I’m approaching the two-month mark in Marseille, and so far, I’ve had an incredible time here. I’ve settled into my new home well, experienced many new things, and been able to travel thanks to a two-week break. I’m currently writing this blog post on a FlixBus traveling from Porto to Lisbon. One amazing thing about Europe is how easy it is to travel because of how cheap the flights are. I’ve noticed it is very common for flights to cost less than trains, buses, and even Ubers to the airport. The last flight I took from Morocco to Portugal cost €9 on Ryanair! I can’t wait to continue to find cheap flights and visit as many countries as I can.
Back in Marseille, the 4 classes I am taking are keeping me busy. The classes are International Marketing, Corporate Strategy, Geopolitics, and French Language. As I mentioned in my last post, KEDGE is very different from what I’m used to at Pitt. The classes are run a little differently and the overall environment of the school feels foreign which I guess makes sense. In these classes, the ability to work and succeed in a team setting is crucial since they are all centered around group projects. Working in groups here has taken some adapting because it is different than what I’m used to. For example, in one class, the professor told us to make groups on our own outside of class and informed us we would not be given any time to work on the project in class. This is tough when you know no one and the class is primarily French students who tend to stick together. Luckily, I was able to ask around and find a group, but it was weird to me that even just finding a group for a project came with challenges. Also, for many other students, English isn’t their first language. Being able to work in an international setting is essential. Fortunately, through my time at Pitt and other study abroad experiences I am well prepared to work with people from around the world. Another necessary skill is time management. There’s a lot happening here at all times so it’s quite common for people to leave big projects until the very last minute. Being able to manage deadlines and start work early has saved me a lot of stress.
At KEDGE I’ve been able to leverage my Clifton Strengths to be successful. For example, as someone strong in the restorative theme I have been successful in tackling the many problems I’ve faced since being here both in and outside of the classroom. Despite being almost two months deep, my exchange program has only just begun, and I can’t wait to see what other unique experiences come my way.