I’m a couple of weeks into my Marseille study abroad experience and I’m happy to say I’m settling in nicely. I’m able to navigate the city well using public transportation and my classes are going well. KEDGE Business School, the school I’m studying at is very different than the American university experience I’m used to. It reminds me a lot of high school which I can’t say I was expecting. Everything is in one large building and since the student population is relatively low it seems like everyone knows everyone. This dynamic threw me off at the beginning of classes because of the way group projects are handled. Typically, what I’m used to at Pitt is being assigned groups or being given time to make groups in class. Since everyone knows everyone, the professors expect us to be able to form groups outside of class. This is tough when it’s the first day of class and you are in a room full of primarily French students. Luckily, I found some other exchanges to group up with, but this way of forming groups certainly took me by surprise. There are other differences that I will talk about throughout my blogs, but for now, I want to focus on some of my goals here.
Academically, I want to learn new approaches to tackling business problems. I’ve noticed the French approach to business is a little bit different than what I’m used to. Taking advantage of my exposure to new business methods will help me gain a deeper understanding of the business world. To achieve this goal, I’m going to make sure I attend every class and try my best to stay focused. This sounds pretty easy but classes here are over 3 hours which is much longer than I’m used to. My attention span isn’t great, but I will do everything in my power to stay focused. Additionally, I plan to talk to my professors outside of class and take advantage of their business experience. Professionally, I want to make as many connections as I can. The older I get and the more experience I gain, the more I realize how important connections are. The great thing about being in Europe is that I can connect with people from around the world. I will achieve this goal by going out of my way to talk to people and making LinkedIn my preferred social media platform. Personally, my goal is to travel. It’s common to see flights out of Marseille for under €10 and my plan is to go wherever the cheap flights take me.