Ju-Yi - ESSEC Business School

M. Global Management
Semester 2, 2017; Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

As a double degree student, I will have to take 12 business-related courses in total, 9 core courses and 3 elective courses. In my case, with the previous study in UQ, I am eligible to have 2 courses waived. Therefore, I will have to take 7 core courses and 5 elective courses.

For the core courses, they bring up the fundamental knowledge of business again but in a more advanced level. Subjects include Finance, Accounting, Economics, HR, Marketing, Strategy, and IT. For the elective one, there are massive choices in ESSEC. Personally, I chose fields related to the luxury industry, as French is well-known for this industry.

Overall the teaching style here in ESSEC is quite different from the one in UQ. First, the design of the courses are comparatively much more intensive than UQ; my schedule is packed and everything seems to be in a quick pace. Second, the professors here check attendance and take it really seriously. However, interestingly, they do not provide a clear syllabus and course structure online as what UQ does on Blackboard; we learn about what would happen in the courses during the first session. 

I do learn a lot from courses I am taking and the courses here do help me clarify plenty of concepts in business as I have comparatively weaker business basis owing to my background (I was studying language in my bachelor). At the same time, the courses also challenge me a lot as they are all designed to be advanced business courses; I will have to spend extra time to study the fundamental ideas of subjects I am not familiar with so to fill the gap.

Personal experience

This is the first time for me to come to Europe, so everything is new to me. The culture, the architecture, the landscapes, the people and their attitudes toward life are different from Asia. I have to say I feel like throughout just half a year staying in ESSEC I learn and grow a lot! 

Firstly, owing to the language barrier, it is really challenging for me to get fit into this society. First, I learnt how to get everything settled down with my poor French and body language ("French do not speak English!" is a truth, not a myth). Second, I learnt how to adjust myself and control my emotion as "being efficient" barely exists in French people's mind. Third, I learnt how to break the ice in social events. I have to be extra active to join the conversation so to be noticed; French barely initiate English conversation. 

The other point is about life experience. "How to get along with myself and enjoy being alone" is the first thing I learnt. As the society here is not easy as in UQ to get fit in, I have more time being with "just myself". I spent plenty of time talking to myself which helps me understand more about myself and realize what I really want for the future. The second thing is that I learnt how to deal with emergent situations with calm and rational mind. I got stolen from twice within half a month; my wallet and my mobile phone, respectively. I was shocked and felt hopeless the first time my wallet was stolen, barely being able to control my tears from falling down. But as the second time happened, I knew all I have to do is to calm down and report the lost to the police station; crying or panicking would not help a thing. 

Aside from these, I did some travel around Europe. I went to Strasbourg for Christmas market and flew to Spain for Christmas Eve and Belgium for New Year Eve. I made a list of cities I'd like to visit during my study here in France, the heart of Europe. 

Accommodation

In the 1st term, I was staying in the student dormitory which is located around 10 minutes away from the campus by train. Starting from the 2nd term, I will be staying in a shared flat near the campus (around 5 minutes by walk) 
However, I'd say both are not the best choice as the best option will be staying in Paris, the CBD, which is 40 minutes away from the campus. Owing to personal issues, unfortunately, I did not manage to do so.

But there is one thing needed to be noted - the guarantor is required as renting a house in France. Therefore, it is not handy as in Brisbane to find an apartment or shared house here.

Budget

I could only tell the rent around the campus will be around 600 euros or less. As for the transport, it costs around 15 euros to go to Paris from the campus. As for the other costs, it depends on what plan the students have in their minds.

Professional development and employability

Firstly, the networking skill. As I've mentioned above that it is tricky to get fit into this society if you do not acquire a certain level of local language, I will have to work extra hard to be active and initial conversation with different groups of people. I realize how to find a proper topic to talk about so to attract people's attention and then have a deeper conversation which might benefit my career path. 

Secondly, with the situations I've been through, I realize how to control my emotion when it comes to emergent, high-pressure situations. This will help me keep calm and be rational in the future if there is any emergency happened in my workplace so to solve the issue in an efficient way.

Third, the courses I am taking here help me build up solid business skills and also help me to identify and narrow down in which industries I am more keen on.

Highlight

The continuous challenging situations will be the highlight of my experience studying here in France. This is actually what I am looking for as being an adventure seeker. It seems like staying here, everyday there will be a new quest. And by resolving those quests, I'd learn something new or adopt a new idea that might change my view toward the world. Nothing remains the same as yesterday.

Top tips

  • Always be open-minded. There will be tons of challenges during the exchange year, some might cheer you up, some might bring you down; but every single of them will fertilize you and bring you different life experiences. Moreover, these challenges will bring you more opportunities into your life; nothing is impossible. 
  • You will also learn how to enjoy every single moment to the maximum. 
  • Enjoy the present, look forward to the future, yet never regret a thing in the past.