The Angers Summer Business Program celebrated its ten-year anniversary this summer, with a group of fourteen business students and six faculty from Appalachian State University participating in the month-long exchange in Angers, France.
This unique exchange brings together French International Management master’s students and Walker College of Business majors on the University of Angers campus to study marketing and management with App State professors.
For the French students, these collaborative courses form the central academic portion of what they call the “American Month.” This cultural exchange is a highlight of their first year as master’s students and provides the opportunity to both hone their English skills and develop their knowledge of American culture.
Related: Angers University School of Management article about the “American Month” (in French)
For Walker College of Business students, the opportunity to live and study in France is enriched through pre-program classes on French culture, language, history as well as additional excursions in-country to Paris and the Loire Valley.
Each year, students get comfortable with Angers during a three-day orientation, visit famous chateaus in the Loire valley region and spend a long weekend in Paris. These excursions are organized and led by long-standing program leaders, Lynn McNeil, senior lecturer in French, and Meredith Church Pipes, Walker College of Business global and civic engagement specialist.
While the pandemic did impact on the program, it didn’t stop the partnership. Even under travel restrictions the exchange continued, albeit virtually. While this was a challenge, the program leaders and their French colleagues developed valuable virtual collaboration opportunities, many of which have now become part of the in-person program.
Part of the persistence of the program lies in the value it brings to both students and faculty. “The key to this program’s impact is the extended time that students spend abroad. There’s an opportunity for independence and for meaningful cross-cultural connections, “ states Meredith Church Pipes, who developed the program back in 2013 in partnership with colleagues at University of Angers.
For faculty, the cross-cultural classroom experience brings new insights. “The program helps open one’s mind to new experiences…Having done it almost every year for nearly ten years, my biggest takeaway is the knowledge that I have gained that I can share with my students here at App,” observed Dr. Neel Das, professor of marketing, director of the MBA program and the most long-serving faculty member on the team.
Dr. Tiberiu Ungureanu, professor of management and a new addition to the Angers Summer Business Program shared, “App State students had the chance to observe how business can be so different but so similar in another region of the world. The Angers University students were exposed to a different teaching method, where we all learn from each other. Overall, this experience demonstrated to all of us the importance of cultural awareness for success in the modern business world.”
Students recognize this value and more than one student has gone on to study or work abroad after participating in the program. Sophia Kiser, senior marketing major and participant in this year’s program put it this way.“The Angers program is the perfect mix of togetherness and independence. This trip allowed me to appreciate other cultures, step outside my comfort zone, and learn more about myself while developing great friendships within the program.”
View a selection of images from the past 10 years of the program.
Students interested in participating in the upcoming year’s Angers Summer Business Program should contact Meredith Pipes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Angers Summer Business Program is one of various business faculty-led programs to parts around the globe ranging from the month in Angers to two-week programs between spring semester and summer one, to week-long spring break experiences. To learn more about upcoming faculty-led program opportunities, visit www.business.appstate.edu/international/study-abroad
About Walker College of Business International Programs
The Walker College of Business encourages students to study abroad and provides a variety of short-term international programs designed to develop international business skills and intercultural knowledge. These faculty-led programs have proven to be invaluable for many students. Scholarships are available. Fluency in a second language is not required and students can earn credit toward their degree. For more information on future opportunities, please contact Global & Civic Engagement Specialist Meredith Church Pipes, email@example.com, or visit international.business.appstate.edu.