Bangladesh’s geography, particularly in the coastal areas where my research was focused. Concepts like Regions, Districts, and Upazilas became familiar, with Upazila being a new term for me. Immersing myself in the culture, I appreciated the local food and clothing, savouring the unique herbs and spices in their meals. The religious influence in an Islam-dominated country like Bangladesh was a captivating experience, with the city resonating with prayers every few hours.

‘The hands-on experience at BRAC University was instrumental in my academic growth. Guided by a supportive supervisor, I learned the intricacies of empirical studies, including sourcing and cleaning raw datasets. The collaborative efforts of the supervisor and co-workers were crucial in overcoming challenges in data cleaning and processing. As a result, my dissertation earned the highest mark, igniting a newfound passion for research and a desire to explore further opportunities.

‘Reflecting on this experience, I wholeheartedly recommend it to other students, especially those eager to explore new places. Being away from the familiar environment allowed me to focus solely on my dissertation, eliminating the distractions of daily routines. Despite occasional challenges like the monotony of daily rice consumption and language barriers, the hosting team’s unwavering commitment to our comfort and the friendly nature of the people in Dhaka made the experience enriching.


‘Bangladesh was the perfect study abroad location for me and my research. My research project explored remittance and household expenditure behaviour, drawing a comparison between Bangladesh and Uganda. Bangladesh’s unique position as one of the top receivers of global remittances made it an ideal location to study how these financial transfers impact the daily lives of Bangladeshi families.

‘The trip helped me understand the Bangladesh dataset better before starting the econometric analysis.

‘Being on the ground provided me with a broader cultural understanding and helped interpret the data more accurately.

I also gained valuable insights into the social, economic, and political context in Bangladesh.’

‘My time in Bangladesh provided me with a profound appreciation for the rich tapestry of Bangladeshi culture, the warm hospitality and resilience of its people. This experience honed my intercultural communication skills and deepened my unde’rstanding of global issues. I cannot stress enough the importance of such immersive experiences for personal and professional growth.

‘I wholeheartedly recommend this opportunity to fellow students. It’s not solely about conducting research and acquiring knowledge; it’s also about broadening your horizons, fostering empathy, and forging lasting memories.

‘To those considering this adventure, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, seize the opportunity with an open heart and eagerness to learn, and you’ll return enriched in more ways than you can imagine.’

For Economics students interested in this amazing opportunity in Bangladesh please email A.Gschwandtner@kent.ac.uk

See Go Abroad opportunities and funding for the full range of international opportunities available to all Kent students.