Students prepare for trip to France

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Story by Gisselle HernandezAssistant Features Editor

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.02.22 PMThree students from Murray State will be traveling to Saint-Etienne, France, as part of an exchange program at the business school of Emlyon this fall semester.

Audrey Martin, senior from Providence, Kentucky, Robert Mathews, junior from Springfield, Illinois, and Bekah Russell, senior from Cobden, Illinois, were nominated and selected to participate in the exchange program.

Emlyon is an English-speaking business school that hosts international students and has been ranked as the No. 14 Business School in Europe by the Financial Times as of 2014 and one of the one percent of business schools that have triple accreditation.

St. Etienne is where the Murray State students will be taking their classes and is one of three of Emlyon’s campuses.

Mathews said he was pretty excited to participate in the program since it fits his major so well. He believes the abroad experience offers him a chance to see how others think.

“I have a Russian roommate in my flat and hearing the way she thinks and feels toward us is very interesting,” Mathews said. “[The] media is very biased and it is sometimes hard to get the real information so being able to immerse yourself in that environment can really open your eyes.”

Murray State has been conducting the France Study Abroad program with Emlyon since spring of 2013, when Katherine Powers from Owensboro, Kentucky, was the first student to travel to St. Etienne for a semester.

Powers describes the experience of living abroad as an “eye-opener.” Being immersed in another culture allowed her to learn a lot about herself.

“I liked that it was a very different environment from the environment I grew up in,” Powers said. “I grew up in Owensboro and then came to Murray and those are both small towns so living in Saint- Etienne, which is definitely a city, was really different for me.”

Emlyon offer mostly business classes but recently has begun to offer classes for public relations and international affairs.

Timothy Johnston, professor of marketing, is the program coordinator for the exchange program.

If the program does not offer the exact classes that a student is required to take in his/her undergrad, the professor may help in finding an equivalent.

With the students paying Murray State tuition, it is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, Johnston said.

“A lot of European companies come into the U.S. to start their businesses,” he said. “One day these students might end up working for these companies and having the experience of being to Europe will prove to be an asset because of the exposure to the EU.”

With transportation being relatively inexpensive across Europe, students also have the opportunity to tour neighboring countries.

“I do know the International Student Organization are planning some trips for us within France,” Mathews said. “As far as my travel goes, I plan to visit Munich for Oktoberfest, Amsterdam for a Dave Matthews Band concert, Barcelona, Milan and Stockholm.”

Classes at Emlyon are added and altered every year to suit the needs of newcomers. The deadline for Spring 2016 is Oct. 16, 2015.