Un Semestre en France (One Semester in France)


By: Catherina Sujana (MM-Ubaya Student)

Studying for one semester (November 2011-April 2012) in Ecole de Management Strasbourg, France was a great opportunity to me since EM Strasbourg is one of Top Business Schools in France, an AACSB member and accredited by EPAS. It has a huge students exchange programme and offers international business and economics subjects.Normally students in EM Strasbourg take ten to twelve subjects per semester. However, I personally think that four is enough. I am a master student in FBE UBAYA so that I only took post-graduated subjects, three of them about supply chain management (International Distribution, Multimodal Transports, and New Technology and Information Communication system), and the other one is Wine Marketing. At the first time I heard many students took ten subjects I thought it was too much, especially to manage the time and it was the first time for me being in Europe so of course I would love to spend my time traveling there. Then I found that to take twelve subjects for one semester is possible because there were not too many assignments.

I have a great experience in Wine Marketing subject. For this subject, we were asked to buy and to try Rosé Wine (it is a pink wine, not a red wine nor a white wine) then to make a marketing project about how to sell this type of wine as a final presentation. This presentation was done in a group of five. My team consisted of students from different countries, Austria, Germany, Italy, China, and of course Indonesia, my-self. We made a presentation titled “Rosé Wine: Avoir La Pêche!” (which means: to have the rosé wine). Our presentation was the best according to the lecturer. After the presentation, we celebrated it with cooking together. We cooked our own traditional food. I made sop buntut, the Italian guy made tiramisu, the German girl made salad, the Austrian girl made Austrian’s soup and pasta, and the Chinese girl made dumplings.

For four months in Strasbourg only one thing I found as a challenge, that is most of Strasbourgeoise (Strasbourg citizens) cannot speak English while I can only speak basic French. At the first month I found it as a problem, I had to deal with many administrations such as opening the bank account, social security insurance, and also apartment’s administration to get the key. Most of people who were in-charge for these administrations cannot speak English.  But fortunately, I have many French students who were willing to help. So I can overcome this problem.

I found more interesting parts than the boring ones. First, Strasbourg is located in the bordered-line between France and Germany. It takes only ten minutes by bus to go to Kehl (small city in Germany, where everything is cheaper than in Strasbourg) and one hour by train to go to Basel in Switzerland. So, traveling outside France was possible for me every weekend. As a student in Europe, I could enjoy the discount for traveling, transports (tram, bus, and train), food, and even shopping for groceries in the supermarket near EM Strasbourg. It was so much fun.

Second, I lived in Residence Alfred Weiss. It is a university’s residence for students, so I have many friends from many different countries. My best friend who was also my neighbour is from Algeria. On my floor, there were also friends come from Tunisia, Cameroon, China, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and also France. For four months being in Europe, I did not find any discrimination problem towards me.

Last but not the least, in school I have five best friends who also were exchange students. They come from Austria, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. I spent almost every weekend to go out with them. We celebrated special occasions together such as, Lunar New Year, Easter, and also my birthday. Until now, we still keep in touch with each other.

For the future, I hope there will be more students, especially post-graduated students of FBE UBAYA (MM and MAKSI), to see this exchange programme as an opportunity to enrich our knowledge and to build a global network with many business students from many different countries.