September 20, 2016
By Nayah James
Dominican has had a long-standing partnership with the EM Strasbourg International Business Study Abroad program in France, thanks to the Brennan School of Business. Strasbourg is located in the heart of Europe and is the home of International Study Abroad student Clemence Plantin.
The initial partnership, dating back to the 1980’s, was all thanks to the work of Professor of Management Molly Burke. The program was suspended in 2009 but successfully re-established in 2014 by Burke and, Director of Undergraduate Programs and Budgets, Andrea Leinweber.
Leinweber stated that Plantin is their first student from France since 2010.
The exchange program sends two students to France and accepts two from France for either one or two semesters.
According to Leinweber, there are three pathways for business students as they only have one opportunity to study abroad. The students can study abroad for one year, one semester or participate in one of the two highly competitive summer programs.
“In these four-week sessions, students are exposed to French language, culture and education,” Leinweber said.
This being her first time in the U.S., Plantin came with only two pieces of luggage. The Brennan School of Business paid for her basic personal necessities.
When asked about what her traveling experience felt like, Plantin said, “Two weeks before coming I panicked, but during my flight I had to just deal with it.”
Plantin is a marketing major and wants to pursue negotiations and customer relationships. She will be attending Dominican for a total of nine months. Plantin should be a graduate student but, because of a credit equivalency issue, was enrolled as a senior.
She noticed a connection in ethos between Strasbourg and Dominican right away.
“We have a bad view of the U.S. in France, that is true but I knew Dominican was the perfect place,” Plantin said. “It’s a small university and I wanted to experience not getting lost in a crowd of people. There were three important values Strasbourg and Dominican shared: diversity, sustainable development and ethics in a large sense.”
The structure of college, especially the workload, seems to be very different in France.
“In the U.S. there is much more courses, taking three a week, but in France we only take one course for the entire year and our course is applied to real-life situations,” Plantin said.
She also stressed that in France, the typical college experience is much larger.
“In France you’re a number not a name, there’s hundreds of students in the class and no cares if you’re not there,” Plantin said.
Another major difference was that the students and departments are much more divided.
“Our faculties are located in different buildings across the city, and you’re not in courses with students of different majors or different levels you will only be with the people of your grade,” Plantin said.
So far her first U.S. experience is great on campus. One of her favorite spots on campus is the Priory chapel and, in the future, she would like to join the OLA Latin dance team as well as travel more in the U.S. to places like New Orleans.
As for the Brennan School of Business and the EM Strasbourg exchange program, Leinweber eventually wants to have a fall and spring program for students with a Bachelor’s in European Management to continue into the summer and complete an internship while in France.