As a result of Rider University’s growing partnership with Centre d’études Franco americain de management (CEFAM) in Lyon, France, Dr. Susan Denbo, director of the International Business major and professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, was recently selected to participate in a unique teaching exchange partnership.
During Rider’s spring break in March, Denbo taught international business law as a guest lecturer in Dr. Helen Roux-Fontaine’s international management classes in Lyon.
“The purpose of the trip was to get a sense of courses offered at CEFAM and to see if they are compatible with courses offered at Rider,” explained Denbo, who had a chance to see the facilities and experience the area. “I met with faculty members who also teach international business law.”
Denbo said the teaching experience was also rewarding because of the French students’ interest and perspectives of U.S. law. Since some of the students plan to work in the United States, they were intrigued by the differences between U.S. and French law, she added.
“In France, they pay much higher taxes. They have very big social services with government benefits. They were shocked that most Americans only get two weeks’ vacation. In France, women are guaranteed maternity leaves,” she said. “The experience helped me learn a little more about the French system and European Union, which I shared with my students in classes here.”
Later, in April, Roux-Fontaine visited Rider as a guest lecturer in Denbo’s International Business Law and MBA courses.
“She’s an incredibly dynamic person. She is very engaging. The students loved her. They had a lot of questions, and she was able to help students who were interested in working overseas. She was able to give firsthand insights to the students,” Denbo said. “She also had the chance to see what Rider was like and gain firsthand knowledge about the institution where CEFAM is sending its students.”
Under a partnership established by Rider and CEFAM in 2009, fourth-year students from France are able to receive dual undergraduate degrees from the two institutions. The recent collaboration follows the success of a partnership established in 2002, where a cohort of students from Sanda University in Shanghai arrives on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus each January to take classes toward a dual undergraduate degree. Last fall, CBA announced a new program for post-Baccalaureate graduates from CEFAM to have the opportunity to study at Sanda and Rider University. The first cohort of students arrived on the Lawrenceville campus in May.
Denbo, who has served as a faculty adviser for a number of international study tours, including Peru, Panama, and a recent trip to China and Vietnam with Executive MBA students, said these partnerships highlight Rider’s commitment to foster students’ integrative thinking required in a complex and rapidly changing world.
“There are a number of CEFAM students at Rider, but we have yet to send one of our students to CEFAM,” Denbo explained. “Now that we have this agreement with CEFAM, the goal is to start sending our students there in the next year or two. Hopefully, we will also be able to pair up additional faculty there.”