Exchange students from Germany reminisce on their semester abroad at FIU.

Munich Students at FIU
(l. to r.): Exchange students Sebastian Greiner, Martin Faymann; FIU International Student Affairs coordinator Lisa-Gaye Shakespeare, students Amandine Matthe, Joseph Schuster and Hanna Hauschild.

Thousands of miles from freezing cold temperatures in Munich, Germany, five exchange students from Munich Business School traveled to hot, sunny Florida for a study abroad experience they will not forget.

They came through FIU College of Business’ Office of International Affairs & Projects’ inbound study program. Historically offered during the summer, the non-degree-seeking program was offered for the first time during the spring semester, allowing students to experience the FIU campus in full swing.

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The warm weather was very welcoming, but after setting foot on campus, Joseph Schuster was shocked. Coming from a three-story school in Munich, “I couldn’t believe how ‘ginormous’ the campus was,” he said. While the exchange students did get lost during the first week, international student ambassadors from the Office of International Affairs & Projects in the College of Business stepped in and showed them around campus.

Once settled in, they quickly formed bonds with FIU students from all over the world. Making connections was almost effortless, especially in this age of social media.

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“There’s a Facebook group and a WhatsApp group specifically for FIU’s international students and we met so many cool people.” said Amandine Matthe, who is originally from Belgium. “I loved it!”

Getting involved is the best strategy.

The students made the most of their experience and got involved. They participated in events that their resident assistants planned, like chicken and waffles night, and went paintballing with their international student ambassadors. One memorable experience for Amandine and fellow student Hanna Hauschild was attending the Miss Universe rehearsals. “It was so cool getting to see the actual event in person,” said Hanna. “Definitely an experience I’ll never forget,” said Amandine.

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The boys of the group were more interested in sports and went to basketball games and played soccer. They also engaged in off campus activities, which Martin Faymann enjoyed even more. “I went to all the dual degree events like the Miami city bus tour, the zoo and the trip to the Everglades,” he said.

Amidst all the fun and activities, they adjusted to the academics relatively easily. They all agreed that their Financial Risk Management class taught by Professor Vinh Huy Nguyen was the hardest class, but they really enjoyed it. “Financial Risk Management was great!” said Sebastian Greiner. “I learned a lot about trading and it was so much fun.”

The most common words students used to sum up their study abroad experience: “unforgettable”, “mind-blowing” and “awesome.”

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Lisa-Gaye Shakespeare is student services coordinator at the Office of International Affairs and Projects, FIU College of Business. FIU graduate and undergraduate students can also explore studying abroad at Munich Business School, or any other international partner institution in over 27 countries, through the Office of International Affairs & Projects. For more information on the College of Business’ inbound study programs for non-degree-seeking students, please contact the Office of International Affairs & Projects in the College of Business at (305) 348-4825 or visit their website at intldualdegree.fiu.edu.

About Lisa-Gaye Shakespeare

Lisa-Gaye Shakespeare is the Program Coordinator in the Office of International Affairs & Projects (IAP) at the College of Business at Florida International University. Ms. Shakespeare is responsible for coordinating all international dual degree business student programs and activities, provides individual student services and supervises the international student ambassador program. Lisa also writes and publishes articles for IAP and develops and maintains public and social media communication for the department.

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