Two students from GEM, Dyveke and Andrea, are currently studying business at Bentley University for a semester, an experience they both describe as “American, but with European aspects.” They are really enjoying their exchange in the United States, especially living on campus in Waltham, just a half an hour shuttle ride away from Boston.
When describing the exchange itself, both girls agreed that what really motivated them to put Bentley as their first choice was its location in the United States, an ideal place to practice their English particularly in a business context, Boston’s New England flair with high levels of American modernity, notably described as a place “filled with skyscrapers but big bricks like England,” and the numerous possibilities that an international experience in the States would bring them.
Although their expectations on what Boston would be like were pretty close to reality, the weather was definitely not however. Both girls agreed that there is a lot more snow in the Boston area than expected and that Boston was not as mild as Grenoble. However, another aspect that was not expected is a far more positive one. Dyveke mentioned the welcoming approach of Boston locals: “Locals were really helpful; they would just come and offer to help us on the street if we were lost.” Another positive aspect is the Boston city itself- it is very close to Harvard University, with good restaurants and shopping in the city centre, close to Harvard Square, all within the girls’ favorite shopping street, Newbury Street.
On campus life, both agree that there are similarities and differences to their school back in France. Andrea noted how there were a lot more student organizations and clubs at Bentley, but they were a lot smaller. “It was less official than at home,” she said. Dyveke also added: “Classes are very different too. In the US, you have to study everything far more in advance, with lots of frequent tasks versus the big exams in France.” There is definitely more emphasis placed upon weekly course work and participation than in end of term exams it seems. Both also mentioned how there was more personal work and less group work, and a more competitive environment between students. Besides more individual papers, participation, and weekly tasks though. Dyveke also said how classes were very engaging as a result- with students in their classes giving constant feedback within lectures and avidly participating in classroom discussions.
The Waltham lifestyle is unquestionably an interesting experience for both girls. While Andrea lives in an apartment, Dyveke lives in a suite. Both options have their differences. While Dyveke may not have her own kitchen, she often goes to the dining hall with her meal plan, and meets many other students for “eating there is the social thing.” Andrea, on the other hand, has her own kitchen and often cooks together with her roommates, not needing to buy any extra meal plans. The restaurants in Waltham are pretty feasible as well, as they have student discounts and a lively, student atmosphere. Both girls agree, however, that no matter where you are at Bentley, you are bound to encounter other international students, from Indians to Chinese, South Americans to Europeans and Australians, and many more.
As to what they can take out of the entire Bentley experience, both have several things to say. To them, Bentley is an enriching and international experience where one really gets to learn about other cultures and customs and improve one’s English at the same time. The girls are definitely learning a lot, on both a cultural and personal level. While Bentley demonstrates an American way of life, it certainly also shows some European aspects, making the city an ideal environment to visit, explore, and study in.
Speaking of exploring, when discussing their plans for after the exchange, the girls both want to explore other main cities in the US for 30 days before going back home, particularly San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle for 30 days. They are certainly thriving in their exchange and fully taking advantage of their student visas to really gain a grasp and feel for the diverse states that the US is made up of.
Both girls agree that, to fully benefit from the Bentley experience and all the student opportunities the campus has to offer, living on campus in Waltham is the best choice. It is easier to make friends, meet people, eat and socialize with them, and get involved with student life, enhancing the entire exchange experience, with the grand city of Boston just half an hour away.
Interview and write up completed by Karicia Quiroz.
How to get there? Buses leave from Chinatown every day. We recommend the Lucky Star company, its very cheap tickets are being sold online on gotobus.com ($30 for a return ticket on average). Hotels are relatively cheap as well, we got a room for $25 each at the 40Berkeley hotel.
I want to use this post to publicize a blog that is being written by some 25 students from my school, who are currently studying finance in New York. The students have gone up there for one semester to study a program that we jointly set up with Pace University to give them the ins and outs of finance in the USA, and also to show them some of the best practices of working in the United States.
I have a wonderful colleague, Lisa Jane Perraud, who works for the Careers Service at my school and has done great job over the past few years. However, this week even she has surpassed herself with this photo! She is currently in New York with 25 students from my school that are studying finance. Lisa Jane has been working extremely hard over the past 2 months to organize a marathon week of company visits (the students will have had 13 in a week!)
We have been literally wowed by this first class! January 23rd was our first day as American college students at Pace University. We, the 25 students in Finance from the GEM Transcontinental program, were put in a class amongst 28 Marketing students from BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway. These students spend their final year of their Bachelor’s degree studying at Pace University, meaning they had been studying here since September 2012.
Well, here I am, stuck in my hotel room near Paris-Orly… Going round and round in circles… Pacing up and down… 23h57… Having a look one more time at my flight schedule… 7h05… As it already was 1 hour ago, a day ago, a week ago or even a month ago…!! I know it too god damn well… 7h05… It is letting me four more hours of sleep before taking the large, for real this time… But I’m feeling too exited to just even think about going to sleep now !!
Tomorrow is the day, I am leaving for New York City! I always have the same feeling when I leave: a lot of excitement mixed with a dash of stress. What I hate the most is packing my suitcase, which I haven’t done yet…
I’m glad to write the first post on the Transcontinental program that will take place in New York City, US during the 2nd semester of year 2012/2013.
I am one of several people that will co-write this blog with a view to give you more insight into the Transcontinental program in New York. My name’s Aurélien Mauro, I’m 22 and I am a 2nd Year student at Grenoble Ecole de Management. Up to now, I used to be in the English Track program. The Transcontinental program is called by the school administration a “relocated English Track program”: it’s a program that was created by the school but abroad, in partners universities.
PACE University Grenoble EM ESC Grenoble GGSB Strategy Blog Global Ed International Affairs in Higher Education Business School Mark Thomas