Undergraduate Global Immersion in France

Bordeaux, France: BEM Management School

Program Type

This is a semester exchange program, where students take classes (in English or French) directly at a partner university and substitute that semester for a semester at the University of Minnesota. The partner university will send one of their students to the Carlson School of Management to take classes in their place.

Exchanges often require students to demonstrate a high degree of independence, adaptability, and flexibility because support and service may be different from a US university. Examples of differences that exchange students should be prepared to encounter include varying housing options, the amount and timing of program details, grading based less on assignments and more on final exams, and an academic calendar that may differ significantly from the University of Minnesota.

Location and Host School

Bordeaux is a lovely city near the Bay of Biscay along the shores of the Garonne river. While many know the name for the wine, Carlson students know that it is also an enchanting French city ripe with 18th century architecture, a cosmopolitan city life, and the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the global business environment. Bordeaux is one hour from Dune du Pyla, a beach situated at the entrance of the Bay of Arcachon which boasts the largest sand formation in Europe.

BEM Management School (BEM), founded in 1874, provides top quality instruction in the fields of business and management in a rich global context with 20% of all students coming from abroad. BEM has been ranked as one of the top business and management programs in France and endeavors to meet students’ needs by developing their skills and competencies to meet the challenges of business today and tomorrow. BEM’s vocation has always been to transmit the technical capacities, human values, and skills of principled leadership to ensure future success. Global responsibility means more than simply creating shareholder value, and studying at BEM Bordeaux teaches firsthand the vital importance of cross-cultural fluency in international business.

Exchange students study at BEM Campus 1 & 2 located in Talence, a close suburb of Bordeaux. It will take students 20-35 minutes to go from downtown Bordeaux to the school via public transportation.

Academic Calendar

Fall semester: September to December

Spring semester: January to June, depending on sequences selected*

When selecting a semester exchange program, students should take note of academic calendars that differ significantly from the University of Minnesota. Consider potential conflicts such as holidays, family events, graduation ceremonies, and summer jobs/internships early in the selection process.

Work with Education Abroad Advisers and the Carlson Business Career Center for support addressing challenges.

*Spring semester students choose to attend a minimum of five out of the six possible sequences to meet academic requirements, so spring semester start and end date may vary.

Language and Academics

Students are enrolled in 15 S/N Carlson School International Business (IBUS 5100) credits for a semester at BEM. Students maintain a full-time enrollment of 24 ECTS credits in fall or 30 ECTS credits in the spring to meet minimum requirements.

Carlson School students studying at BEM will be enrolled in the Master of Science in Management track. The semester is divided into 4–6 blocks worth 4 ECTS credits each. Each block is 3 weeks in length, with an exam at the end of each block. French language courses are offered in the same sequences and business courses can be taken in either English or French. A sample of subjects available include:

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Strategic Management
  • Operations Management
  • Information Systems
  • Human Resources
  • Management

For more information, visit BEM Management School.


Exchange students arrange their housing, selecting from several housing options in Bordeaux. Locations range from "Domofrance" residences adjacent to campus in Talence or private residences in downtown Bordeaux commuting 30 minutes by public transportation. BEM will provide students with information on securing housing in Bordeaux and reserving housing early is encouraged in order to meet preferences.

Budget Estimate 2013 - 2014

These estimates will vary based on student preference and exchange rates. All details subject to change based on economic and international factors. Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs.

2013-2014 Tuition $6,530
Program Fee (includes program administration and intl health insurance*) $2,500
Transportation (to and from program site) $1,100
Documentation** (passport, visa, immunization) $573
Books and Materials $200
Room and/or Board $6,000
Essential Daily Living Expenses $1,700
Miscellaneous $500
Total $19,103

*Students should also maintain their U.S.-based health insurance plan while abroad.

**Subject to change. Please verify current documentation costs with the Consulate.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad. In addition, University of Minnesota students are eligible for education abroad scholarships. See Scholarships and Finances for additional information, and Costs and Billing for budget planning and cost comparison tools.


To be eligible for this education abroad program, you must be:

  • A University of Minnesota student who has successfully completed the I-Core curriculum or equivalent coursework
  • In good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Additional criteria may apply

The University of Minnesota is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Application and Selection

Application materials include the online application form, a resume, and essay. Submit a completed application by the February 28th priority deadline prior to the academic year in which you wish to participate. Programs that do not fill following the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling admissions basis.

Admission to all programs is based on review of your application by the study abroad selection committee, and selection notifications are sent out within one month of the priority deadline or receipt of application during rolling admission. Once selected, students are given the opportunity to confirm acceptance, at which point they are subject to Education Abroad policies.

Quick Links

Program Video

program video


Contact Information

Global Immersion
Carlson Global Institute
CSOM 2-210
Phone: 612-625-9361
Fax: 612-624-8248

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