Their Campus: Coping with coursework in Bordeaux

Remember how you spent the first class at UBC going over the syllabus and don’t do “real work” until the second class? I was expecting a similar experience with my first class at KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, but it was not to be.

For my 5 p.m. class, we were delving into the subject matter of what creates a simulation at 5:01 p.m. and we were solving really neat mathematical problems by 5:30 p.m. This hit-the ground-running pace seems to be similar across the board for classes at KEDGE.

This pace makes sense because, unlike UBC with a two-semester model, KEDGE runs on a cycle model where each cycle is one month long. In each cycle, you take one to two classes for 10 three-hour sessions, with the tenth session being the final exam. However, some cycles — while still a month long — are composed of classes that are only a week long in duration, but still have the 30 hours of class time... just squeezed into a week. So since I’m on exchange until December, I will be here for three cycles, including one cycle with week-long classes.

Even though I registered for courses in August, I only found out my first cycle courses one week before they began and I will find out my second and third cycle courses on October 1. I do prefer the UBC method of course registration where your schedule is known well in advance of the start of school, but learning to appreciate ambiguity is great as well!

I’m curious how having only one to two classes at a time over a shorter time period will affect my learning. I have never taken summer courses, but heard mixed reviews — some folks felt their learning was diluted and others love the ability to focus on one to two courses at a time.

With the jump-right-into-it pace, ambiguity and new timeline, I’m excited to discover more about my classes and the school system here as I continue to learn. However, I’m less excited that the online platform the school uses is the same as Connect, but oh well. You can’t win them all.