I'm Going to Grad School -- in France??

Hello, my lovely readers!

I apologize for not being around this past month! I have had to deal with a whirlwind of situations both at work and in my personal life, but I wanted to share some good news that I've been teasing for a while. 

I was accepted to the University of Burgundy located in Dijon, France for my graduate studies! I will be in the 2 year Intercultural Management MA program starting September of this year and I am so excited to share more information with you as the process continues.

A big goal I have with sharing this post is to help anyone who's looking to apply to higher education in France and has absolutely no idea where to start. I wish that I had the resources and knowledge that I have now when I was first applying months ago. My current goal is to create a video series that documents the different steps of applying to universities in France and breaking it down in a way that's comprehensible!

There are some resources on YouTube currently but I wasn't able to find information on my particular situation so I'd love to share a bit about how the process went for me and the difficulties that I've encountered. In comparison to when I studied abroad in Japan, there were a lot more administrative hurdles to jump over than I expected, and it can be stressful! I hope to be making some "sit-down and chat" style videos in the next few weeks to share all that I've learned but for now, I'd like to share a bit more about the program I'll be in and why I've decided to pursue higher education.

Like all people, I'm searching for what makes me truly happy in life. If there is one thing that makes me happy, it's helping students and meeting people from other cultures, as well as using language as a tool to build those relationships. I spoke with an advisor at my previous university and interviewed her about her responsibilities as an Education Abroad Coordinator. Her path before falling into this job sounded so much like the one I was on, and when she detailed the typical responsibilities and activities in her position, I knew this would be a much better path for me than staying in a corporate environment. The one setback for me jumping into this new career was that my advisor stated that a Master's degree was necessary, as it would be a major benefit when it comes to salary and title. 

A few months before speaking with her, I started looking into MA programs but gave up because I had no idea what I wanted to do. When my advisor told me this, I dug my old Google Document with all the grad schools I had found from around the world, particularly in France and Japan, and started researching each school on my list. 

That's when I strumbled upon the University of Burgundy. I liked that the department had a very small class size, with only 15 people each year. When I downloaded the syllabus, I found myself interested in every class listed, which I didn't expect. The program has a big focus on language as well as culture, which was a major plus for me, but what really nailed this in as my #1 choice was the fact that they offered an internship semester abroad. I saw that they were partnered with a university in Japan, and I knew instantly this was the school for me. 

Though it was a major risk looking back, I decided to only apply to this one school since it checked all my boxes. Not only that, but I was running out of time to have everything submitted since I made this choice to suddenly pursue grad school fairly late in the application game. In 2 weeks I suddenly had to gather over a dozen documents including recommendations and my application essay, but I powered through it because my heart was so set on this school. There are some moments in life where you see a bunch of tasks laid out in front of you, and you can either give up or push through, and my heart just told me that I needed to make this a reality!

I was lucky enough to be accepted shortly after my interview. I quickly learned the acceptance was the "easy" part, and the next phase was filled with administrative headaches, visa application woes, and the dread of trying to find an apartment as a foreigner. However, those are topics I really want to flesh out in my videos, so I'll save the commentary for then.

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading, and I'll see you very very soon!