March 2017 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Guest Blogger: Kelin Coleman, B.S. Business Administration with concentration in International Business, '17
My name is Kelin Coleman and I’m in the process of finishing the second semester of my senior year. I’m originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, but I’ve been studying at KEDGE Business School in Marseille, France for the last year and a half as part of the TABSA program. I’m a double major in French and Business with a concentration of International Business at Cameron School of Business at UNCW- and a specialization in Finance at KEDGE Business School.
Before beginning college, I knew that I wanted to travel abroad and spend as much time as I could seeing the world. Since I was younger, I knew I wanted to study abroad in France because my mom is French. The TABSA program was perfect because a dual degree program is offered in France. Although Marseille was the only option for TABSA in France, I couldn’t imagine having spent the last three semesters anywhere else. The university is located in a National Park. There are beaches, city life, hiking, and a soccer stadium - so there’s not much more I could ask for. My favorite part of studying abroad is that I’ve been able to travel from country to country like we change states in America. I’ve come to realize that reading and seeing photos of magnificent things are great but it’s incomparable to being there and experiencing it. A photo only can capture a small piece of such a large thing.
TABSA has taught me how to be a global citizen. Through the diverse students, travel opportunities, and work experience, I’ve learned how to interact in a respectful manner with people from all over the world. I took a class dedicated to teaching students about the cultural norms in the business world of different countries, which helped me feel more comfortable as I interviewed for internships these past months. To anyone considering TABSA, the most important advice I have received was from one of my professors at KEDGE. He told me that if I’m not scared at least one time a day then I’m not taking advantage of my opportunities. I’d keep this in mind as you go through the process of applying, traveling, and doing the program. Moving overseas is scary. I was terrified when I couldn’t see my parent’s face after security at the airport the first time I left, but if I never got on the plane, I never would have been able to experience the most amazing two years of my life.