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Discovering the French “Art de Vivre” through Erasmus+ Program

YEREVAN, Armenia – Ani Keshishyan, a student from the American University of Armenia (AUA) Bachelor of Arts in Business (BAB) program, and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) student Lilit Ohanyan were the first to start their Spring 2017 academic semester at the Audencia Business School in France. Now, as their semester comes to an end, both students reflect on their expectations prior to leaving for France and on their experience after months of study at the School, which holds the “triple crown” accreditation from the most sought-after international accreditations: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Association of Master of Business Administration (AMBA), European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

“When I first found out, that there was an opportunity to participate in an exchange program, I thought that it was my time. I have always dreamt of a change in my learning environment, gaining new experiences and immersing myself in different cultures,” Lilit Ohanyan recalls and adds that her arms shook when received her acceptance letter from France. Lilit is majoring in Corporate Finance and she found Audencia to be a perfect match.

“Everything was so interesting and intensive from the first day: international environment, different cultures, and more. These type of programs are not just about gaining new professional skills but also evolving as a person, going beyond the boundaries of perceptions and what we think we know. Audencia gave us an opportunity to observe everything from a practical point of view and be prepared for the real job market. The most important takeaway from this program for me would be completely new way of thinking and if course plethora of professional advantages created during my studies here,”  Lilit notes.

Ani Keshishyan similarly recalls that being accepted to this program was a “turning point” in her life. She says France has always been a dream was a wonderful opportunity to learn French. In Ani’s case, her courses perfectly complemented her AUA courses.

“I’m looking to make the most of my last days in France. It has been an adventuresome journey and one that I will always remember and miss. I realize that my expectations were merely an oversimplification of what I actually experienced. Immersing myself in French culture and lifestyle has opened a well of new perspectives and outlooks on life. Be it the dinners with my host family, tasting the best of French cuisine coupled with long conversations, or late night walks through the small streets of Nantes, here, I discovered the French “art de vivre” or the art of living. I learned to be bold and open to novelty” Ani concludes.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.


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