|Pictured left to right: Front Row: Provost Roger Brown, Richard Bowers, CESM Director and Chancellor Allen Meadors. Back Row: Dean Ken Clow, Dr. Alex Chen and Paul Flantos.|
The photos from Paul Flantos' studies abroad last summer look like postcards from paradise.
The senior business major spent last summer as UNC Pembroke's ambassador to the famed Provence region of France.
UNCP signed this fall an agreement with the school to send more students in the future.
Mr. Flantos spent five weeks at the Center for Advanced European Studies in Management (CESM Mediterranee), located in the Mediterranean port city of Marseilles. He received nine hours of credit for courses in international business, European culture and French language.
He had the time of his life.
"The class work was very intense during the day, but there was plenty of time to travel and enjoy Europe," Mr. Flantos said. "The best part is the friends you meet."
The Lumberton, N.C., native has traveled this fall to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to reunite with friends he made in France.
"We are all very different, but we did very well as a group," he said.
Back at UNCP this fall, Mr. Flantos is hard at work taking 21 hours. He plans to graduate in May.
To pay for his study abroad experience, sacrifices were necessary.
"My mother helped be out a lot," Mr. Flantos said. "But a large part of my trip was underwritten by Visa and MasterCard."
"Lots of my friends said I was crazy, and it is a sacrifice," he said. "But I had a wonderful time, and it was worth the cost."
This fall with Mr. Flantos at the table, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and Associate Vice Chancellor for International Programs Alexander Chen signed agreements to pave the way for more students to study at CESM.
"Opportunities like the one Paul took advantage of will change an individual's perspective on the world we live in," Chancellor Meadors said. "Experiences like these are so enriching, not only from the academic sense, but from cultural, social and personal aspects."
"Every day events occur - good and bad - that make us realize we must learn to live as a global society," he said. "Having more students study abroad and bringing more international students to our campus will prepare our graduates for the world they will live in."
CESM Director Richard Bowers was on hand for the signing ceremony to make the school a formal part of UNCP's International Programs. The director said CESM offers more than international studies.
"One of the aspects that makes the program so exciting is the cultural and out-of-class experiences the students receive," Mr. Bowers said. "This is a historic French city located in a Mediterranean setting where you get an authentic, warm feeling from the people."
"The accommodations and the people are great," Mr. Flantos said. "The weather was perfect every day, and it is a beautiful location."
The students had a variety of travel opportunities that found them in Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Cannes and other locations.
Mr. Flantos does have one regret. "I should have stayed two-weeks longer and taken the internship program."
The cost of the five-week program is $1,500, including room and board. Transportation and additional travel is extra.
To learn more about International study opportunities at UNCP, call 910.521.6205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .