So far, school in France has been very different compared to in the United States. I noticed that the way classes operate is different from the 3 hours lectures with coffee breaks in between, to the coordinators vs professors teaching courses. The 3 hour lectures have been a bit of an adjustment for my attention span. I need to be engaged the whole time and at first I found it difficult, but now I’m more used to it so I find it more manageable. For the teaching methods, each business discipline has a coordinator and professors under them. Some courses are taught by the coordinator, who creates the lessons and lectures. Other courses are taught by professors who did not write the lessons, but just work in that discipline. I found that the teaching varies by professor and coordinator. I think I prefer coordinators than professors as they seem more aware of the content and requirements for the students.
There is also a large focus on case studies in all business courses. I feel like this is something very different from the courses taught at Pitt as they are a mix of theory and application. I enjoy working with case studies, which I hadn’t noticed before. There is also much more group work in my courses than at Pitt. I do not like group work because not everyone applies themselves the same way to the studies, so it can be challenging at times. However, I do know the value of group work for the social skills that one gains.
I have traveled a lot more in France and in Spain and Portugal since my last post. It has been wonderful to use my Spring Break and weekends to explore Europe more. The experiences I have had thus far have been incredible and unforgettable. I am thankful for this chance to experience and learn so much.