New Beginnings

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Hi! My name is Jo Vidic and I am a junior this year at Pitt. I am studying Marketing as well as Sociology and French. I chose the exchange program in Rouen, France as it is a country I have always wanted to visit and a language I wish to get better at. I have been learning French for a couple years now, and I know living in France would be my next step to improving my language abilities even more. I also believe in traveling and learning how other countries view concepts like business and language. I think traveling will further open my mind and growth within myself in ways I have been really wishing for since before the pandemic began. My goals during this program include this inner growth and experience in different situations and meeting different people.

I am attending NEOMA Business School in Rouen, France. This is in the north of France, about an hour and a half from Paris. The school culture is very different from Pitt though I notice more similarities everyday. I have noticed a different approach to business classes than in Pitt. It seems in NEOMA, they look at everything in reference to other cultures and countries. Pitt also does this, but there is a much deeper look into our domestic market than in France. It’s interesting to see how frequently professors and students look to the United States’ market, for good and bad. My neighborhood is very different in Rouen than in Pittsburgh. I live in South Oakland and have done so for many years so I was used to a busy and loud environment. It was even comforting. Now it seems eerily quiet in this French neighborhood that is next to the school. I live in a dorm by myself here which I have never done before. This alone has been a huge learning curve as I don’t have people around me who I can talk to when I’m home, though I do generally like making all the rules in my place. Finally, I feel I have adapted well to my new environment considering it was much more different than I anticipated. Rouen feels familiar now and I feel comfortable walking the streets and speaking in French as well, so I would say the adaptation is happening!