“I’m a genius in science, buy my English is not good enough to enter a top school in France.” Many young students in French preparatory academies have had to resign themselves to this conclusion. In France, the English exams are a key element in distinguishing the most excellent students, not only for top business schools, but also in science and engineering.
For this reason, Renovo has organized a language immersion trip for the past four years. This trip spans the entire month of July preceding the students’ final year of high school. And what a trip! They take off for Silicon Valley, the heart of California’s technological innovation.
In California, they are hosted by Palo Alto City Hall, the Yaseen Foundation, or even more the Muslim Community Association (MCA), where they can observe the dynamism of the American Muslim community. There at MCA, the students have private English classes for 20 hours per week, taught by an instructor from the prestigious UC Berkeley.
Every year, the students also visit the giants of Silicon Valley: Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Tesla, Nvidia, Silicon Image… The doors of these businesses are opened to them by Muslim professionals who live their religion without complications.
The students thus see the meaning of the American saying that “the sky is the limit”! Everything is possible, with a combination of ambition, hard work, and humility. They return from their trip marveling at what they saw, telling themselves that they too can become big names in the best French companies, without burying their values in the process.
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