Monday, June 11, 2012
Business Badgers Abroad Blog
Name, year in school, major?
Hi everybody! My name is Garrett Craig and I just finished my junior year while abroad here in Paris. I am majoring in marketing and finance and I am pursuing a Certificate in French Studies.
Where will you be studying abroad?
After already spending the spring 2012 semester studying at l'École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP-Europe) in Paris, France, I am happily staying for a couple more months to take summer classes. I made the decision to stay for summer at the eleventh hour, but thankfully International Programs and ESCP were accommodating and able to help make it happen.
How did you choose this country?
Ever since I participated in an exchange trip in high school with a student from southern France, I knew I wanted to return in college as part of a study abroad program. Luckily, I had the means to do so. I have studied French since seventh grade, and although I couldn’t explain why I chose French originally, I am glad that I did. The country has a wealth of culture and history that I don’t think can be matched by any other study-abroad destination.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
It was hard to know what to expect to gain from an experience as out of the ordinary as studying abroad, but I did go into the program hoping to improve and become more confident in my French language skills. This much I’ve already accomplished. Apart from that, I hoped to make some lifelong memories, meet people from across the globe, travel to places I’d never even imagined I’d go, and just immerse myself in the country’s culture and history.
How do you see this study-abroad experience affecting your future goals?
After a semester abroad, I can say that the experience has made me want to seek work that will expose me to people from around the world. Making friends from throughout Europe and South America has quite possibly been the most rewarding part of this experience, and it’s changed the way I view myself and my life. Seeing the work ethic and the intelligence of these international students has humbled me and made me want to work harder to earn the kind of living I imagine for myself. I think we Americans are a little complacent with our standing in the world—going to school with Europe’s top business students has been a bit of a wakeup call.
What are you most excited about seeing or experiencing while living abroad?
Before I made the decision to study abroad, an older cousin of mine who is married with three kids told me he’s always regretted not going through with his plan to study abroad in college. He felt like he missed out on a really valuable experience. With a little over two months left in Paris, I really hope that when I leave, I can just say that I have no regrets. In my remaining time, I’m just looking forward to continuing to travel, continuing to improve my French, and meeting a whole new group of exchange students.