Sustainable Mobility Workshop (April 14, 2022)

GEM’s first Sustainable Mobility Workshop was held earlier this month on 14 April 2022. Jointly organized by the Centre for International Affairs and the Sustainability Hub, the workshop brought together around 40 attendees including students, staff, associations and a local university. The discussion centered on the environmental impact of international mobility. The session presented GEM’s Carbon assessment with a focus on the impact of travel and transportation (which represents 64% of our emissions!). The presentation was then followed by a quiz that challenged some of our pre conceived notions and further explained the notion of carbon footprint and what it represents at both individual and collective levels. Attendees were then invited to calculate their own travel emissions and discuss the various options to reduce the carbon footprint of their experience abroad (before, during or after their mobility) .

Certainly the most exciting part of the session was the creative game activity facilitated by Isabelle Patroix, manager of GEMLabs playground. In small groups within a fixed time limit (7min/3min slots), the participants were invited to brainstorm on a given theme and create the basis of a board game. The engagement and results were outstanding: 5 games created in 7 minutes on subjects linked to international mobility, such as “Go Green Go” or “Guess my trip”…!

The objective of this workshop initiative is to bring more awareness on these issues and create momentum within the school to share more tips & good practices around sustainable mobility, and we look forward to continue working with everyone on this topic.

Live the NYC experience with us through photos and commentaries

Hi guys and welcome on Mainly International !

So we both really enjoy taking photographs everywhere we go, and we thought it would be a great idea to share some of our pics! Please enjoy the description that goes with it, we hope it will give you a great insight on what you’ll see if you enroll for this Transco!

Just before we begin: DO NOT hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, please, it will be a huge pleasure for us to help you on anything. Drop us a message on Facebook!

To begin with, here is Miss Liberty with wonderful colors behind. This is the kind of sunsets that you get every evening in NYC, whenever the sky is clear! There is a stunning view on the statue of Liberty right by our campus, you’ll just have to walk cross Wall St to get there, and enjoy this kind of sunset with friends 😉

Careful with the weather though! Bring layers, NYC can be sunny, but it only starts being warm by March. Expect freezing temperatures for the first two months! (See next photo)

Alright, this is not New York, its Boston (you’re a crazy nerd if you spotted it was Boston). But the photo’s nice isn’t it? It illustrates quite well how the weather can be even on the 1st of March!  The east coast is cold, not gonna lie, but it’s part of the experience.

Oh and about Boston, it’s just a few hours drive away from NYC, hop on a flixbus, and spend the weekend there! Visit Harvard and the MIT, taste great beers in local breweries, and enjoy all the cute neighbors there is. Same for Philadelphia and Washington, they are just a few hours away!
Make sure you visit other cities when you come here, you will have plenty of time to do so, schedules are tremendously light, so you can enjoy NYC, but also neighboring cities or countryside.

Let’s go back to New York, if you’d like, cause that’s what we’re here for! Something we really enjoyed was going for basketball, hockey or baseball games, they are sometimes very accessible, and the ambiance will make you feel like a real new yorker!
Here’s a photo of Barclay’s centre (see picture below), home of the Brooklyn Net’s, we recommend going to Madison Square Garden too!

Something else you might want to do is admire the great views over Manhattan from the free Staten Island Ferry, which brings you to a shopping mall (overrated in 2022) and to a 9/11 memorial. The view is NICE! (see picture below)

Last but not least, New York is full of incredible museums, like the Met, the MoMa, the Guggenheim and so many others… Most of them are are free for NYC residents (or pay what you wish) so we highly encourage you to take advantage of this! You can even chose to go several times as once will probably not be enough to cover everything (especially for the Met). Collections are simply amazing and so diverse, you will definitely find something to your liking.

This article was written by Nicolas Ridoux and Tom Clouaire

A green start to my Erasmus experience as an exchange student in Sweden

If you experience climate anxiety, granted in my case it’s a passing feeling that nevertheless returns regularly triggered by specific situations, consciously avoiding flying greatly helps in easing it. And even if you don’t suffer from that kind of anxiety, opting for a more sustainable alternative could create a feeling of true accomplishment and satisfaction, and only adds to your experience abroad. In fact, one of the reasons why I chose to go on an exchange to Sweden, and in particular to Gothenburg, is because of its reputation as a green city. As such, I wanted to start my Erasmus adventure accordingly, which means that while there were direct flights from Paris to Gothenburg (at least 2 per week), I chose a more sustainable means of transport to go to my host city.

I know that one could be skeptical about the safety and degree of comfort of choosing the long-journey option over the shorter and seemingly more convenient option. I went to Gothenburg first by train from Paris to Hamburg, Germany, and then by bus from Hamburg to Gothenburg, in total, the journey took around 20 hours, which is not that long. Granted I say that while I had experiences with long journeys by train beforehand already (I always go from Grenoble to Warsaw by train, which is an almost 24 hour journey), but there are ways to make the journey more comfortable. When looking for trains from Paris to Gothenburg, I was careful to choose an option where I was sure I wouldn’t be prevented from sleeping during the night, I made sure that I would be in a train/bus during my “sleeping time” and that I wouldn’t have to change trains during the middle of the night. By doing so, I would argue that the journey was just as comfortable as going by plane, since even though it took longer, I was able to avoid the hassle of having to make a long journey to and from the airport, and of having to arrive at the airport several hours before departure to check in and send off my luggage.

And finally, even if that’s not necessarily the main advantage, choosing the more responsible travel alternative ended up being the less expensive option, since not only you don’t have to pay for the luggage (I had 2), but you also benefit from the Erasmus green travel grant. In total, the journey cost me around 130(to which should be subtracted the amount given by the grant). The trick is to check out all options, to divide the travel into two or three stages, as in don’t buy a tickets for the whole journey at once (for example, buying a ticket for Paris-Gothenburg is more expensive than buying a ticket for Paris-Hamburg and then Hamburg-Gothenburg, or for Paris-Copenhagen and then Copenhagen-Gothenburg).

And so, for all the reasons listed above, and also because choosing a more responsible means of transport could constitute an amazing adventure on its own, I did exactly that. I even had the opportunity to board a ferry from Hamburg to Denmark, unfortunately it was already dark outside, but the experience was still wonderful, and I did debate spending perhaps a whole day in Copenhagen but sadly I the current situation with Covid-19 made it a bit difficult (in January Sweden was requesting from everyone who wanted to enter the country a negative covid test done less than 48 hours before crossing its borders).

This article was written by Chau Anh Nguyen

Life at Pace University

What to do at Pace University as an exchange student from GEM ?

Pace campus and opportunities

Pace University’s NYC campus is located right across the street from New York’s City hall. It is the historical campus where the university was founded in 1906, surrounded by the Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street. Here, you can experience so many different foods, cultures, fashion, art, and sight-seeing experiences. From Tribeca to SoHo, the Village and Brooklyn, you will never have the same experience twice.

The campus has been recently renovated, with brand new student center, student commons, study spaces, faculty and student collaboration spaces. On campus, all students enjoy many facilities. For sports lovers, a free gym and a basketball court are accessible all day long (both in the large basement). For foodies, the Cafeteria offers a wide range of meals and drinks options, and a Starbucks store can be found right next to it!

What they say is true: if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. NYC is home to some of the world’s biggest companies and a network of successful faculty, alumni, and peers, who will help you work your way from a cubicle to a corner office.

Extracurriculars and student life

A very exciting aspect of life at Pace university is clubs and organizations. As exchange students, we have access to most of them, except for Greek life (sororities and fraternities).

With more than 100 student organizations at Pace University, there’s something for everyone to get involved in: Academic interests, Business/Professional, Media and entertainment, Performing and visual arts, Cultural/Social, Politics and advocacy. Each of them has a budget, and offers their members opportunities and events. With the photography club for example, members get to visit the MoMa for free!

Life at Pace is eventful and in February alone, our cohort got to attend a Dean roundtable, a guided tour of Wall Street, and two guest lectures by renowned professors.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

This article was written by Clara Coeudevez and Clara Bragagnolo

Finance in New York

If there is one place in the world that you must describe as a financial hub, it is none other than New York. Sure, I knew when I first stepped into Manhattan that I would be surprised by this part of the financial world, but I thought I was prepared. I knew it would be bigger and more impressive than La Défense but not to that extent! Here is a recap of what struck me about it.

The financial district

New York – and more particularly the financial district – dictates what happens to the financial world. In fact, what happens in Wall Street can sink the global economy! If you don’t believe me, just read about the subprime crisis and you will be amazed by how this borough can bring the world to its knees.

Now is the time for a bit of history. The Financial District is one of the oldest parts of New York. And it is home to some of the world’s most eminent financial innovations. Here are two of them: The Dow Jones, the world’s first industrial index that tracks the companies’ values with the aim to find the ones with the most potential. It was created in 1896. The second (and probably the most impressive) financial innovation is the Stock Exchange. The New York Stock Exchange was one of the firsts ever created in 1792. It is now the most powerful stock exchange in the world with many of the biggest companies in the US listed there.

Moreover, Wall Street is known to be a good place to make money in the US. In 1989, the infamous Charging Bull was installed in front of Wall Street before being placed downtown. Why a bull, you would ask? It’s a reference to the market going well.

The Charging Bull

Contrary to common belief, Wall Street isn’t as alive as before. In fact, most of the transactions are now happening online and the New York Stock Exchange is mostly here for the media and few finance operatives. And with the pandemic ongoing and remote working, the district is even less lively than at its peak.

The New York Stock Exchange Building

Something that tends to be forgotten is that not far from Wall Street is the Federal Reserve i.e., the place where all the American gold is kept (and you can visit it after a thorough security check). The Federal reserve Bank of New York is one of the most important financial institutions of the world. In fact, it dictates the monetary policy of the United States as well as the interest rates.

The banks

One of the things that are amazing here is how the bank’s offices make you dream. They are so big that you cannot think anything but “wow this is impressive”.

The Banks play a big part in New York’s economy. At the beginning, most of them were in the financial district near Wall Street however most of them moved to midtown which makes Manhattan in its entirety a Financial Hub and not only the Financial District.

The BNP Paribas Bank in New York

Furthermore, some of the biggest banks in the world have their headquarter in NYC. To name a few, there is Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan (the world’s largest bank by capitalization) or Citi Group. Anyone wanting to have a career in finance knows about these Banks and their power in the financial world. It is crazy to think that all of their headquarters are located in the same district of the same city!

Finance at Pace University

Pace University is located 5 minutes away from the World Trade Center which makes it a great place to study Finance. I had the privilege to attend a Bloomberg class at the university in which I was taught to use a Bloomberg terminal, also known as the most common way to access financial data. It was a great experience to see how much information one can get from those terminals. In fact, one can find going from financial statements of a company (listed or not) to the number of inhabitants in a particular country. Here is a fun fact about the creator of the Bloomberg terminal, Michael Bloomberg: he is incredibly wealthy, was elected mayor of New York in 2002 and ran for US President in 2020 before endorsing Joe Biden, the actual US President.

For all the reasons and facts explained above, I must say that I strongly recommend to any Finance fan to visit New York and feel the atmosphere there.

This article was written by Elric Butery