The Taste Of Life In France For An Indian MBA Student

The Taste Of Life In France For An Indian MBA Student

In joining ESSEC, I found not just an academic institution but a launchpad for personal and professional growth.

Pritish ChundiUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 10:31 AM IST
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The Taste Of Life In France For An Indian MBA Student | Unsplash/ Special Arrangement

My introduction to the business and technology world began when I was exposed to the busy environment of my grandfather's electronics manufacturing facility. Growing up surrounded by the humming machinery, I developed a strong interest in Engineering and Automation Control. This early fascination led me to take on maintenance roles in manufacturing units, where I sharpened my problem-solving skills and discovered the impact of digital innovation.

However, it was my transition into IT consulting that truly ignited my passion for using technology to drive significant change. Through designing AI solutions to address industry-wide challenges in business process optimization, I realized the transformative potential of digital innovation. This experience motivated me to pursue a management degree with an international perspective, which ultimately brought me to ESSEC Business School.

In joining ESSEC, I found not just an academic institution but a launchpad for personal and professional growth. The programme's specialized focus on Strategy & Digital Leadership and its boutique cohort size offer a unique and intimate learning environment. With its strategic location in Paris - a hub of innovation - ESSEC provides an unparalleled opportunity to expand my horizons and chart a path towards future success.

Life in France:

The transition to life in Paris was a breath of fresh air - a journey of exploration and new beginnings. From the picturesque landscapes of the French south coast to the iconic landmarks of Paris, every moment was infused with a sense of wonder and possibility. Interacting with people from over 25 nationalities broadened my horizons and shattered preconceived notions, fostering a deeper understanding of global geopolitics and cultural diversity.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, Paris embraced me with open arms, offering a myriad of culinary delights, historic landmarks, and vibrant cultural experiences. The shimmering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the rhythmic beats of street performers became the backdrop of my Parisian adventure, each moment a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Embarking on a study abroad journey in France offers academic enrichment and a transformative cultural experience. I hope these tips help you embrace the vibrant tapestry of French life and lay the groundwork for a successful and rewarding adventure. So, pack your bags, dare to dream, and let your journey begin. Paris awaits; Bon voyage!

Advice on studying in France:

Charting Your Course: Before embarking on your study abroad journey, take the time to introspect and define your academic and career goals. Connect with current students or alumni of your desired programme to gain valuable insights and perspectives. They are eager to help, having been in your boat! Just be respectful of their time by preparing your questions in advance. Writing application essays can also serve as a tool for self-reflection and clarity.

Visa Voyage: Stay proactive in the visa process by communicating closely with your school's programme team. Start gathering necessary documents early, especially considering the peak time for visa requests in August. Early preparation can bring peace of mind as your departure date approaches.

Travel Tactics: Consider factors beyond just price while searching for flights. Pay attention to baggage allowances and explore airlines offering student discounts and additional luggage capacity. Opting for a single-operator route may increase the likelihood of these benefits, providing you with extra space for essentials.

Bureaucratic Basics: Create a comprehensive checklist of bureaucratic tasks you must address upon arrival. Processes such as long-term study visa validation, obtaining CAF (housing assistance), and acquiring Carte Vitale (health insurance) can be time-consuming. Starting early and being proactive can expedite these essential tasks.

Apartment Adventure: Kickstart your apartment search early to secure suitable accommodation. Contact landlords or agencies, and don't hesitate to request photographs of available properties. Since rental agreements are typically in French, seek clarification on any points of confusion. Additionally, consider the proximity of public transport services when choosing your apartment.

Language Leverage: While English is widely spoken in Paris, knowing French opens doors to more opportunities. Local language proficiency enhances professional networking and social engagement, enriching your overall experience.

Early Arrival: Plan to arrive a week or ten days before your programme begins if feasible. This early arrival allows ample time to acclimate to your new surroundings, familiarise yourself with public transport, and tend to logistical essentials like opening a bank account and obtaining a mobile SIM card.

Networking Know-How: Seize every opportunity to expand your professional network and immerse yourself in French culture. Attend professional events, workshops, and social gatherings to connect with like-minded individuals and gain valuable insights into life in France.

Cultural Compass: Familiarise yourself with French social norms and etiquette to navigate interactions smoothly. While direct communication is valued, courtesy and respect are paramount. Acknowledging greetings and gratitude in various social settings demonstrates cultural sensitivity and fosters positive connections.

The author is a  Global MBA student at ESSEC Business School, France

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