After the success of its 2022 edition, the bootcamps were back in 2023 for the 6th time. 60 students and 8 administrators from 31 different community colleges participated in one of the 4 programs offered this summer :
- Sustainable City Campuses organized by Université de Lorraine
- Nature: Tamed and Wild organized by Université Lyon 3
- Sustainable Business organized by Rennes School of Business
- Sustainable Management of Marine Ecosystems organized by Aix-Marseille Université
During two weeks, participants followed various courses and workshops focused on sustainable development, and they gained hands-on experience thanks to field trips and visits to local businesses. Participating in a bootcamp was the occasion for them to discover France, its culture and “terroir”, and to connect with local people. This international experience was quite unique as 37% of the students left the United States for the first time.
The bootcamps are a winning formula, and the feedback collected at the end of the programs are, this year again, very positive. 100% of respondents felt that the program had met its learning objectives and would recommend it to other students. The experience enabled them to develop intercultural skills and improve their ability to adapt. Moreover, the bootcamps proved to be transformative as 87% of respondents are more interested in studying, working or living abroad. Participants particularly appreciated the combination of teaching with company and field visits, which helped to illustrate the academic content and to exchange views with local players in the field of sustainable development. For 60% of them, following this program has changed their academic objectives and/or their career plans.
For Morgan McShea, student at Cascadia College: “This bootcamp was the best experience of my life. La Ciotat was absolutely stunning, the activities, food, and instructors were all beyond my expectations. I am so forever grateful to have been a part of this program, and I am returning home absolutely rejuvenated and inspired for my career in sustainability”.
The bootcamps were also very beneficial to the participating administrators. As representatives of their community college, they met with their French counterparts to discuss their programs, their respective interests and needs in terms of internationalization, and the possibilities for collaborations. The conversations initiated in France were fruitful and should be continued. The bootcamps are an important step toward structured collaborations between community colleges and French higher education institutions.