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​Intercultural experience in three world-class campuses

Published on: 13-Jan-2020

Most undergraduate students would have the opportunity to study overseas in another country as part of their global immersion and exchange programme. 

But for the inaugural batch of EDHEC Global Business Track BBA students, it was a totally different experience as intercultural exposure is very much part of their curriculum. They spent one year of their undergraduate studies at EDHEC in Nice, France; another at UCLA Extension, United States; and the third and final year of their studies in Nanyang Business School (NBS), in Singapore.

The Global Business Track BBA is a unique undergraduate business degree programme designed for students seeking a highly international academic training in three world-class campuses. Upon completion of the programme, students will obtain the EDHEC International Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree as well as certificates from the respective host institutions.

We speak with two students on why they chose to embark on this unique programme and how they feel about Singapore and NBS.

COB EDHEC Student Representatives 0038ml.jpg COB EDHEC Student Representatives 0023ml.jpg
Laure Amouyal and Guillaume Erades share their experiences in NBS and Singapore.

Question: Why did you choose take up this programme?

Laure: After high school, I believed the best option for me was to enter a business school. At the same time, I wanted to travel. This programme, which allowed me to study in three prestigious universities in three different countries, seemed so interesting. Discovering their unique culture, way of teaching and student life of each country was thrilling. 

Guillaume: I took up this programme as I wanted to study abroad and to have experience overseas to prepare me for working abroad in the future. I also saw it as an opportunity to discover new places and new culture, as it was my first time leaving the European Union.

Question: Share with us your experiences in Singapore and NBS.

Laure: Singapore is so different from my home country; it was a blast to study here for a year. I was amazed by how the city runs so smoothly, how the high tech environment is mixed with rich verdant spaces. There is always something to do; activities are diverse and would satisfy every need: nature, shopping, beach, parties, culture. I discovered the culture of food courts where I could find so many food options everywhere in the city, it was awesome for the foodie I am. I also felt the safety in the everyday life that I couldn’t find anywhere else. 

Teachers at NBS are great and very helpful . The two persons-in-charge of our cohort were also very helpful in many ways, explaining us how the campus runs, where to find the resources we needed and always giving us information along the way.

Guillaume : It was really a great experience. It was my first time in Singapore and Asia in general. I was able to discover new cultures which I really like to do. We were also able to travel a lot in the surrounding countries. NBS was also very interesting as it is one of the best universities in the world. I was excited to see how studying here would differ from France and the USA and I really enjoyed it.

Question: What were the challenges you faced studying in NBS? What did you find most enriching?

Laure: I am very grateful for the teachers that taught us during our exchange at NBS. They taught us with passion, were always eager to help out and I found their method of teaching to be everything a student may wish for. The classes were diversified, fitted our programme and were challenging in the good way. 

The key challenges lay in the differences of teaching methods. A lot of participation is required in class. Group projects are also a requirement in every class which is great as it teaches us group work, something necessary for our future career. But it was also challenging to coordinate and complete the projects. The biggest group project was the Bachelor thesis – this was the most challenging project I undertook during my school years but I am so proud that my team and I got through it successfully. Working in partnership with a company, finding ideas, dividing work and bringing up an entire report was a real challenge but very rewarding at the end. 

I joined the Peer Helping Programme, a volunteering initiative started by the University Wellness Centre to promote mental health, positive habits and guide fellow students who needed a listening ear. It was a fulfilling experience and I got to meet local students and be part of the student community. I also joined a three-day seminar on mental health and psychology which it made me even more interested in this topic. This seminar and a class on talent management helped shape my career vision and I intend to enter the field of Human Resources upon the completion of my degree. 

Guillaume: The classes were more challenging than in the USA. The workload was enough to keep us occupied but not enough to be overwhelmed. What I really liked most was the teachers – they didn’t just give lectures but tried to make all of us participate through quizzes or through group activities, making the classes more interesting. 

Question: How would this programme add value to your education and professional career in future?

Laure: I believe this programme will be an asset for my career and will differentiate me from other business students. In four years, I have obtained three degrees from three different prestigious universities. I would also have completed three internships, which includes two six-month internships. I believe this work experience would be much appreciated by recruiters. I also had the chance to discover and experience different cultures, ways of living and methods of teaching of three countries. Over the course of my studies, I have met students from all over the world, inspiring teachers and professionals, who have shaped my understanding of the world, and formed strong relationships and friendships. 

Guillaume: The key differentiating factor would be that I have studied in three universities and have study certificates from all three. Most exchange students do not receive study certificate. We also had more opportunities to do internships – at least one year of professional experience abroad either in the US for an Optional Practice Training or here in Singapore. Finally, by being part of three universities, we are able to create a great network in three continents which is a major asset.

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