“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
With that quote in mind, we began the adventure of our lives – A Year in Grenoble, France! Beginning back in November 2009, my husband, Steve, a Teaching Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at North Carolina State University (www.engr.ncsu.edu/eep) was struck with the idea of pursuing an opportunity for him to study, and for us to live, abroad. He began an investigation into different programs in both the U.S. and Europe that would allow him to use his technical engineering background and years of teaching experience to pursue studies that would enhance his interest in teaching entrepreneurship on the college level. When he found that the Grenoble École de Management offered a program called, The Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business, he decided to apply. The year-long program would fit perfectly into taking a sabbatical year from NCSU while affording the opportunity to see how entrepreneurship functions internationally in practice. It would also mesh with his work at the university researching the globalization of entrepreneurship. He was accepted into the then newly developed Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business program, and we started to make plans to transplant ourselves to Grenoble, France for one year beginning in July 2010.
As for me, I have always enjoyed the international travel that we have been able to do over the years, particularly in France. I had taken French 101-102 as an elective my senior year at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ and always thought that I would have become a French major had I taken it as a freshman. So this chance to live and “play” in France was tailor-made for me. It also occurred at a good time in my life allowing me to leave my elementary school library job and pursue a long put-off ambition. I had harbored a desire to try my hand at writing, and I thought I could use the time and this experience to test my mettle. The inspiration to write a blog occurred to me as a way of safeguarding my memories of our year in Grenoble, and when I shared this idea with family and friends, I was overwhelmed by their positive feedback and support.
So, we packed up Wolfgang, our NC State gnome, and boarded a plane embarking on this exciting adventure to Grenoble, France. We invited all our family and friends to accompany us, by way of our blog, on the ride of our lifetimes! As the months went on and the blog posts became more numerous, I began to receive comments and emails from readers who had stumbled upon the posts and wanted to follow them. Complete strangers! How gratifying that was! My confidence as a writer grew.
Upon our return to the U.S., I reluctantly wrapped up the blog. The final post was the most difficult one to write. When I emailed the final entry link, the reaction from my blog followers was heart-warming. Like me, they were sad to see it end. Every few days I monitored the blog viewing statistics and saw that the blog was still viable with more and more new viewers daily reading my entries. It was then that I decided to make the leap from the virtual world of the blog to the concrete world of print. Voilà! I now invite you, too, to enter into our experiences living in Grenoble, France.