I didn’t know what to expect before I came to Nice, but there were a few things I hoped would be true. For one, I hoped my university would be at an appropriate level for me. From everything I had read online, SKEMA is one of the top-ranked business schools in France. With this in mind, I was prepared for a heavy work load involving long hours of studying. However, I have found that the workload is much lighter here. During classes at SKEMA, we work on group projects during most of my classes and have engaging lectures with a lot of participation from the students. This low-stress work environment allows me to learn without worrying about having to sacrifice sleep to get the grades I want. Although the workload is lighter than at Pitt, I feel I am learning more practical skills through our numerous group projects. I am also lucky to be taking classes with students from all over the world who bring their own unique perspectives to class discussions.
From a professional standpoint, I hoped studying abroad would help me gain a competitive edge when I enter the workforce (and maybe meet some future business partners). Here are a few things that might help me stand out:
- I have completed projects dealing with real-world problems, with the help of marketing tools including Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
- I am working with people of various backgrounds and cultural differences and building relationships with them.
- I am learning to be more patient, adaptable, and a better communicator overall.
I expected to grow in a personal sense, and I am already growing in more ways than I could have known. Here are a few things I’m learning while in France and traveling to other countries:
- How to navigate a new city when Google Maps fails you (and how to stay calm when getting lost).
- Learning to speak up and ask for help, clarification, or directions in English and French.
- How to grow comfortable being alone in a new city.
- Being patient with people and patient when it comes to traveling and waiting for public transportation.
- Learning get creative with cooking, because I can’t run to Chipotle when I want a hearty meal.
- Structuring my time and knowing when I need a break.
- Getting used to a different pace of life (and learning that most people walk at about one-eighth of the speed of New Yorkers).
Studying abroad in Nice, France is allowing me to learn and grow as a person, and to fully immerse myself in the culture. I have met so many amazing people so far who are opening my eyes to new perspectives. As I have always believed, the people really make the place.