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International Virtual Day: a very real experience

Published on 24 December 2020 by NEOMA

  • International mobility

International Day is the essential meet-up day for students hoping to go abroad, a chance to meet partner universities and talk to students who have already undertaken this experience. So we couldn’t ‘really’ hold it in 2020? No matter, NEOMA organised the day on its new virtual campus. Everyone could come in with their avatar, circulate, attend the presentations, make contributions, discuss things… just like in real life. Four students tell us about this unique experience.

 

LAURA BAUD

Master 1 PGE (Master in Management)

What is your mobility project?

I will be doing an exchange in September 2021. I’d like to go to Asia, especially Korea, or maybe Vietnam.

What were you looking for on the NEOMA virtual campus?

I wanted to find out about the experiences of students who have done their stay abroad in the countries I want to go to, what they really liked, what they liked less, the courses they liked, what you can do in terms of tourism, and, of course, the financial aspect. The students talked very openly about what it had really been like for them, I thought that was great. They had prepared a slideshow, you could easily follow it, it was very interactive.

What do you think of this virtual experience?

At the beginning, you had to learn how to move about, but after that it was very easy. The students from the International Bureau told us which rooms to go to and came with us. Once we were in the conference, we could see the other students, we could take part very easily, by opening our microphones, or writing on the chats. We could also go to work or social spaces to talk like we would in real life. It was a lot better than just using Zoom. And for this type of event that involves students from Reims as well as from Rouen, it’s very practical.

CHIRINE TAHIR

1st year Global BBA

 

What is your mobility project?

I’d like to go to Germany next year.

What were you looking for on the NEOMA virtual campus?

I came to find out information about Germany, and all the universities. I wanted more information than what you can find on their website. For example, how the students live in the cities. I have loads of information about the University of Cologne, Otto Beisheim School in Vallendar and Düsseldorf, and on Dortmund where I’m thinking of going. I got replies to all my questions. In the end, I even went to see India, Canada, and more. It made me think about other destinations.

What do you think of this virtual experience?

I was very impressed by how it was organised. All the participants had their microphones on, you could hear them and they could hear us. When there was a problem, they showed us how to deal with it, just like they would in real life. I met up with the students in my class at the activities organised on the campus, it made you forget the virtual aspect.

I don’t think there are many Schools that offer this kind of meeting.

VARVARA SHETSOVA

Master 1 PGE (Master in Management)

 

What is your mobility project?

I’d like to go to North America, preferably the United States, maybe Canada. But I’m also thinking about Chile or south-east Asia.

What were you looking for on the NEOMA virtual campus?

I was very keen to see the students who were presenting the North American countries. University representatives were there too, so it was very useful to be able to talk to them directly, and ask more specific questions, which takes much longer by email. And the students could tell us about the budget needed to cover living costs. Then I went to listen to the talk on India, even though I wasn’t interested in that at first. But I found it fascinating. In the end, I found the answers to all my questions: I knew my first choice was North America, but I realised that I was less attracted by Asia than by South America.

What do you think of this virtual experience?

I logged on at the beginning, at 4 pm, and I stayed right up to 9 pm. We were welcomed by the NEOMA staff, and we gradually got used to the software. You could walk around the campus, or even run, and I thought that was great. I sometimes get stressed by the time I waste going from one place to another. And I find it a lot easier when it’s like a social occasion. You feel more at ease asking questions. It takes away your inhibitions.

 

MAEL CONUS

1st year Global BBA

 

What is your mobility project?

I am going to choose destinations with French-speaking Schools. At Laval University in Quebec, the courses are in French, it should be a great experience.

What were you looking for on the NEOMA virtual campus?

I wanted to hear about the students’ experiences, even if they went to countries I’m not going to. I went to listen to the presentations on Canada, Washington, Mexico, and I stayed a long time, I was able to ask loads of questions about how to adapt, when you travel a long way away, you’re afraid of being all alone and not being able to adapt; also about the cost of living, whether it was better to get an apartment or a room on the campus, about the courses, about life in the city… It was very enlightening.

What do you think of this virtual experience?

Well, to be honest, it’s really easy to access, you just have to create an avatar and enter the virtual world directly. You can activate the microphone and take part with one click. You can choose whether to be heard by everyone or talk to just one person. You can even write in the chat, ask questions, and the staff reply very readily.

Doing International Day on the virtual campus works out exactly the same as doing it in real life. The fact that you can walk around all the rooms makes it just like really being there. I felt more at ease about asking questions. I wouldn’t have asked so many questions if I had been there in person.

 

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