Preparing for Nice, France


Bonjour! My name is Cara and I am in currently in my junior year of school. I am studying Marketing while pursuing minors in French and Creative Writing. At Pitt, I am an active member of Women in Business and I am a peer French tutor through the French club.

I have been studying French since sixth grade, and I have continued to take French classes because I love the language and culture. By this point, I have grown comfortable reading and writing in French, as I have had a lot of practice with these skills as part of my coursework. When it comes to conversing in the language, I am still hesitant to speak. The best way to improve my speaking skills is to immerse myself in the language by living in a French-speaking country. Starting at the beginning of January, I will be studying abroad on the IES Abroad program in Nice, where I hope to gain the language experience I could not gain in the United States. I also hope to do some traveling around Europe while abroad.

I chose this program because it is a direct enrollment program in SKEMA Business School. The classes on this particular study abroad program are made up of local French students, as well as students from a range of countries. My coursework abroad will allow me to learn more about different topics in marketing and to take general business classes as well. Many of the classes offered on the program are not available at Pitt, so I will have an opportunity to challenge myself by taking an array of new classes alongside an international group of peers. I will be taking International Marketing, Digital Marketing, Brand Management, History and Culture of France, and Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.

This program relates directly to my academic and professional goals. After graduation, I would love to work internationally. I am comfortable working with people from different cultures, and I especially want to gain a deeper understanding of the French culture and customs.

This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to live and work abroad. I spent two months studying and interning in Sydney, Australia, through Pitt’s Global Business Institute. While in Sydney, I worked with people who had lived and worked in other countries including New Zealand, Croatia, Japan, and Peru. Being in a diverse workplace and conversing with my coworkers helped me gain different perspectives and learn about other cultures. I was also able to observe how my coworkers communicated with each other and how they approached problems, which often differed greatly from my own approaches.

In studying abroad in France, I hope to gain experience that will help me prepare to potentially have a career abroad one day. I am excited to go to France, meet new people, travel, and grow personally as well as academically and professionally. I went to the French Consulate earlier today to get my visa, so now I am all set to go to Nice.