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Bachelor: the first Oxford Brookes University students are studying in Dijon
Anastasija and Alina share their impressions of their international experience
Alina Florea (on the left) and Anastasija Sotskova
The Bachelor in Marketing & Business is the first common degree within the framework of the Global Alliance between Burgundy School of Business and Oxford Brookes University Business School. The degree opened last year and welcomed its second class this September with 90 students, a third of whom are in the English track. BSB French students have the opportunity to spend their 3rd year at Oxford Brookes, and the first English students arrived in September to study here in Dijon: interview with Anastasija Sotskova and Alina Florea.
Anastasija is from Lithuania and Alina is from Romania. After arriving in England in 2009 and 2008 respectively, the two young women started their International Business studies at Oxford Brookes University in 2010.
In January they had the opportunity to come to Dijon for a two week international seminar which only enhanced their interest in France.
“This was the second time I had been in France; I went to Paris when I was younger. The two weeks in January confirmed my desire to learn the French language and possibly live in France later on. This is also why I decided to take an additional class at Oxford to be able to come here”, Anastasija says. “Learning French is also an objective for me”, adds Alina, “and I’m also very interested in the local culture.
Dijon’s culture and more globally that of France is an important appeal for Anastasija: “Dijon is wonderful with its museums and pretty streets. And the food and wine are also excellent. The way Claude Chapuis teaches us about it all is very fascinating. What’s more, the people, students and professors here are very helpful, warm and friendly.” Alina continues saying, “We are absolutely delighted with the way we’ve been welcomed and the energy people have exhibited so that we feel at ease and have a successful year. The director of the programme, Ms. Aleth Montuelle, is a perfect example. We are very grateful for this welcome and support.”
The two students are in France for the academic year and will have the possibility of spending another twelve months in a company if they so choose. “I’ve only been here for three weeks but I already know that if it’s possible, I will stay for two years!” Alina says enthusiastically. In the meantime, they are taking classes in the English track with approximately thirty students, for the most part French. They are aware that they are the pioneers of the unprecedented Alliance between the two institutions. “It’s true that we are among the first students to take advantage of this experience. It’s really interesting to be part of what is so much more than a simple university partnership which is going to award us a double degree”, explains Anastasija.
And how do they see the future? “With today’s crisis, the competition to find work will be all the more difficult and the way to succeed won’t be as easy. In this context, what we experience here will certainly give us better chances at doing so”, Anastasija continues. She is interested in the banking sector but in international organisations, as well. “Having international experience is absolutely essential to work in business!” Both women end in unison, “Why not work in France after we graduate!”