Tag: ESSEC

Welcome to our Erasmus Students!

Not all the French and Francophone exchange students who come to Stirling from our network of partners take modules run by the French at Stirling team but we’re always really pleased to welcome them to Stirling and will be inviting them along to a range of events over the course of the semester.

This year, at last count, we have 24 exchange students coming from 11 different French Universities, business schools and grandes écoles with whom we have long-standing partnerships: the Universités de Limoges, Aix-Marseille, Clermont Auvergne, Lorraine and Perpignan, the IUT de Sceaux (Paris Sud), Sciences Po, the Ecoles de Management of Strasbourg and Normandie, ESSEC in the outskirts of Paris and the Université Catholique de l’Ouest. We’re looking forward to getting to know these students over the course of their time at Stirling and, this year, we’re particularly pleased to be giving some of them a chance to led informal conversation sessions with our Stirling-based students.

Who knows? We may even be able to convince a few of them to write blog posts about their time in Scotland…

Advertisements

Erasmus at ESSEC: Food, Travel and… Economics in French

Almost the end of our Spring semester’s teaching (only a week to go…) and time for another account of Erasmus travels. This time from current final year student, Iida Friman, who will be graduating in French and Human Resource Management in June, and who spent her Semester Abroad just outside Paris at the ESSEC business school:

“With the student body organising differently themed fairs in the grand hall nearly every day, enormous student parties in exclusively rented night clubs every week, and varying yet time after time more astonishing monthly events, ESSEC does not fail to impress an Erasmus student.

Situated in the relatively new suburb town of Cergy Pontoise, ESSEC belongs to Parisian transit zone 5 and is thus fairly easy to get to. A one-hour bus drive to the airport of Charles de Gaulle and a 40 minute train ride to the centre of Paris made it super easy to get to places, which made up to the fact that besides the university, Cergy itself does not have a lot to offer. Because of the easiness to catch a flight or a train even with a short notice, I spent evenings exploring Paris and most of my weekends traveling around France. I especially loved the South coast of France, where I spent four weekends visiting my friends and seeing numerous towns from Nice (and Monaco) to Six-Fours-des-Plages and Marseille.

2016 Friman Six-Fours-les-Plages

Having heard about ESSEC’s good reputation well before starting the exchange, I expected the workload to be much heavier than what it is in Stirling. When I started my courses, however, I soon realised that the amount of work itself was not much higher but the nature of teaching varied enormously. All courses consisted of three contact hours per week, which depending on the module were either lectures, more seminar-like classes, or a mixture of both. There was not a lot of homework to be done in between the classes; for some courses it was a few economic calculations, for others a weekly blog post. Nevertheless, the classes themselves were interactive with a lot of group exercises, presentations and guest speakers, and students made a much bigger contribution to the overall teaching than what I’ve experienced in Stirling. The biggest challenge for me was the length of the classes: 3 hours can feel like an eternity, especially if you are not fully understanding the economic functions explained in French. I still wonder how did the French students stay focused for the full duration of the class, I know I struggled.

2016 Friman River Seine by night

On their web page, ESSEC states that they follow a strategy of three I’s; innovation, involvement, internationalisation. Starting from the last, being an exchange student and getting to know students from all around the world and furthermore hearing about the exchange periods and internships that were included in the French students’ degrees made it clear how important internationalisation is for ESSEC. Internationalisation did not only show in the variety of students and their opportunities abroad, but there were always some international guests and lecturers visiting the campus, and even the daily themes of the fairs in the grand hall included things like ‘food of the world’ –buffets, international career conferences and cultural performances. The numerous events also demonstrate what can be done with innovation and involvement, since all of the events we took part in were organised by the students. During the day there were crazy dance offs, bouncy castles or free manicures and haircuts in the grand hall, and during the night the students organised exclusive students parties in privately hired nightclubs nearby, to and from which they had organised bus transportation to ensure everyone got home safe. In addition, about once a month there was a bigger event, which varied from weekend trips to the biggest university sport tournament in Europe and fancy galas with fashion shows. Needless to say, the level of innovation and determination with which the French students organised these events left me amazed.”

2016 Friman ESSEC gala

Thanks to Iida for this blog post and best wishes for the future following graduation!

Erasmus Impressions of Stirling

As well as an international group of Stirling-based students, we also have a wide range of Study Abroad partnerships which mean, firstly, that the vast majority of our students spend their Semester 6 on Study Abroad and, secondly, that we also welcome students from many of our partner institutions to Stirling, either for a semester or, in many cases, for a full academic year. These partnerships are with a wide range of institutions across France (from Aix-Marseille to Tours via Sciences-Po, Perpignan, EMS in Strasbourg, ESSEC in Cergy, Nancy, Limoges, Clermont-Ferrand and Caen), Switzerland (Geneva), Quebec (Laval) and Morocco (Rabat) and we add new partnerships to our network as often as possible.

Not all students visiting from our partner institutions necessarily end up taking classes within French at Stirling – they often take advantage of modules in areas specifically related to aspects of Scottish life, culture and history – but this semester, we happen to have a relatively large group of Erasmus students taking our final semester core language module. We thought it’d be good to get their perspective on life at Stirling so thanks to Audrey Aliphat for the following:

“My name is Audrey, I’m French and come from Limoges. I study English back home at the Université de Limoges and, thanks to my university, I’ve been able to take part in the Erasmus programme. A year ago, I chose to study abroad for a semester so I looked at all the destinations on offer. I wanted to discover a new country in the UK so I chose to go to Scotland. I went to Stirling’s website to learn more about it and I was fascinated by the environment around the university and all the courses that were available. My choice was approved and I started to plan my travel to Stirling.

2016 Aliphat campus loch Mar

When I left France it was hard because it was the first time that I was leaving for so long and so far away from home. But when I arrived in Scotland I had a (pleasant) surprise: the people were smiling, kind and welcoming. The landscape around is magnificent with those mountains around. When I arrived in Stirling it was snowing and it was really beautiful.

2016 Aliphat snowy Scotland Mar

Classes in this big university started in January and I discovered a brand new way to study. Fewer hours than back home but many resources to work with, a library and tutors and even online resources via the University website. There is a lot of work to do but teachers and tutors are always here to help, and especially for international students which is really comforting. In the university itself, we can also find everything we need, from groceries to books. A lot of associations and a big sports complex are available on campus too.

I’m staying off campus in the Union Street residence and at first I thought it could be annoying to not be on campus. But ultimately I’m five minutes from the city centre and close to shops and the train station. In my flat we are all international students and I’m lucky to have them because I learn about their countries but also as a non-native English speaker I learn new things like vocabulary or traditions.

I’ve been here since January and I haven’t done half of what the university offers. But I really think that this is a perfect place to study abroad for foreign students.”

We hope Audrey continues to enjoy her semester with us and we look forward to welcoming more students from our partner institutions over the years ahead.

French at Stirling News Round-Up

Another new semester is well underway with lots of French-related news to report…

Welcome, first and foremost, to our new intake of Year 1 students – whether you’re starting from our ‘Advanced’ stream or in our Beginners’ classes, whether you’re here to study French with Human Resource Management or Education, with Spanish or Mathematics, with English or with Business Studies, welcome to Stirling! And a particular welcome to those of you here as part of our double degree partnership in International Management and Intercultural Studies with the University of Passau – we hope you enjoy your year in Scotland!

On the staff front, following the retirement of our former Language Assistant Bernadette Corbett, we’re delighted to welcome Mathilde Mazau to French at Stirling. Mathilde previously worked at the University of Glasgow and will be teaching spoken and written language classes across all years of our undergraduate programmes, working alongside Brigitte Depret.

And welcome back, of course, to our Year 4 students returning from Study Abroad, readjusting to life in Stirling after a semester at Sciences Po in Paris, in Perpignan, Limoges, Clermont-Ferrand or elsewhere, and to Year 3 students coming back after a year on the British Council’s English Language Assistantship scheme! As ever, a new group of Stirling students are about to embark on a year as English Language Assistants as part of the British Council-run scheme so best of luck to them and we look forward to hearing about your year when you come back. We’ve also got around 20 students waiting to find out in the next week where they’ll be spending their Semester Abroad in Spring 2016…

Following on from an extremely interesting workshop organised by our Language Coordinator Jean-Michel DesJacques and led by Petra McLay of SCILT focusing on the transition from Higher French to University French just before the start of semester, we have a whole range of French-related events to look out for over the coming weeks and months.

The Africa in Motion Film Festival – founded by former French at Stirling PhD student, Lizelle Bisschoff – celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and the packed programme of events (screenings, exhibitions, concerts and much more) can be found here.

As part of the Division of Literature and Languages’ regular research seminar series, we’re particularly looking forward to two papers by colleagues from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Glasgow later in the semester. Ed Welch (Aberdeen) will be giving a talk entitled ‘Image, Imagination and Power: Visualising Urban Futures in Post-war France’ on 25 November and Jackie Clarke (Glasgow) will give a paper entitled ‘Consumer Culture in Post-war France’ on 2 December.

And our own Bill Marshall will be giving a paper on 21 October on ‘The Uses of Prehistory’, developing work he conducted during his recent research leave, a project for which he has also been awarded funding via a British Academy Small Research Grant with a Stirling workshop coming up over the next few months. Bill’s success as one of the joint recipients of the Prix du Québec from the British Association of Canadian Studies will also enable him to go to Montreal in early 2016 to conduct research for an edited book on Quebec Cinema: Texts and Contexts, and on Quebec bande dessinée for an article on images in that medium of the First French Empire.

French Programme Director Cristina Johnston and her Spanish counterpart, Ann Davies, have been successfully awarded Cohort Development Funding by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities for a series of workshops aimed at Modern Languages PhD students on ‘Writing for an Interdisciplinary Audience’. The workshops will take place at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Stirling and Glasgow, involving colleagues from all those partner institutions. More details will follow in due course.

Stirling staff remain as active as ever in giving papers and keynotes at various locations throughout the UK and well beyond. David Murphy is giving a seminar on ‘The Performance of Pan-Africanism’ at the University of Edinburgh in November 2015 and Bill Marshall will be delivering a keynote lecture at the World Cinema and Television in French conference at the University of Cincinnati in September 2016. Bill will also be giving the annual Christianson Lecture at University of Bristol in March 2016. Elizabeth Ezra will be introducing and leading a discussion with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet at St Andrews University in October 2015 and has been invited to give a talk in November at the University of Aberdeen on her forthcoming book, The Cinema of Things. And Jean-Michel DesJacques continues to represent Stirling at regular UCMLS meetings throughout the year.

Following the successful EIAE Conference in Glasgow earlier this month, we’re also continuing to look at our range of Study Abroad partner institutions with a view to expanding our network. In this context, we were delighted to welcome colleagues from the Ecole de Management de Strasbourg to our campus, as well as colleagues from our partners ESSEC at Cergy and the Ecole de Gouvernance et d’Economie in Rabat and we’re looking forward to welcoming Annie Birks (Université Catholique de l’Ouest) in October to give a paper to our Translation students.

We’re also really looking forward to finding out more about our students’ French Society events for the coming year and will be posting more about them over the weeks and months ahead. And there’ll be plenty of events organised for French students coming up too, including a get-together for future and returning Study Abroad students from Stirling as well as visiting French and Francophone exchange students, and an employability event organised by Frances Sessford from Publishing Studies with a range of participants talking about what to do with a degree in Languages.

And last but not least, on the teaching front, we’ve got option modules running this year in French Crime Fiction, Quebec Cinema, The French Atlantic Slave Trade and the Cinema of the Fantastic and, for the first time, we’re offering an option module in Translation Theory at Honours level. French at Stirling staff will also be contributing teaching to a range of Stirling TPG courses including Translation Studies, Translation with TESOL, Gender Studies and our Film Studies programme.

Lots more news and updates to follow!