'Participation in the Summer School Taught Me How to Overcome Difficulties'
Aigul Akhmetova, student of the Bachelor’s programme ‘Sociology and Social Informatics’, participated in the course ‘Business Development in Europe’ at the summer school at Rennes School of Business in France. She told us about her exciting trip to France and shared her experience of participating in the summer school programme.
— Why did you decide to take part in the summer school?
— Since my first year of studies at HSE University, I have dreamed about studying in France under the academic mobility programme. I decided to participate in the selection for the summer school at Rennes School of Business, a partner university, on the course ‘Business Development in Europe’. Without a doubt, this was my best decision. As soon as I received an invitation letter from the summer school, I started preparing for my departure without hesitation.
— What was your study experience at the partner university like?
— Studies began by getting to know the university and my groupmates. The managers of the programme gathered us at the university and arranged a welcome meeting with games and a tour around the city of Rennes.
The first five days were devoted to studying the theoretical material necessary for practice under the guidance of invited experts. I liked that the information was presented in a creative way: sometimes there were jokes, sometimes there were complex economic processes explained at the level of daily situations. This helped me to stay focused, quickly understand and memorise information.
On the sixth and seventh days, my classmates and I took advantage of a great opportunity and decided to get to know the sights of the city and its surroundings better. On Saturday, we visited the second largest fair in France, and on Sunday, we went to the English Channel coast, where we talked with the residents of the city and tried the local cuisine.
Practical work was from the eighth to eleventh days. We were randomly divided into teams of five people to jointly make a presentation with a case study of the French company ‘TechNature’ and put forward a strategy to improve its business processes. In order to get to know the company better, on the ninth day, we were taken on an excursion in the city of Brest, where, together with the company's employees, we visited a manufacturing building.
The exam, presentations and departure were on the twelfth day. The last day of school was busy. We had the task of writing an exam based on the theoretical material of the course and defending the group presentation. After that, there was a farewell lunch, where we exchanged contacts with classmates, said goodbye and departed for the next stops of our trip.
— What impressed you at the university?
— The university and student organisations pay great attention to maintaining the psychophysical state of students. For example, in the university building, there is a working lounge where each student can listen to music, play table hockey or a console, and treat themselves to sweets and coffee. All summer, autumn and spring, students have the opportunity to jump on an inflatable trampoline and dance to the music which the local student organisation turns on every break.
— How did you benefit from participating in the summer school?
— Participation in the summer school taught me how to plan a trip on my own and overcome any difficulties that arise. For example, my luggage did not reach France, and my phone was stolen at the railway station on the first day. All this was unexpected, but since I was completely alone in an unfamiliar country, I had to find ways to solve emerging issues myself. Also, Rennes School of Business gave me a huge amount of language practice and I met acquaintances from all over the world who I still keep in touch with.
You have a chance to take part in short-term programmes as well! Check the list of available summer and winter schools here.