Dual degrees earned in 3 years across 2 hemispheres
Mathilde Demey made quick work of her time as an undergraduate, finishing in three years with two degrees in economics. And, she was taught in two languages across two hemispheres.
Mathilde earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium this summer, and she’ll collect a similar degree from Clemson University’s College of Business in early August as part of a dual-degree program between the schools.
“I was able to get my degrees in three years because of advanced placement credits I earned while in high school,” she said. Mathilde graduated from Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, S.C., where she has lived since age two with her parents, both natives of Belgium and graduates of UCL.
A dual citizen of the U.S. and Belgium, Mathilde speaks fluent French, which was nearly a necessity at Louvain, since all her courses were taught in French.
“I learned to speak French growing up at home, but didn’t learn to read or write it until I traveled to France in high school as part of a Rotary exchange program,” she said.
Mathilde learned about the Louvain-Clemson dual degree program when her sister was considering college options. Clemson became her choice of colleges because she didn’t want to live in a city, or too close to home.
“It was a great choice for me academically and socially. There’s a real sense of family and community at Clemson that I may not have gotten elsewhere,” she said. She spent only her freshman and sophomore years here, while finishing her undergraduate work at Louvain, a school renowned for its economics program.
“It’s a very different environment academically and socially at Louvain. Classes are much larger there than at Clemson, and everyone leaves school for home on the weekends,” she said. “It’s been a great experience culturally and in the classroom, but I did miss the engagement with friends on weekends and at football games, like I had at Clemson.”
After receiving her Clemson degree in August and spending time with friends and family, Mathilde will be off to Europe again. In September, she’ll begin pursuit of a master’s degree in Applied Economics in Glasgow, Scotland.
After graduate school, Mathilde sees herself in data analysis in the private or public sectors, and expects her career will be found abroad.
“I really love the various cultures Europe has to offer and see myself locating there someday,” she said. “I’ve fallen in love with Scotland. It’s a happy place to live and I feel comfortable there. The social atmosphere is a good fit for me.”
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