29 May 2012

“From an outside perspective, it may sound strange dedicate one week to French culture in a French school. Have these French MBA students gone crazy? Actually, when you are a French MBA student on campus, you feel like you could be anywhere, but in France! First of all, you are a minority. Besides, you share nice milked teas with your Indian classmates or comment the European news with your Greek and German friends. And soon, you realize that you, as a French person, are also a “foreigner” for your peers! Suddenly you are asked to talk about your country, from the current presidential campaign, to your taste – or supposed taste- for frog and snails! Here we are.  Because the HEC MBA is so international, a French week is needed to remind the French students that we are in France (!) and to share some delicious parts of our culture with our international friends.

This year, it was in March. We opened the week with a nice and typical breakfast. An opportunity for everyone to learn how to pronounce “pains au chocolat” and “croissant” while eating. Believe me, when you plan to live in France after your MBA, you need these words!

Tuesday was dedicated to “Pétanque”, which is seen by some as a sport (I figured out this day that rules exist…), by others as an art (mostly people from the South of France), and by the French MBA students as a way of life sponsored by Ricard (brand of a typical French alcohol). The event allowed the happy few to share a relaxed moment, in a friendly atmosphere.

On Wednesday, we invited a comedian for a show-lesson called “French lover for dummies”. No need to say that it was highly interesting even for some French guys – no names will be communicated.

On Thursday, thanks to our partner, Nicolas –a French wine retailer -, we were able to propose a cheese and wine tasting. Delicious time and for many a first step towards the dangerous road of cheese addiction. To conclude this week, a Gala event took place with a French diner, a show put on by some students, a quiz, and “un petit air d’accordéon”. Students, teachers, staff, spouses, kids, everybody was there for an amazing French night. French week on HEC campus? “Avec plaisir”.

Laetitia Rossille, Class of 2013

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