How does the program work?
You spend your first two years at Elon University. Then you go to a partner school abroad for your junior and senior years. You carefully choose your courses so that you can meet the graduation requirements of both Elon and the partner school you attend. After four years, you are awarded a degree from both Elon and that partner school. You also need to learn at Elon (or already know) German or French since your classes at the partner school will be taught in the local language.
Why participate in this program?
You’ll not only earn two degrees in business, you’ll become bilingual and come to understand two business cultures. Only about 20 Americans complete each program each year, so your qualifications to employers will not only be highly regarded, they will be rare. You will have already proven that you can successfully live abroad and function at a high level in at least one important European economy.
Who makes a good candidate for this program?
We look for students who have a strong desire to live, work and study abroad, and who are ready for a challenge. We also take into consideration your experience in the partner school’s language and your drive to become proficient in that language.
How much does it cost?
It costs about the same as going to Elon for four years. Students pay their tuition “at home” for all four years, so you will pay Elon tuition through the whole program; if you have scholarships or financial aid, they apply for the four years. You will pay for housing and food where you are studying. Just like at Elon, these costs vary and you can pay a lot or a little, but the range in housing prices is similar to the range in Elon on-campus living. There are not really dining halls abroad, but you will be able to cook for yourself and there are often low-cost student cafeterias. You’ll have to buy some plane tickets, but you won’t need to keep your car.
Can I get an internship?
You are required to complete an internship while abroad. These internships are at least a semester long, are with firms in the country you are studying, and are part of the program. The partner schools have active internship placement services and they will assist you in finding yours. Most are paid, and you can have a paid internship without being a citizen of a European Union country because the internship is a degree requirement.
Will I need a visa? Will Elon get it for me?
Though, as a U.S. citizen, you can visit these countries for a few months without a visa, to stay for a longer period of time you will need a visa. While Elon will help you find addresses and guide you toward the visa application process, you will have to obtain the visa yourself. You may have to personally visit an embassy or consulate. Each country has its own rules and processes and you need to start the application process well before your departure date. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to find out what the visa rules are for you.
This adventure has been the most challenging experience of my life – personally, academically and emotionally – but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Anna Kuertz graduated in 2015 with degrees from Elon & NEOMA. While in France, she completed an e-marketing internship with Spartoo SAS, a European online shoe retailer. Her senior thesis explored how companies within the fashion industry in the United States utilize their supply chains to regulate environmental impacts in the world.