Catherine - ESSEC Business School

Master of Business Administration
Semester 3, 2015

Academic experience

Over my semester (12 weeks) at ESSEC I studied Organisation Behaviour and Theory (Intensive week course offered in the first week of the semester), Marketing Management, Principles of Finance and Strategy. The benefits of studying over in France was the opportunity to interact with students from all over the globe and to listen to their business and study experiences. The biggest challenge was researching and arranging our courses before we went over. However, UQ Abroad definitely helped us overcome this through their thorough and responsive correspondence with us and ESSEC.

Personal experience

Over the semester I got my French back up to an intermediate level just from the daily interactions with our neighbourhood in Paris and students at ESSEC. We also gained a number of lifelong friendships with students all across the globe: Canada, Germany, Spain, Portugal etc.


We rented a one bedroom apartment in Paris in the Le Marais area. We preferred living in Paris rather than Cergy as we were able to make the most of Parisian life on our days off uni plus we didn't have to rely on the RER on the weekends as it can be pretty unreliable. We only needed to get the RER (fast overground train, a 45-minute journey from Chatelet Les Halles to Cergy, if no delays) out to ESSEC twice a week.


Transport 210 euros (monthly Navigo pass was 70 euros for 1-5 zones)
Food 2,400 euros
Rent 6,000 euros (there was two of us renting in a good area of the Le Marais so can get a cheaper apartment on the Lodgis website for short-term rentals)
Entertainment and Travel 2,000 euros
Total 10,610 euros for the three months

Professional development and employability

Riding through our neighbourhood in Paris
Riding through our neighbourhood in Paris

Besides the courses and academic content which led to the completion of our MBA, I am now better equipped to deal with international peers and understanding their cultural differences in a work environment. Through this diversity, the output of work can be much richer and comprehensive.


A highlight of my experience would be running along the Seine on a Sunday morning past all of the Parisian monuments: Louvre, Tuileries, Musee D'Orsay etc. On Sundays, the road and tunnels along the river would be shut for cars allowing runners, riders and families to take advantage of the outdoors.

Top tips

  • Start the process and conversations as early as possible.
  • The process was very efficient from the UQ side but there was quite a delay from the exchange university side.
  • We put our application in 12 months before we left but didn't get our final approval from the Exchange university until three months before we left.
Catherine - ESSEC Business School