This article was written by Julianna Mirenzi, student at Salisbury University. She did a exchange at GEM during fall 2021.
Julianna Mirenzi was one of hundreds of Salisbury University students who had planned to study abroad during 2020, but lost the chance due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Even though global travel during fall 2021 was still full of uncertainty, Mirenzi was one of the first to sign up. “Originally, I was suppose to study abroad during fall 2020, but due to COVID, I was delayed a year,” Mirenzi reported. “Even though it was intimidating and difficult to continue the application process during uncertain times, it was all worth it. Studying abroad here in France and at GEM has been an indescribable experience!”
Ms. Mirenzi is studying abroad at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM). GEM is one of Salisbury University’s oldest foreign university partners. Salisbury students began studying abroad on short-term faculty-led Global Seminars at GEM during January term semester in the mid 1990’s. In the early years, GEM sent full-year exchange students into the MBA at the Perdue School.
During fall 2021, Salisbury and GEM have renewed their exchange agreement for the fifth time, beginning a third decade of collaboration. For the past decade, Salisbury students have spent full semesters studying abroad at GEM.
Some have even completed the dual degree program, spending their senior years at GEM and earning B.S. business degrees from both universities in four years.
Mirenzi is not the only Salisbury University student studying abroad at GEM in France during fall 2021. Meklit Gizaw is a senior international business major who also is studying abroad this term. “France and GEM have exceeded my expectations,” Gizaw described. “I expected to come to a small, quaint town with not much to do, but it was the opposite. Grenoble is small, yes, but it still has that city vibe in certain areas and nothing beats the view of the mountain.” Gizaw has had such a good semester at GEM that she has decided to extend her study for spring 2022, spending her entire senior year in France.
“Don’t be swayed by the stereotypes of French being unwelcoming,” Gizaw explained. “If anything they are welcoming and honest people, which I appreciate. Even though I don’t speak French at all, whenever I ask a French-speaking person who doesn’t know English for help they try their best to help me.”
Mirenzi will return to Salisbury for the spring 2022 semester with wonderful memories of her semester in France. “France, as a whole, is a beautiful country with wonderful culture. Being in the center of Europe, it is a perfect location for traveling. So far, Meklit and I have been to Italy, England, Spain, Switzerland and many cities within France.”
During the coming semesters, global travel for students hopefully will begin to become easier. Mirenzi strongly encourages Salisbury University students to take the opportunity to study abroad: “Overall, studying abroad has been the most amazing experience and I would recommend it – and GEM – to anyone.”
Link to the original article : https://communications.salisbury.edu/d/uPIkwmI-BflSsDRD07PF9adz3XzyodjO9Y8YoInylNxNmx44SLI-gB-KfIIuHpmXIxh4KQ5HxSbprwkOxnK5IQ