So far it has been great in Nantes, a small, yet beautiful city 2 hours outside of Paris. I am attending Audencia Ecole de Management, a top ranked business school in France with numerous other exchange students! There are about 130 or so, 3 of which are from the US, a majority from other European countries, and then many from Korea, China, the Philippines, and there are about 10 students from Africa as well! As you can see it is quite a diverse population. For some reason I had imagined there being more students from the US, but I suppose it’s a blessing in disguise in the way that I am pushed to make friends with students from other countries. Having done so, I am having the time of my life! The exchange students and the regularly enrolled French students are all so friendly and eager to create friendships and the school has an “international connection team” that organizes many events for us inside and outside of school.
School here is very different in comparison to the UW. Students here are first required to take about 10 required classes of various business materials per semester before they can start specializing in any sort of concentration. Each week our class schedules change and we must check online to see what classes we will have, at what day and time, and the location. It’s it a bit annoying because it’s so unpredictable and prevents any planning you want to make for the future. However, this ever-changing schedule tends to leave us with three or four-day weekends which are quite nice! So I won’t complain too much.
Class sessions include a lot of group work or in class work and less of a lecture type style. Some classes are up to four hours long! (And we thought our 2-hour blocks were bad) There is rarely any homework and only reading and case studies to prepare before coming to class. Most of our grade assessment will come from our final exams only. EEEK! I’m sure panic will arise as we approach December!!
Hope this provides a small feel for the education program at Audencia! More to come later.