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Exchange Ambassador - Ben S.

Profile of Ben on exchange in France - plain text to follow

Ben Scholl

 

Exchange destination: NEOMA Business School (Rouen, France)

Duration: 1 semester (Winter)

Program: Business with Co-op

High school: Belle River District High School

One word to describe your exchange?
Unbelievable - but that doesn’t do it justice

What is the best thing that happened on exchange?
The realization that just by being there I had achieved one of my dreams was the most satisfying feeling. I used to watch the Tour de France with my Dad in the mornings, not for the biking but to imagine what it would be like to live there - exchange made it possible!

If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
Why wouldn’t you go? Ever since I got back to Canada I’ve been contriving new schemes to get back to Europe, so I can’t understand what ever held me back! One of the best ways to prepare for your exchange interview/application is to book an appointment with the exchange coordinator, Michelle Fitzgerald. She does a great job at helping you navigate the process and preparing you to leave.

How did you finance your exchange?
I financed exchange entirely on my own. Savings from a 12 month co-op placement funded my semester plus 3.5 months of backpacking after

What was the biggest cultural shock you experienced?
In France, almost nothing is open on Sundays besides the town market and McDonalds. I found myself without groceries many times because I slept in on Sunday morning and everything had closed. However, when done right a French Sunday might be the most relaxing and pleasurable cultural experience.

What is something you know now, that you wish you knew before you went on exchange?
I know so much more about myself and what I want out of life. My career aspirations have changed, my preferences have changed, and so have my opinions. I think exchange should be a mandatory part of University, like it is for French business students. Universities are supposed to be places that challenge your thoughts, ideas and understanding of things, exchange helps you achieve all that and more.

What is the worst thing that happened on exchange?
I don’t think anything bothered me more than my love/hate relationship with Ryanair. They’ll get you where you want to go with incredible deals (like Bordeaux to Dublin for 3 Euros) but sneaking my oversized bag onto the flights to avoid the 50 Euro fee was so stressful.

 

A sample of the classes taken and credits received:

  • Intro to French

  • Numerous Marketing classes = 74-3XX (3rd year marketing credit)

  • Plus other 3rd year Management classes