I was so excited when I learned that there is an AUD Global Seminar Summer Program available in Paris with one of my favorite AUD professors. As an aspiring AUD Business major, there was no way for me to miss out on this wonderful opportunity so I signed up and participated in this two-week summer program in Paris at one of AUD’s partner universities – IESEG School of Management.
I applied for the summer program because I wanted to experience a diverse educational setting for a short period of time because I plan to do a semester abroad at one of AUD’s partner universities in the future. Starting with a 2-week program made it easier to try it out. I was also pleased to find out that one of my favorite marketing professors, Dr. Farah Arkadan, was leading the program and teaching the summer course at IESEG. This influenced my decision as well. Last, but not least, as a Marketing student, there are certain French brands that are of interest to me, and having the opportunity to learn more about the marketing strategies of renowned French brands was very interesting to me.
Although the program was only two weeks, there were many memorable moments during my time at IESEG. What an unforgettable experience! I met people from all parts of the world from whom I learned so much and I became friends with so many potential life-long friends. I learned a lot by immersing in French culture and a new way of doing marketing which has opened my eyes to endless possibilities for my future professional career.
One of the most memorable moments for me was the Bastille Day celebration in Paris. I would be lying if I said this was not the highlight of the program. On a small quaint rooftop, I sat with fellow students from the program, Vatz from Delhi, India, and Anthony from Miami, USA. Together, we overlooked the fireworks sparkling over the Eiffel tower. What an amazing moment that I cannot describe with words. We had only known each other for a few days, and yet we were so touched by the beauty of the fireworks and it turned into a truly magical moment, where all of us, coming from different parts of the world felt connected so intensely. We stay in touch and I still communicate with them almost every day.
I had an absolutely wonderful experience with the summer program in Paris. It had a positive impact on me, both personally and professionally. In Dubai, it can be easy to stay in your corner and not socialize with new people, because you are in an environment that you are comfortable with. Whereas in Paris, we were brought to a program with students from around the world (China, United States, India, Spain, Greece, Colombia, Mexico, etc.), and everyone was eager to get to know each other so that we could learn and explore Paris together. It makes it easy to make new friends and, in a sense, forced me to step outside my comfort zone, to socially engage with people and create new friendships. Professionally, the program has opened my eyes to the possibility of working or interning in France. The topic of the class was Experiential Retail and it helped me look at my short-term rental business in a different light. Instead of just providing a space for guests, I now take their experiences into consideration which has helped increase my positive reviews and rankings enormously.
With all my heart, I would recommend my fellow AUD students to please take advantage of the international programs being offered at AUD. The AUD Global Seminar program is unlike anything else. You have the chance to travel, see a new country, experience new foods, and meet new people. On top of that, you are given the opportunity to earn credit hours in a shorter period of time. I encourage AUD Knights to step out of their comfort zone like I did because that is a great way to grow, and you never know, you might have the greatest time of your life. Now I want to do more study abroad programs. I am planning to apply for a semester abroad next!