Ready for Rouen!

Hello everyone! My name is Stephen Bambury and I am a sophomore Accounting & Business Information Systems major, also pursuing a minor in English Literature and a Certificate in Business Analytics. Originally from Andover, Massachusetts, the strong campus community and beautiful city made me choose to come all the way to Pittsburgh for college. Here at Pitt, I am a member of the club rowing team and Phi Beta Lambda professional business organization.

In two weeks (!!!), I will be taking off from Boston for a semester-long exchange in Rouen, France. Rouen is the capital of Normandy, roughly 80 miles north-west of Paris and another 60 miles from the Normandy coast. While somewhat terrifying, I am slowly gearing up for the experience of a lifetime. My program is somewhat unique, so I feel a quick introduction is necessary.

I will be in an exchange program at NEOMA Business School in Rouen, meaning NEOMA “exchanges” students with Pitt for a semester or a full year. This means that there will be a student effectively taking my place in Pittsburgh next semester. This also means that I will be the only Pitt student in Rouen, something that is certainly a little intimidating. As the only student from my high school class that chose to attend Pitt, however, this is a situation I am used to and excited to relive in a different country.

NEOMA is an established university in Rouen, meaning that I will be taking classes with French students that attend the school full-time. This is one aspect that drew me to this program, as it offers an immersive experience not found in other programs. Immersion in the French culture, language, and cuisine is an important component of my study abroad experience, and this program is the perfect opportunity to find this.

It is difficult to determine exactly what I am hoping to get out of this adventure, but I chose to study abroad because it is an incredible opportunity I will probably not have at any other point in my life. Seriously, when else will I be able to drop everything…live in a French city for four months…with other people my age…who also happen to be excited to explore the world? When else will I have the resources and expertise of the Study Abroad Office helping me along every step of the way? Above all, how many people actually get the privilege of doing something like this? Not many, and I am incredibly grateful to have such an opportunity.

I am interested in comparing the various academic and cultural differences between French and American classrooms. In a professional sense, having awareness of different cultures is crucial in today’s increasingly globalized world. My hope is that this semester will give me soft skills applicable in my career, both after graduation and during my summer internships.

That’s all I have for now, but if you stick around you will be hearing a lot more about my adventures (and misadventures) throughout this journey. See you next time!