Viva la France! So exclaimed the 36 students who journeyed to Paris this March as part of a study abroad program coordinated by the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
With an itinerary as rich as Paris itself, the jam-packed visit focused in equal parts on the business and cultural aspects of France.
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“This was definitely an educational trip,” said Doreen Gooden, instructor, Department of Management and International Business, and faculty leader for this program. “The students participated in morning lecture sessions held at the École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieure, a top business school in Paris, where they gained insights into European culture as well as European and French market entry strategies and management styles.”
The students also toured the offices of IBM France; the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the International Chamber of Commerce.
Gooden noted that valuable international business connections were made during the International Chamber of Commerce visit, at which students were invited to volunteer at a conference being held in Miami later this year.
Students visit cultural landmarks, too.
During their eight-day stay in Paris, the students visited the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles. They also went on a guided tour of the Montmarte quarter, seeing sights such as the Place du Tertre, the Cathedral Sacre Coeur, and the Dali Museum.
One trip can change your life—and career goals.
The Paris trip motivated Leila Rusciani, currently a marketing and management major, to change her major—to international business.
“While I’ve traveled extensively before, including to Paris, I came home from this trip with a totally different point of view,” Rusciani said. “I am redefining my career goals, as I realized that I want to pursue job opportunities that allow me to travel as much as I can. Study abroad trips like this really help me hone my skill set. What’s more, although those of us on the trip come from different backgrounds, we developed a bond that we can leverage to build friendships and business connections.”
Ayman Al-Abdullah, who is working toward a dual major in finance and accounting, feels that the trip helped him see beyond French stereotypes—and opened his eyes to broader career possibilities.
“We really delved into the culture of the city and learned so much,” he said. “Plus, we met with business professionals who have successfully made the transition to living and working in Europe. I think every student—regardless of major—should consider participating in a study abroad program.”