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France | En Route to Paris

BY SHERRY WANG

It’s 6:54AM in New York City where my plane is currently stationed, which means it’s 3:54AM in California. My flight crew decided to let off a disruptive passenger mid-flight, so my non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Paris was delayed with a pit stop in New York. They said one hour, but it’s been about three already, so I figured I’d take this time document all the little things I love about flying besides the thrill of the take-off and landing.

The greatest thing about flying is that it’s different each time—the food, the seat, the entertainment. New strangers with their own stories, a crew with a different dynamic. During this flight, the crew has been incredibly attentive and fun (a few of them are currently singing and dancing to Party in the USA in their plaid blazers and Norwegian accents).

One of the best things to do while traveling is to strike up a conversation with strangers. There’s a lot to be learned through another person’s perspective. Currently sitting next to me is the sweetest old lady who’s originally from Paris and now living in Orange County, California. She’s flying back to visit family and friends. In the row in front of me sits the most adorable, energetic French father-daughter pair.

During the flight thus far, I’ve learned that the lady sitting next to me studied chemical engineering at a graduate institution in Paris and recently retired from a multinational conglomerate. She’s lived in Canada and France as well as California, but she still prefers the Golden State and would not likely return to living in France. One of the main reasons was simple, France’s technology was just not as up to date as California’s, and it was catching up too slowly. The situation made living in France inconvenient. In regards to my trip, she advised me to focus on the food and the sights of France, not the shopping like many tourists do.

Even with random, unexpected delays, I can’t be upset. It’s always possible to fill the time with something enjoyable or productive, and in the end, it’s all a part of the flying experience.

So here I am, stationed and delayed in New York City, feeling grateful for this experience and not at all feeling like I’m going to be in Paris in ~7 hours (7 hours!!). The fact that I’m studying abroad STILL hasn’t hit me, and I suppose it won’t until I’m sitting in class tomorrow morning, a bright and early 9 a.m.

Until next time,

Sherry

P.S. While passing through French customs—which is a quick process unlike in the U.S.—I met some other students in my program. I also met a street photographer with an older model of the camera I recently bought for the trip, and he taught me some new camera tricks. How cool is talking to strangers?

Sherry Wang studied abroad in Paris and Strasbourg, France, in summer 2017: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/intlbuslaw/ 

France | Attending Class Online

BY SHERRY WANG

LA’s traffic is notorious—going east to west or vice versa can take an hour. Since my hometown is roughly three hours away from UCLA in morning traffic, I wasn’t exactly eager to drive there for the first two weeks of class.

Lucky for me, the International Business Law & Taxation program offers an online real-time class option for the first two weeks of the program. Last Tuesday, I found myself rolling out of bed at 8 a.m. to attend the first class right at home. With participation counting as 30% of the overall grade, students joining the lecture online are expected to contribute as much as the students in the classroom.

Students who are unable to attend the real-time options – online or in the classroom – can watch a recording of the lecture on their own time. In that case, students must complete an additional assignment to demonstrate their class participation. Given the options, the first two weeks of the program allow you to attend in class no matter where you are in the world!

Like most other video chat technology, the one Professor Freixes uses allows students at home to see and hear him, his powerpoint, and all the other students online. Professor Freixes and the students in the classroom can see and hear everyone online. This way, it is easy for everyone to participate.

I found myself more engaged in this online style of learning than in learning in a live classroom. Furthermore, the Professor often discussed current events and encouraged students to look up information on their own laptops/phones in class.

Like with most 3-hour summer classes, our class got a 15-minute break, during which I turned off my laptop camera and wandered into my kitchen to grab a drink and snack. Super cool and convenient. Of course, if you live close to UCLA or are on campus, attending the class at UCLA has its own advantages. For example, it serves as an opportunity to meet other students and the professor.

I encourage those who decide to enroll in the program to reach out to the students on the Facebook group prior to the start of the program. It’s a great way to meet students to travel with, study with, or even share books with. Understanding what others are doing in terms of travel, packing, and textbooks can be extremely helpful for your own preparations.

A few months prior to the program, I reached out to some fellow travelers, met up at a dining hall, and started getting excited for all the adventures we were about the have abroad. Later on, I found another student to share textbooks with (ebooks are the way to go!). I couldn’t be more pumped for the abroad portion of Travel Study.

Stay tuned!

Sherry

Sherry Wang studied abroad in Paris and Strasbourg, France, in summer 2017: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/intlbuslaw/ 

France | The Program Curriculum and Professor

BY SHERRY WANG

Writing this post from my hometown Starbucks feels completely surreal. Just last week I was traveling in Taipei, Taiwan. A few days ago I attended my first Travel Study real-time online class. Yesterday, I was in downtown LA attending a business leadership conference.

The length and structure of the Travel Study International Business Law and Taxation program (2 weeks at UCLA/online and 3 weeks abroad) truly allows you to create the summer you want. In addition to the flexibility, the program is taught by an amazing professor and consists of an engaging curriculum.

PROFESSOR

Gonzalo Freixes

Adjunct Professor of Accounting, Associate Dean of the Fully Employed MBA program. “A native Cuban, Freixes and his parents immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1960s as refugees of the communist regime in that country…”

CLASSES

(1) Management 109: International Business Law

(2) Management 127C: International Taxation

(3) Optional research

Directly from the UCLA Accounting Minor Program courses page:

Management 127C: International Taxation (4 units) Only offered through the Travel Study Program

Recommended requisite: course 127A. Study of two principle areas of international taxation from U.S. regulatory perspective: taxation of American citizens and companies conducting business in international arena (outbound transactions) and taxation of foreign nationals and companies who invest or conduct business in the U.S. (inbound transactions).  

Management 109:  International Business Law (4) Only offered through the Travel Study Program

Recommended requisite: course 108. Study of international business legal environment, including general overview of international laws and organizations and comprehensive review of U.S. regulations of international business transactions. Special emphasis on international litigation, commercial transactions, regulation of investments, multinational corporations, and international banking.

RECOMMENDED REQUISITES

While it is recommended for students to have taken Management 127A and 108 before participating in the program, it is not required. Professor Frexies provides an overview to U.S. individual taxation and U.S. corporate taxation in the first Management 127C lecture. He breaks down the basics in a simple yet comprehensive manner—it requires no previous knowledge to understand.

CLASS MATERIAL

Professor Freixes provides PowerPoints and note outlines on UCLA’s CCLE website. You truly have everything you need to succeed in the course provided you study before and during the program. Professor Freixes highly, HIGHLY recommends reading the textbooks ahead of time. After all, who wants their nose buried in books and head swimming with tax codes when they could be exploring the sprawl of Paris?

EXAMS

There are midterms and finals for both classes. The exams are take-home AND open-note (just not open-friends). The first midterm will be distributed on the first day of class in Paris, two weeks after the first official class at UCLA… so we will see how that goes. I will be sure to reflect on the pace of the course and how to best manage your time abroad following the program.

Underneath the city lies the catacombs of Paris

CURRICULUM

As for the curriculum, it is complimented by day trips and walking tours in Paris, Normandy, and Strasbourg. Not only will you be learning international business law and taxation, you will be learning about French culture, history, and its ties to Europe’s own development. There will be trips to places like chateaus, the Catacombs, and museums (less related to the course, but there is still much to learn) and the European Parliament (more related to the course). So in addition to learning about international organizations, you will have a chance to see them in person!

The integration of classes, culture, and site visits will be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience…so, take the leap and study abroad with UCLA Summer Travel Study!

Until next time,

Sherry

Sherry Wang studied abroad in Paris and Strasbourg, France, in summer 2017: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/intlbuslaw/ 

France | Taking the Leap With This Program

BY SHERRY WANG

Welcome to my first blog post! I hope you have had a chance to read the “About the Author” page and gotten a glimpse of who I am and what I hope to accomplish with this blog. For my first post, I would like to give everyone a bit of insight as to why I chose this study abroad program (and why you absolutely should take the leap if you are considering it!). Without further ado…

TOP REASONS TO CHOSE UCLA’S INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LAW & TAXATION PROGRAM

(1) If you’re minoring in Accounting or interested in tax and international business law. 

The courses Management 109 and 127C are both upper division electives and applicable to the UCLA Accounting minor. Additionally, the course units go towards your education requirements for CPA licensure.

From an open-top boat on the Seine River.

(2) Live in PARIS! And another city of Professor Friexes’ choice—this year it’s Strasbourg.

This one is huge. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a romantic, dynamic, and culturally diverse city?

It can be as immersive (or not) as you want it to be. Extend your visit an extra week or six. Go where you want. In your free time, explore different lands, peoples, and cultures.

(3) It is shorter than a quarter with 2 weeks at home and 3 weeks abroad.

No space in your schedule during the school year to study abroad? Go during the summer!

(4) It is FLEXIBLE.

The structure of the program allows you to “do it all!” You can study abroad, and if you choose, still attend UCLA’s Summer Session A, take on a job, and/or travel with family and friends before and afterwards. The program is relatively easy to fit into your schedule when compared to semester long study abroad program.

For the two weeks at home, there is the option to attend class in-person at UCLA, in real-time online, or online at any time with an additional assignment.

To those recruiting for public accounting summer leadership programs (SLPs), this program does not create a time-conflict. The SLPs end before the Travel Study program. (I personally was able to travel with family, attend the SLPs, and relax at home!)

Omaha Beach in Normandy, the landing area used by the Allied forces during the WWII D-Day invasion.

(5) Taught by UCLA faculty.

UCLA’s Travel Study programs are taught by UCLA faculty rather than by foreign professors.

Professor Friexes is a fantastic professor who strives to integrate the curriculum with the travel aspect of the program. Not only will he prepare his students to leave France with an understanding of international business law and taxation, he encourages students to learn through exploration of our destination. For this program, he’s planned walking tours and day-trips to immerse students in the history and culture of France.

These are just a few of the reasons why the UCLA Travel Study program for international business law and taxation is a must-experience opportunity. Stay tuned for more informational posts!

Our class at the last destination of our last walking tour in France, Sainte Sulpice Church.

Until next time,

Sherry

Sherry Wang studied abroad in Paris and Strasbourg, France, in summer 2017: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/intlbuslaw/