CRESTVIEW — For the next three months, Steven Chevalier, 20, and Mathias Leroy, 19 — business majors at the University of Nantes, on France’s west coast near Crestview's sister city, Noirmoutier — will observe American business operations through their Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce internship.
"We are going to try to discover the differences between the ways the French and American businesses work," Leroy said.
Bringing the students to town required substantial paperwork to meet criteria of the Council on International Educational Exchange, which facilitates international student travel and study programs, Chamber Executive Director Wayne Harris said. The Crestview Sister City organization assisted in housing the students.
Given the community's existing relationship with Noirmoutier, coupled with the economy’s globalization, bringing the Frenchmen to Crestview would benefit the students and local business, Harris said.
"It's important because we're no longer an island," he said. "How we do things here affects their economy. What they do affects us here."
Sébastien Jacotin, University of Nantes’ international relations officer, agreed.
"Sending students to Crestview strengthens and extends the cultural and educational exchanges between the French city of Noirmoutier and Crestview," he said.
Chevalier andLeroy willvisit Crestview businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop enterprises to large corporations such as L3 Crestview Aerospace, Harris said.
"It's a great sampling of the whole U.S.A. economy," Chevalier said. "This will improve my business abilities. And my English."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.