Feedback on the exchange program at the EDHEC Business School
Being a 3rd year student of IBS, I was lucky enough to participate in the exchange programme during the 18/19 spring semester in one of the leading French business schools — EDHEC Business School — which specializes in business, management and finances. The origins of this establishment go back to the campus near Lille which is the oldest one, and where I have studied.
My programme was called ‘International Business Track’ as a part of ‘Bachelor in Business Administration’ degree; therefore, there were regular French students studying along with numerous foreigners. I see it as a considerable benefit for a foreign student, especially if he studies French, as it is a much simpler and better way to dive in the cultural environment of a new country, and there are also more reasons to practice the language, which becomes even easier with native speakers among peers.
As for the courses, the great emphasis was placed on different managerial disciplines: strategic management, cross-cultural management, operations management, management in multinational corporation, corporate social responsibility. There was an opportunity to improve one’s knowledge of France and the EU in general: contemporary business and society in France, economic and administrational issues in the EU. Moreover, there was an opportunity to maintain English or improve French at the A2 and B1 levels. Apart from major courses, there were also minors, and every student had to choose between 3 topics: international entrepreneurship, international finances and international marketing. I was right to choose international entrepreneurship, as interesting and creative classes were in store for me.
The lessons were organized quite differently from what we were used to in Russia, as there was no habitual separation between lectures and seminars, but there were practical lectures during which the professor would give us some theoretical data and then the task that demanded to apply this knowledge we had received. Such approach was very fascinating, it would keep you focused and didn’t let you sit quietly doing nothing. Some particular attention was devoted to the teamwork because we had to make new teams with new members during the vast majority of the classes. Didn’t it only facilitate the process of acquaintance between students, but also challenged everyone in the cross-cultural settings, where we had to find a common ground, had to learn to hear and understand each other.
I would also like to note the professors and their methods of working with students. First things first, each and everyone of them had some serious practical background in the sphere he was teaching. What’s more, almost all of them would carry on running their own business or working in a multinational company while also being our professors. These people knew absolutely everything about the subject they were teaching, and it was impossible to doubt their knowledge and skills. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the majority of our professors were under 40, so they still were quite ambitious, resilient and looked at students with curiosity which would create a special light-hearted atmosphere during our classes as long as students were free to express themselves and weren’t scary of speaking up and making mistakes.
The campus deserves an honorable mention as well. It is compact yet contemporary, advanced and neat and is located in the richest commune of the entire Lille metropole — Croix, which is a peaceful and green place. On the territory of the campus there is a system available to every student via login/password and a student card. With the help of those instruments any student could benefit from the school’s services such as an application with private schedule and all academic issues, the 24/7 access to the printers and free boking of sport facilities (swimming pool, gym, squash room). All classes were well-equipped with computer and projectors and often didn’t have walls in the usual sense because instead of simple walls there were floor to ceiling whiteboards allowing students to be as much creative and free to express themselves as possible.
As my exchange programme was coming to an end, I began to envy my fellow colleagues from the Bachelor in Foreign Regional Studies, the most diligent of whom had the chance to go to China for a whole year, because I did not want this exciting adventure to be over. I gained invaluable experience and knowledge, and I was also lucky to dive deep in the rich and interesting life of a French student, merge with the locals and make several tourist trips around Europe.
I express my deep gratitude to the IBS and Olga Neklyudova for this incredible experience and unique opportunity to study in France.
Kurbatov Gleb, 4th IBS IR