NC State-SKEMA partnership celebrates two year anniversary

The partnership between NC State University and SKEMA Business School celebrated a two-year milestone in January by welcoming the largest class of SKEMA students to the NC State campus to date.

Close to 300 students from the business school, which is headquartered in France, are studying in Raleigh during the Spring 2013 semester. That is an increase from the 210 “pioneers” who helped launch the program in the Spring of 2011.

“No matter what, it’s going to be a life-changing experience,” SKEMA US Director Pascal Vidal told the new students at their orientation in January.

The Global Training Initiative (GTI) has been responsible for orienting the SKEMA students to the NC State campus as well as providing other academic and programmatic support for the students over the last two years. In the last two years, the GTI has also facilitated numerous student internship opportunities throughout the United States for the SKEMA students.

The partnership with the business school also led to the development of the International Cultural Leadership Project (ICLP), which provides opportunities for NC State students to participate in cultural, academic, and volunteer activities with SKEMA students.

“Participants in the ICLP have not only created a positive impact on the NC State campus, but they have also made a difference in the Triangle community by participating in hundreds of hours of volunteer activities,” said Ilin Misaras, the SKEMA programs coordinator for the GTI.

The ICLP has also grown since its inception two years ago, and the NC State students who are majoring and minoring in French have had many opportunities to practice speaking French and learning about the culture outside their FLF classes.

“For those who have never travelled, it is a great opportunity to have a bit of France here at home and to discover how young people from another culture live and think,” said Dr. Michelle Magill, the coordinator of the French section in NC State’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

“Friendships have formed and lasted, and many of our students are eager to go study and travel in France,” she added. “The motivation and enthusiasm for learning the language and culture are palpable and contagious.”