I have finished my last exam, checked out of the apartment, got on a train and am now in Paris until my honeymoon begins tomorrow! The semester was an interesting experience to say the least. While I was different than most of the students here, I didn’t go out or travel anywhere while I was in Rennes. Instead I saved my money for my vacation now so that I could have more fun now. The best aspect of ESC-Rennes was possibly the mashing of different cultures together into one school. There were people from North America, South America, Africa, Middle East, Russia, China, Taiwan, the only continents not represented were Australia and Antarctica. While many students were treating the semester abroad as one continuous party, there were a lot of very driven and intelligent people in each class. It was these mashing of cultures that made French Culture an extremely interesting course. We were able to look at hot button issues from the angles of many different cultures and it was truly an eye opening experience.
If I had one complaint about the entire process, if I had to choose only one, it would be the fact that you don’t know how you did on your exams or in your classes for months after completing them. I won’t find out anything until February or March, and that is at the earliest. If I were to of failed any of my exams or classes, I would have to come back to Rennes to resit for the exams. So for two or three months I won’t know if I will have to come back or not. While I highly doubt that I would have to do that, I studied and feel comfortable with all of my questions that I answered, it is still a bit unnerving to have to start another semester without having known how I did on the last one.
Of course, the way they have courses lined up is difficult to wrap your head around coming from our system. Some classes meet only once a month! I had one course where I had two weekends in the entire semester and that was it. Ten hours of the same class, Friday and Saturday is quite difficult. Also, the language course selection process was also quite aggravating, it seemed to be unorganized, but once in the courses the first week of confusion was no longer an issue. As with every college experience, you truly get out of it what you put in. If you wish to party and skate by until exams, then you may not get as much from the courses as intended. However, if you study and do your own research in the topics and truly put forth an effort in each course it is a very beneficial experience, one I highly recommend. Maybe other people should have a happy medium of studying and partying as opposed to my only studying, but that’s for each to determine on their own. If you are going to go to ESC-Rennes, I highly recommend taking European Geopolitics. It is an incredibly difficult course, especially coming from the US without any prior background information into the EU or its history, but also extremely worthwhile especially so for International Business students that would like to work in Europe. The professor is demanding, but that is how you get the best out of your students. Just as an example, my final exam for that course I wrote nine pages on three topics. Almost three pages per topic. It was tough, but I know much more than I did going in.
I hope more US students find this small business school in Rennes and attend it, it is a nice hidden gem in France.