A Family Affair (Une Affaire de Famille)
March 16, 2017
Like an international game of follow-the-leader, their daughter, Priscilla, and son, Remy, each spent their senior year of college at Angelo State University through an exchange agreement with the University of Valenciennes in northern France. Their youngest, Nicolas, is at ASU now, participating in the same program that will see him graduate this summer and join his siblings in holding bachelor’s degrees in international business from both schools.
“Even if they had not come to ASU before me,” Nicolas said, “I was still interested in the bachelor’s degree program that brought me here. I was also looking at other destinations abroad, but since ASU was one of two places that offered the bachelor’s degrees from both schools, I wanted to come here. Texas is also quite symbolic and has a big reputation back in France.”
“To my knowledge, this is a first at ASU,” said Meghan Pace, director of ASU’s Center for International Studies. “All three siblings have attended ASU, excelled in the classroom while enjoying the campus life, and achieved the ultimate goal of receiving their bachelor’s degree from ASU. I have enjoyed getting to know them, and they have been an absolute joy to work with. I only wish there were more Masurel kids who could attend ASU.”
Priscilla broke the ice for her siblings when she chose ASU and arrived in the fall of 2010. Remy followed soon after in the fall of 2012, and Nicolas got here in the fall of 2016. Another major aspect they have in common is being looked after by the same San Angelo host family, Brian and Cristy Thomma.
“The Host Family Program doesn’t officially exist anymore,” Nicolas said. “But I still go eat dinner with them regularly, so I still see them often. They also came to Paris to meet us and the rest of our family.”
When Nicolas graduates, he will also be following his siblings’ example and joining the family vocation.
“Our whole family is generally in finance,” Nicolas said. “My father is an accountant, and we have this side of the family where all of the older cousins and the uncles are all working in finance, accounting or auditing.”
“I can’t speak for all international students, but for me, I’m very happy to have this experience.”
“I plan to do a master’s degree back home,” he added, “and I think my American degree from ASU will actually be more useful to me than the French one from Valenciennes. My brother and sister were able to join really good master’s degree programs back in France after getting their ASU degrees.”
Priscilla is now a buyer for Decathlon Group in Lille, France, one of the world’s largest sporting goods retailers with over 850 stores in 22 countries. Remy works in Lille as an auditor for KPMG, one of the “big four” largest auditing and accounting firms in the world. Nicolas, who is also interning at ASU’s Small Business Development Center, hopes for similar success, but is keeping his immediate options open.
“When I get my bachelor’s degree,” he said, “I’m allowed to stay here for a year without sponsorship or a Green Card. If I can get a decent job, I may stay in the U.S. and work for a year to get some good experience, and then go back home for my master’s degree.”
The Masurels’ time at ASU may draw to a close when Nicolas graduates, but the link between his family and the Ram Family will live in perpetuity through the three sibling alumni.
“I think this says a lot about our Ram Family,” Pace said, “that multiple siblings would choose ASU for study abroad when they could pick from institutions all around the world. We are absolutely honored that the Masurel Family will continue to be associated with Angelo State University.”
“Our parents are very open and supportive,” Nicolas said, “and my father loves the U.S. So they really didn’t mind that we came to ASU. And actually, they are coming here in May for my graduation, and then we are going to take a trip to New York and Boston, and my brother will join us, as well.”
“I’m happy I came to ASU,” he added. “I can’t speak for all international students, but for me, I’m very happy to have this experience.”