INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY, A PILLAR OF THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE AT EDHEC
The development of an international outlook is one of the key components of the student experience at EDHEC Business School. Over the years, the School has established partnerships with 300 higher education institutions in some 130 countries and offers numerous mobility formats for students (double degrees, internships, certificates, etc.). The international experience on offer gives all EDHEC students the chance to develop an open mindset, to gain in maturity and to better understand the complexity of the world that surrounds them.
Teaming up with partners that excel
EDHEC’s partner universities and schools are aligned with the levels of excellence demanded by the School. They fulfil a set of stringent criteria established by EDHEC’s international relations team and which covers accreditations, international recognition, programme quality and ranking positions among other factors.
From an academic standpoint, the partner institutions’ curricula are selected so as to enable students to acquire knowledge that complements that taught at EDHEC: “The idea is to offer Master students complementary specialisations and to allow BBA students to round out their studies with classes not followed at EDHEC”, underlines Caroline Darrigues, Manager of the Study Abroad Office Master at EDHEC. “In London, for example, we have a health management exchange programme that enables students to expand their knowledge of the industry they wish to join.”
This knowledge hybridisation approach is not only pursued through exchanges, but also through the double degree programmes offered with prestigious partner institutions like UC Berkeley, MIT and LSE. As Caroline Darrigues explains, “As part of their double degrees, students follow curricula of excellence taught by globally recognised institutions and which are in addition to their studies at EDHEC. They reap the benefit of the experience and teaching methods of these institutions and ultimately develop new skills.”
Constructing customised projects with each student
At EDHEC, all students have the chance to construct customised international projects, based on their aspirations, their curiosity towards a particular country and their career plans. They are assisted in this task by the Student Abroad Office (SAO) which operates at all stages of the process, from presenting partner institutions (through dedicated exchange-promotion events organised by the SAO) to arranging one-to-one appointments with team members.
“There are plenty of choices available at EDHEC. To ensure students find their way, we start by gathering them together in the amphitheatre and giving them an overall view of the international formats on offer for their programme (internships, double degrees, certificates, academic exchanges), bearing in mind that all students at EDHEC can go abroad whatever their course (BBA, Pre-Master, Gap Year, Master 1, Master 2). We also organise events that allow them to meet students who have already been on exchange. In a second stage, students who so wish can be advised individually by an SAO team member. Our objective is to find the academic exchange that suits them best. We help them in fine tuning their project, so as to ensure it matches their career aspirations and personal interests.”, explains Andréa Butterweck, Manager of the Study Abroad Office EDHEC International BBA at EDHEC
Providing comprehensive support
Once students have made their choice, the SAO provides them with all the practical information related to their stay abroad (local cost of living, tips for finding accommodation, information on the local culture and environment, etc.) and concerning the institution they will be joining (curriculum, options and classes on site, etc.). High-quality, close-contact support, as remembered by Erwan Lignier who took classes leading to the Global Manager Certificate at Pace University Lubin School of Business in New York in the second year of the BBA: “EDHEC supported me comprehensively during my stay abroad, whether with the steps needed to obtain my visa, for finding accommodation or by putting me in contact with the university”. The support continues throughout the student’s stay, with Caroline Darrigues emphasising that “EDHEC’s approach is geared towards the student’s well-being. We ensure the fluidity of the exchange and remain in contact with them to ensure their time abroad proceeds smoothly.”
This promise to provide an optimal international experience applies to all EDHEC students. To uphold it, the International Relations team worked with EDHEC Handicap Officer Ségolène Binet to draw up a list of all the institutions capable of hosting handicapped students (dedicated handicap policy, on site handicap officer, types of facilities on campus, etc.), and which currently numbers 160 establishments. “We worked with our partner institutions to supply this information to our students and thereby facilitate their choice of international mobility”, indicates Caroline Darrigues.
Fostering an open mindset and raising awareness of diversity
Our students are sent to each partner institution in small groups. This immersion is designed to quickly confront them with the host country’s culture. An essential component of their personal development and professional preparation, as Andréa Butterweck explains: “At EDHEC, international experience is mandatory for students. Their period abroad with a partner institution obliges them to adapt to another culture and to integrate over a given timescale in a society, such as India or China, whose codes may be very different from their own. An experience that pushes them to acquire the famous soft skills much prized by employers.”
Far from what they are accustomed to on a day-to-day basis and plunged into a new environment, the students gain in maturity, adaptability and autonomy. In addition to acquiring skills and know-how, they also have the chance to develop a better understanding of the world that surrounds them, as related by Antoine Poulet, a student on the GETT programme: “GETT students spend the second semester of the first year in Seoul, South Korea. The city is enormous and there are lots of neighbourhoods with widely differing feels to them. With the language barrier being one of the difficulties over there, you need to find ways of making yourself understood. My time in Korea was an enriching and intense experience, and it also opened up my mind; the Koreans have a completely different way of thinking to ours and I managed to familiarise myself with it over time. I think it’s going to stand me in good stead for the future, particularly if I’m called on to work with foreign colleagues.”