As well as a broad range of Combined Honours programmes involving French over the standard 4-year course of a degree (5, if you undertake an English Language Assistantship), French at Stirling also happens to be home to an integrated Masters programme in International Management and Intercultural Studies with our partner institution, the Ecole de Management in Strasbourg. This is a 5-year programme and, for students starting in Stirling, involves a semester of Study Abroad in 3rd year and then a full year in Strasbourg to complete the Master Grande Ecole in Year 5.
Claire Wright is one of our students who is currently in Strasbourg for the year, taking full advantage of all the opportunities available through a partnership with one of Europe’s most prestigious business schools:
‘I cannot emphasise enough the return on investment you will receive from studying abroad. In the increasingly globalised world that we live in, young people, like myself, are constantly reminded about the pace of change and the dynamics of cross-cultural collaboration. We live in exciting times as this change brings enormous opportunities to grow and develop as young global talent. By immersing ourselves in other cultures, we become aware of other people, aware of alternative views and more aware of ourselves.
Stirling University’s unique integrated Masters in International Management and Intercultural Studies is perfectly fitting to today’s environment. Having the opportunity to study abroad in Mexico in third year, as well as further pursue a 5th year at EM Strasbourg France, to obtain a Master Grande Ecole degree, does not compare to staying local. At least for me, anyway, as I am always looking for a new challenge.
To cut to the chase, if you put the work in, you will reap the benefits of the course that Sitrling Uni offers. For me, this hard work has paid off. Particularly, having the opportunity to live and breathe the eclectic mix of French and German cultures in the heart of Europe has exposed me to the richness and multicultural diversity that the EU boasts.
From visits to the parliament to participate in mock debates to listening to the perspectives of guest speakers from the WTO, my horizons have been widened. I now think in ways that I never could have imagined and I always look beyond the immediate situation. You cannot learn this stuff, you just need to be exposed to it. Even if it is in the form of organised wine tasting sessions at France’s biggest wine exporter’s HQ.
To my surprise, my biggest challenge of all was not actually working in international teams at university, but was, in fact everyday interactions with French people. During my first few weeks, I found it a real struggle to get along with French people on a daily basis. But, I was determined to crack them. I even bought a book. It was ironic as in contrast to my experience in Mexico, where the culture is obviously different, French culture just seemed so much more difficult to master. Over time, however, I have learned to love the peculiarities, and, of course the rich culture of cheese and wine.
Overall, this experience has not only equipped me for a career in international business, but it has enriched me as a culturally sensitive individual. Gaining insight from industry experts has opened my eyes to the reality of the business world, preparing me to cultivate my future and become a global talent. This is complemented by my exposure to all things francophone, and my daily cooperation with the 12 different nationalities that are on my course. Not only that, but I have gained an ever growing international network and have made life long international friends. Speaking languages are just a bi-product of these soft skills that you will acquire through studying such a dynamic course and putting yourself out there.
We’re looking forward to hearing where life will take Claire after she graduates later this year.