Yun-Yao - ESSEC Business School

B Business Management
Semester 1, 2019
Step out from the comfort zone might sound scary, and true, you might struggle a bit, but definitely worth it.

Academic experience

I’ve chosen 8 courses to fulfill 30 ECTs, (leading & managing team/ innovation3.0 /Webdesign for manager/ e-business/ business challenge / intercultural marketing/ consumer behavior/brand manager ), this might seems a lot, however, some courses are in intensive form, which means the timetable will not be that packed. Before coming to ESSEC, it would be a good idea if you come with more approved course from faculty, because classes clash a lot so that you have to find many alternatives, intensive courses can be really good options.
The enrollment process is quite simple, there are several rounds, all you need to do is don’t calculate the time difference between France and Australia wrong and put in the course code you want. I didn’t get all the course I want due to limited seats in a class, however, I wrote emails to the registration office, and they somehow successfully enroll me in the classes, if you have any question, just asked the staff there, either call or email, people there are nice and supportive.

Personal experience

I’ve met people from all around the world, although we all come from different cultural background, we can always find a way gather together, it is amazing that I get to spend time, go to classes or even travel around Europe with people I’ve only known for few days. During exchange, I’ve learned about respect and embrace, embrace the difference so that I no longer feel obligated to change myself to fit in, likewise, I don’t feel irritated when people don’t act like what I expected, we all find ourselves living as comfortable as we can, I find company when I want to go try something, however if they are not interested in those activities, I am fine going by myself as well, and that’s the change I like to have. Moreover, I had a lot of time of my own during this 4 months, I can do whatever I like, and concentrate on what’s important to me, and I think it is really important to stop and give myself some time and personal space, that is like a restart so that I can experience things with a better me. 
During my travel, there had been a lot of unexpected incidents and mostly are the unpleasant ones, at first it might be frustrating and annoying, however, the more I encountered, the more I could bear, it is important to be flexible so that I won’t be stressed out when things did not go the way I planned.


I lived in the accommodation (cergy le haut) school collaborated with which is 10 min away from school by train, it is one of the 4 biggest dorms so that majority of your friend will be there, and also a supermarket is within 5 min by walk. The only problem is that the train(RER) sometimes got delayed or canceled, so it gets harder to transfer buses to Paris city, moreover, it took 40 min one way to Paris by RER, which can take up a lot of time commuting. 
Our accommodation is 590 Euro per month before CAF deduction, however, we had to pay for the admission fee, membership fee, administration fee, and if it all adds up, it took like around 800 per month(if you’re staying for 4 months, because that’s how long their semester is), in that case, I really suggest finding an accommodation in Paris city centre, which is convenient and can possibly cost less. There are a lot of things to do in Paris but not in Cergy (where ESSEC is). 
However, I do reckon one of the advantages of living in Cergy le haut is that, you don’t have to worry about anything, because they have people there helping all the information and all you need is to call them, speaking of the welcoming kit, it is convenient however the quality of all the bed sheet, pillow, blanket are so bad, so you can think about is whether it is necessary to get one or not.


I must admit that the average spending in Paris is a lot higher than in the other countries (not Switzerland though), if you want to eat out in Paris for a proper normal meal (not include sandwich/kebab) it might cost around 20 Euro, however you can save a lot of money by cooking yourself, the price in supermarket is quite reasonable. Regarding the transportation, Navigo monthly pass cost around 80 euro per month and gives you unlimited access to almost all public transportation in Paris, it’s convenient and definitely way cheaper if you’re planning to travel by plane or going to Paris a lot. 
Travel may take up your majority of budget, and top tip is to book it in advance, otherwise, night bus (flixbus) can be an option as well, not only can you save money but also save time because you can start your day right away when you get off the bus and you don’t have to worry about transportation from the airport to city center.


I don’t think there is a “challenge” because everyone is so supportive and willing to help throughout the process, however, for me personally, it might be getting a visa, because I tried to get a student visa in Taiwan, where my passport is issued, however, they asked me to go back to Sydney to apply, because of the residential issue, so for international student, it is really important to clearly understand all the policy and restriction of visa application. 
Fortunately, after writing a lot of letters to explain, they made an exception and allow me to apply from my home country, but still, it took a lot of time and uncertainty is high, so again, apply everything in advance, don’t wait for last minute, so that you will have enough time to fix if any unexpected incident happens.

Professional Development

Discussion, presentation, brainstorming are what this school emphasize a lot on. In most of the courses I enrolled in, the teacher gave us a lot of time group discussion and try to make a powerpoint and asked us to give a 3 min brief presentation right after, and just like a business pitch, we have to brainstorm a lot of ideas and think of its feasibility, practicality, teacher act like investor and give feedback. 
I personally gain a lot during this exchange because unlike UQ which is more academic, ESSEC focus more on application, which is more relatable to real-world business, so that you might not learn a lot of theory, however you will be experiencing doing real-life projects that might actually have an impact, in the meanwhile, you might gradually find out which career path suits you better. 
In ESSEC, we are asked to think like an entrepreneur, be creative and be brave, in the meanwhile be organized and be cautious, I think that’s the key attribute that I’ve gained from this exchange semester.


My exchange highlights will definitely be the friends I’ve made there, without them, my exchange life wouldn’t be that colorful. It was amazing to travel with people I barely knew, got to know each other during the journey, became good friends within a few weeks. We’ve traveled to a lot of countries, discussed the schedule, booked the accommodation and transportation altogether, it was a good memory till now. Everyone was allocated to a different job so that we all contribute and made our journey so special.

Top tips

Travel is not as hard as it seems, seize every opportunity to explore this world. Save some time to enjoy Paris as well, the city itself is amazing, it is a blessing to stay in this city in such a young age because everything you’ve seen and experienced will gradually change your life. 
The school work is quite easy, do not require a lot of time, so that if you manage to squeeze your timetable you have plenty of time to travel around. 
If you’re interested in art collection or history, those worldwide-famous museums are free for European students under 26 years old, it can save a lot of entry fees and get to visit those museums as many times as you want.