Report study abroad: SKEMA Business School, Sophia-Antipolis

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1 Report study abroad: SKEMA Business School, Sophia-Antipolis General information Host institution and exact dates study abroad From the 7 th of January 2016 till the 29 th of April 2016 I studied at SKEMA Business School in Sophia-Antipolis, which is at the Cote d Azur in France. Contact with home faculty All the important information regarding the study abroad like the Erasmus grant, procedure, and necessary documents will be clearly provided beforehand by the RUG. Furthermore, the RUG will send you many useful s with deadlines or other important to do s. Also when you are already abroad, the RUG will send you important information and if you have any questions they will respond quickly. I really appreciated this help as you have to arrange many things and you might forget something important to do. Preparation In order to be well prepared for my study abroad in France, I followed the PowerPoint Presentation provided by the RUG. I made sure I had a correct (European) health insurance card, a credit card, and a valid passport. Furthermore, you have to stop your student OV temporarily in order to receive around 100 per month and if I am right it is even required to do so. Regarding my phone subscription, I changed it to the lowest subscription possible in order to decrease my Dutch phone costs, as I could not use it abroad. Therefore, once in France, I got a French phone subscription from FreeMobile, which you pay monthly and you can easily end the subscription by sending a letter. Finally, SKEMA Business School requires some documents to be uploaded/ ed, which will all be told per by Stéphanie Schulz (the exchange coordinator from SKEMA). Grant When you apply correctly for the Erasmus grant, you will receive 70% during your study abroad and 30% when you come back. It is hard to state the exact amount as I still have to receive my last 30%, but it will probably sum up to around Besides the Erasmus grant, you can also apply for the CAF housing aid, which means you can receive money from the French government. However, it takes quite some effort before you will receive it as you first have to open a French bank account (which is quite hard for such a short period of time, in the end I opened one at BNP Paribas in Valbonne), then you have to apply online (the site is only in French), hand in several required documents both online and by mail. After having some patience I was lucky and received 450 from the CAF.

2 Journey to France The 2 nd of January I flew to Nice with Transavia, discovered the area a bit before I had to start the 7 th of January. As this was not during a popular period, the ticket was only 60 and around 100 including 2 pieces of luggage. On the 6 th of May I flew back to the Netherlands. Residence abroad Before leaving to France, I already wanted to find a room because I did not feel like staying in a hostel and because other students arranged it beforehand as well. SKEMA said they would provide you an account with which you could log in on a special housing site, however I received this too late, so I already looked for rooms/apartments online. In previous reports I read that most students live in Antibes or Juan les Pins, so that is where I searched something as well. Especially Facebook was useful as I was a member of the SKEMA page and many other students were searching for roommates. In the end I found an apartment that was posted on a Facebook page called Antibes Buy it, Sell it, Rent it. I shared this apartment with a girl from California. Our rent was around 500, which is quite expensive, but for the Cote d Azur it was okay. Introduction day The 7 th of January 2016 was the introduction day for all the exchange students. This was a really nice way to get to know the other students and of course SKEMA Business School. Furthermore, the French student/study organization Interculture was introduced, which organizes fun events for exchange students such as a buddy party, Frenchy Lessons, a beach party, and a trip to a certain destination. I really recommend going to all their organized events, as you will meet many French and exchange students. Student life, leisure, and culture As already shorty mentioned, Interculture will organize nice parties and other activities. Furthermore, almost every Thursday (or sometimes on Tuesday) a student/study organization of SKEMA will organize a party at one of the clubs in Juan Les Pins with cheaper drinks than normal club prices. The big clubs are more in Juan Les Pins, but you can find pubs/cafés in Antibes like the Hop Store or Australian Bar. Regarding leisure, there are of course a lot of beaches where you can relax and chill with friends. Also, there are many cities nearby and the trains are quite cheap (buy a Zhou card, which costs only 15 and will give you 50-75% discount for trains within the region), so it is really nice to make trips. Finally, regarding culture, there are quite some museums that you can visit and in Antibes you can still see the fort and walls around the city.

3 Studying at SKEMA Business School Studying at SKEMA is rather different than at the RUG. First of all, most of the professors teaching at SKEMA are business people who visit the university just for a week in order to teach a specific course. It is more a practical approach and for most courses you do not have to purchase any books, especially since many courses are given within 3 days and you will finish it with a report/assignment/presentation. Something I really had to get used to was that one class takes around 3 hours, which is double the time we have at the RUG. Furthermore, SKEMA only schedules classes from h and from h. The lunchtime is very important in France and, therefore, always takes 2 hours. I have to admit; I did not really like how everything went regarding arranging/planning your courses. There was no correct course list available online beforehand, which made it quite hard to fill out the LA before mobility, also because Stéphanie did not want to sign the LA until you were in France (which made arranging everything for you Erasmus grant quite hard). Once at SKEMA, during the introduction day, we received an extensive list of courses and we had to plan our own schedule. This was not that bad and we could choose from many interesting courses. You could still make changes till the Add & Drop period was over. However, another downside was that you did not know when most of the exams are and it takes quite some time before you receive your actual grades. Nevertheless, SKEMA offered good assistance and helped you well with everything whenever asked. Courses I followed 1. Cultural Awareness: living and working in France (3 ECTS) 2. International Negotiation (5 ECTS) 3. Value Management & Marketing (4 ECTS) 4. How to Build a Brand? (2 ECTS) 5. Operation & Information Systems (5 ECTS) 6. Luxury Goods Management (2 ECTS) 7. Mobile Marketing (2 ECTS) 8. Decision Making Models in Marketing (2 ECTS) 9. Advanced Service Management in the Luxury industry (2 ECTS) 10. Advanced Advertising Strategies (2 ECTS) 11. Event Marketing (2 ECTS) 31 ECTS in total Summary impression Even though studying in France was not my first choice, I had an amazing time at the Cote d Azur. I met a lot of students from different countries, I got to know the French culture & student life better, and I could follow interesting courses that are not provided at the RUG. Even though life at the French Riviera is quite expensive compared to the Netherlands, it was worth every euro!

4 Specific report 1. Cultural awareness: living and working in France (3 ECTS) - Lectures: 5 classes 15 hours total 3-day course during 1 week - Content: The course was specifically designed for exchange students to help you with integrating into the French life. It covered important and interesting information regarding the French private and business life. - Program/grading: The professor told a lot of interesting information, thereby creating an interactive atmosphere in which every student shared his own experience, culture, or own view/opinion. In the middle of the week every group consisting of 4 students presented a topic related to the French culture, counting for 30%. The final assignment was about writing a 4-page report regarding differences between your own and the French culture for some specific topics, which counted for 70% of your grade. 2. Operation & Information Systems (5 ECTS) - Lectures: 10 classes 30 hours total during whole semester - Content: It is about the fundamental of IS and the organizational implications for managers by using Information Systems (IS) to perform their jobs effectively. The course gives you comprehensive global views of issues/techniques of managing IS and provides a focus on Data Base management as well. - Program/grading: The 10 lectures consisted either of the professor explaining theory (with funny lecture slides) or working in groups. There were 4 different group assignments that counted for 50% of your grade: a debate (10%), MS access computer assignment (30%), a case study (30%), and a presentation (30%). At the end there was a final exam, counting for the other 50% of your grade. 3. International negotiation (5 ECTS) - Lectures: 10 classes 30 hours total during whole semester - Content: You learn negotiation skills that are key for teamwork, conflict management, and relationship building within business and private life. It is an essential tool for living/working abroad. The course builds on frameworks/concepts of multicultural management and how they play out in a negotiation situation. - Program/grading: The professor was very enthusiastic about this course, resulting in a very interesting/active way of lecturing. It was a very interactive course in which many negotiation situations were given and you had to implement those in small groups. These group negotiations and active participation counted for 20% of your final grade. The other 80% was divided into 50% for the final exam and 30% for an oral presentation in class about negotiation in a specific culture.

5 4. Advanced Service Management in the Luxury industry (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 4 classes 15 hours 4-day course within 1 week - Content: The course gives you theoretical backgrounds of luxury services in a 5 star environment in the hospitality industry. - Program/grading: The professor explained a lot of theory based on his professional experience and career. During the remaining hours in class we worked in groups on an assignment to come up with a new service or improve an existing one and present this. The report and the presentation will define your final grade. 5. Advanced Advertising Strategies (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 4 classes 15 hours in total 4-day course within 1 week - Content: The course was quite similar to Advanced Service Management in the Luxury industry and was provided by the same professor as well. During the course you will get a theoretical background of media planning tools, international approaches, and mass advertising. - Program/grading: During the classes theory was explained and we worked on an assignment with groups. We had to analyse the media strategy of a luxury company. Again the final grade consisted of a report and a presentation. 6. Luxury Goods Management (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 5 classes 15 hours in total 5-day course within 1 week - Content: The course handles the many uncommon strategic decisions and precise tools to manage the growing luxury world as it grows at a high speed. - Program/grading: The course consists of various cases and professional examples as the professor has a lot of experience in the luxury industry. During the final class the final assignment was explained and we had one month to hand it in. Again the assignment was in groups and we had to choose a topic that was experiencing some new trends in the luxury industry. 7. Decision Making Models in Marketing (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 5 classes 15 hours in total divided over the whole semester - Content: The course deals with concepts, methods, and applications of decision modelling to address such marketing issues as new product design and development, advertising, and promotion planning. You will be able to translate conceptual understanding into specific operation plans. - Program/grading: This was one of my favourite courses as I am really into this topic. Though, the course was quite intense and difficult, but the professor made it interesting and explained it very well. Every class he explained theory and we made an example all together. The final grade consisted of an exam.

6 8. Mobile Marketing (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 5 classes 15 hours in total 3-day course during 1 week - Content: The course will provide you some global as well as detailed knowledge on what the various areas and solutions of mobile marketing are, including mobile advertising, mobile CRM, mobile direct marketing, and M-commerce. - Program/grading: During the classes the professor explained all relevant topics regarding mobile marketing, all from her experience as her professional career was in this area. During the last class, there was a final exam (100% of the grade). 9. Event Marketing (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 5 classes 15 hours in total 3-day course during 1 week - Content: This course gives students real world experience of marketing campaigns for events and it will provide you a hands-on experience in event marketing world. - Program/grading: The professor provided many success and failure stories during the lectures. As he worked for big events in several countries, the information was very interesting. Our final grade consisted of a presentation related to organizing and preparing one of the events the professor was involved with. 10. How to build a brand? (2 ECTS) - Lectures: 4 classes 15 hours in total 3-day course during 1 week - Content: The course will provide information regarding the creation process of a luxury brand, from sell in to sell out, and after the sales. - Program/grading: Again the professor had a lot of experience as he created his own brand. During the classes he explained the most important points, which are necessary to create a new brand. Therefore, the final assignment was about creating a new luxury product in groups. 11. Value Management & Marketing (4 ECTS) - Lectures: 6 classes 27 hours in total during 1,5 week - Content: The course will teach you how to measure and manage customer value in marketing of luxury goods. - Program/grading: The professor had a lot of experience in the hospitality industry and explained all the theory along with real-life examples. As this was the last course of the semester, the professor made an easy exam that counted for 100%.

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