“I would advise anyone going to study abroad to start speaking the language of your study abroad country immediately when you arrive, and try not to speak your native language even though it feels comfortable.”
Naomi Aguariavwodo - Toulouse Business School, France
BSc Business Economics with European Study
Naomi started by studying for a foundation certificate with INTO before progressing to a degree in Business Economics, including a year’s study at Toulouse Business School.
“Before starting my degree, I completed a foundation certificate with INTO Exeter and had the opportunity to see the University develop (construction of the Forum) and rise in the rankings. I grew accustomed to the beautiful campus and could not imagine starting over in a new university.
I chose to study Business Economics for my degree because of its flexibility. In my first year I was able to choose 60 credits of optional modules and in my second and fourth I was able to pick up to 90 credits of optional modules. The Business Economics course allows me to study an Economics degree but with less mathematical content, which was perfect for me.
For my year abroad, I wanted to have the full Erasmus experience and experience a new style of learning so I chose Toulouse Business School (TBS). My decision was also greatly influenced by a Business School study abroad representative during the Study Abroad Fair in my second year. The representatives answered all my questions and reassured me that TBS would be a great choice for my year abroad and he was not wrong.
I chose to focus on the business aspect of my degree by studying courses not provided by the University of Exeter. These included how to deal with the French, negotiation with the Chinese and Japanese and Effective Meetings. This gave me the opportunity to complement my soft skills and broaden my knowledge of the business environment.
After finishing my year abroad, I completed an internship with the Nigerian Investment Management Service (NAPIMS), a corporate subsidiary unit of the National Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). I believe my year abroad helped me to secure this internship by making my application stand out amongst other candidates, and since graduating, has helped me to gain my current role as an analyst at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.
The best thing about study abroad was that I was able to experience new European cultures through travelling. At times it was challenging to adapt to a new culture but it was definitely worthwhile. Also studying abroad broadens your thinking patterns, for instance a typical class in TBS resembles a UN panel because of the sheer diversity. It was a rare opportunity to gain insight into numerous cultures and challenge previous conceptions about various cultures.
I would advise anyone going to study abroad to start speaking the language of your study abroad country immediately when you arrive and try not to speak your native language even though it feels comfortable. This way you will integrate much better with the local culture and get more out of the experience.”