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My experience with European schooling, Pt 1.

April 21, 2010

So, with my major, International Business, I get to choose a language and then spend a year abroad – 6 months studying, 6 months doing an internship.  Before I go any further, let me clarify that this in no way compares to the typical “semester abroad” that you think of when you hear someone is studying in another country. For me, I came to France to be a resident, and to attend school and work as a French student would. Boy, what a ride it has been so far.

This was us Americans at our school. The only reason we are smiling is because we were almost done there haha

So, I want to start off with just a little summary of how my 6 months of studying went: sucky. Ok now that that’s out-of-the-way, let me give you the details: 14 courses, a different schedule every week, 7ish group projects, and 12 finals exams. Not to mention that everything was in French, and also that out of the 14 classes, I had already taken about 3 in the states. So you must be thinking, 14 classes? How does that transfer back to Northeastern, where you only have 4 classes a semester? Well great question! I still am not too sure. Basically, we (me and the other 14 Americans – yes Pia I count you as an American) thought only 4 classes would count before we came over, but then we were told they would all count (after 4 months of classes) and we all freaked out, but then we were told only about 6 would count. To recap – 4 count – we are ok, 12 count – we freak out, 6 count – we are happy but frustrated. Needless to say my program is very unorganized at the moment. So where I am right now is that I have 6 classes here counting for 5 classes at Northeastern.

My confused face

Confused yet? Good, we are on the same level. I was very disappointed with my schooling experience in Reims – I became a worse student while I was there, and I really feel like I wasted 6 months worth of studying. I clarify six months worth of studying because despite the schooling, I had fun in Reims. I met a TON of awesome people from all over Europe (plus Australia and China!) and I really plan on keeping in touch with everyone, and hopefully visiting them when I come back to Europe.  But the schooling – ugh. I was really looking forward to experiencing the French schooling, and I was ready to work hard. But school in Reims was just depressing, and working hard felt pointless – sad to say. First of all, having to take classes you KNOW you will never need is the worst – especially if you have to take the class twice! Then, for me, the quality of classes were just not very high. Most of the teachers just read from power points or handouts, and it made for very boring lectures. In fact, for one of my classes, I stopped going after the 3rd one, and still passed and did well, but that’s a story for later.

Anyways, we did other stuff instead of studying. Like this

and this

Chip whipping - just hitting chips with a towel

and this

Little Luau

The whole thing with repeating classes really go me though. It makes no sense to my why I had to take them. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t like I am complaining about having to take business related courses – I also had to take supply chain management  – which I will never use but I understand that in order to get a Business degree, I have to take general core business classes. But Social law? European law? European style accounting? And they don’t even count for me? Thinking about how much money I wasted on education at RMS makes me sick. And I haven’t even gotten to the grading system and how my exams went yet. But I have done enough ranting to get myself frustrated again, so I will leave this for another day!


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