Dharmin Lunagariya is an exchange student from India. He comes from Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. He is currently completing the third year of his Bachelor Degree which is a four-year honours programme.
Why did you choose to complete an international exchange?
Studying an entire semester at Rennes School of Business, France is a great opportunity that has come knocking at my door. It is an opportunity that will not only allow me to excel in my career progression, but one which also will expose me to the culture, academic, and non-academic lifestyle that I have always dreamed of.
I plan to move abroad to continue my studies. I have always liked and favoured the curriculum structure at Ahmedabad University and its inter-disciplinary approach to education is a game changer. I have always believed that an inter-disciplinary approach is important as it orients an individual towards the varied technicalities and practical know-how of different disciplines. Ahmedabad University has been a great platform for me to develop varied skills ranging from management to technological know-how to innovative thinking.
The greatest sources of this were the Foundation Programmes and other ENABLE courses. In a nutshell, I would like to express that there is a plethora of opportunities for students thriving to showcase their talent and learn about innovation to reach a point in their careers where they could excel themselves and lead a successful life. For me, a successful life revolves around learning, and this is what Ahmedabad University prioritises. Rennes School of Business provides something similar.
It encourages learning in an international arena while promoting cross-cultural activities. Their philosophy of thinking beyond the frame resonated with that of my university and is one of the leading factors that inspired me to apply for such a golden opportunity.
Have you had the chance to travel through Europe and France (since you arrived for your exchange)?
I have already had the chance to travel through different countries of Europe and different cities of France. So far, I have been able to explore the countries of Spain and Portugal. In France, I have been able to explore some cities, such as Paris, Rennes, Mont Saint-Michel (Le Mont-Saint-Michel) and Saint-Malo. These cities were a true depiction of the ancient architecture of Europe and French traditions.
I especially enjoyed the desserts and food at these places which I shall cherish for a lifetime. I also plan to visit other countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, etc. Once I will have completed a semester at Rennes School of Business. Thus, I got to explore a considerable part of Europe because of my student exchange at Rennes School of Business.
My experience in Europe, by large, has been one worth taking. I loved the way people talk to each other despite the fact being that they are strangers. Additionally, European desserts have won my heart and made me a huge fan of sweet dishes which I wasn’t previously.
Was it easy to settle into France?
I did face some issues here due to language barriers. I lack knowledge of the French language which has been one of my biggest obstacles from restaurants to supermarkets. However, I was able to get by with Google Translate!
Moreover, when I first landed in Paris, I faced issues with my sim card and had to choose an expensive phone contract from a shop in Paris, but which I now buy at reasonable rates on the company’s online portal. In addition to this, I did face problems in finding vegetarian restaurants across Europe.
One of the biggest hindrances was regarding my accommodation in Rennes. I received a room from CROUS at Beaulieu which happened to be very far from the college, and I faced issues in travelling to the college. Despite several requests, I was unable to transfer to a CROUS residence near the college. However, I learnt efficient time management skills due to this and am able to cope with my schedule despite my place being far from the college.
I am also able to travel alone which I previously wasn’t able to do. Thus, it can be said that experiences are your best teachers and you make the most out of such experiences.
To conclude, I would like to say that travelling across Europe has been one of my greatest achievements and this was one of the most fruitful decisions of my life to opt for a Student Exchange Programme in Europe.
Was it easy to meet new people?
In my opinion, yes it was easy to get settles and meet new people in Rennes. I would like to give credit to my CROUS residence where I was able to meet people from not only my nationality but also people belonging to other nationalities. I was also able to meet people because of the initiatives taken by the college associations such as the organisation of Afterwork sessions and dance parties. Initially, I thought that the people here were not that open to strangers, but after talking to them I found that if you are willing to make the first step, they won’t resist it.
Thus, I was able to make social connections with different nationalities due to my CROUS residence and College Initiatives very easily.
How was your integration as an exchange student?
The RSB team is very supportive and understanding in nature. Although I did not resort to much help, I would like to highlight the fact that their team members are ready to help any time of the day and always ready to try something new. I have had experiences like going shopping with people from the RSB team with just one text. This shows that team is so supportive and willing to take steps that would make international students comfortable and enhance their experience at the college.
Moreover, they tend to motivate people to become a part of something they are not willing to. This proactiveness and enthusiasm attracted me a lot. I would like to express my profound gratitude to them.
What do you think of the campus?
The campus at Rennes School of Business is just amazing. It takes care of every single aspect from environmental sustainability to student comfort. The only problem I faced during my initial days at the college was finding the way to Building 4. The building somehow happens to be disconnected from the whole framework of the college. However, I got used to this after attending a few lectures in that building. I would also like to provide a suggestion regarding the availability of vegetarian food in the college canteen because that was the only thing I missed at the college. I am almost on the verge of completing my student exchange and I am already thinking of changing my return flight dates because I am unwilling to quit this lifestyle at the campus!
I enjoyed various resources such as Bloomberg, Student Activities, etc. at the campus. To conclude, I would like to say that the campus and its campus life are just ”lit”!
Why did you choose Rennes SB instead of another school?
As mentioned earlier, I prefer an interdisciplinary approach towards education and innovative thinking. These two are the stepping stones towards attaining vocational education. This is what Rennes School of Business promotes and this is the sole reason why I chose it over other schools. What matters to me is the educational style, resources and the quality of education at an educational institution and my expectations are all met by Rennes School of Business.