As I am writing this, I can not believe this experience is over. If people had asked me if I would do it all over again, I would simply say yes. Last semester I had the opportunity to come to Cergy, and I loved it so much that I decided to do it again for the second time. Fair enough, Cergy isn’t the prettiest city but it is very cozy, and you do have Paris 35 minutes away. Having the chance to relive the experience in the same place allowed me to learn more things about the city. If you have the opportunity to live in Paris do it. The commute isn’t too bad, and there isn’t much to do in Cergy, so if you can find an apartment in Paris do it. If not, you will love Cergy, there will always be something going on within the residences. Living at a residence allowed me to build a great group of friends. Friends that have become like family, friends who you get to travel with.

At first, I thought, this would be like a normal school year, go to school make new friends and maybe get to know Paris a little bit more. However, this year not only did Paris become my home, but my friends also became my family, and I adopted some of the French cultures into my daily life. This experience completely changes my outlook on friendships, because the bonds that you form during this time are completely different from the friends back home. These friends become your family, your support system for six months. I truly believe you find your best friends here. When I came here, I thought it was going to be very difficult to adapt to a new culture. But being able to be part of Paris and its culture has made this experience 100% better. Know every time I’m able to have a conversation in French with a Parisienne I stop feeling like a tourist and feel like I belong here.

Even though I am going to miss Paris a lot, it does not compare to how much I am going to miss ESSEC. I thought I would never say that I will miss a school, but ESSEC and its students have won me over. The way that classes are taught at ESSEC allows you to see how life would be outside of school, it has introduced me to the finance world in a different way and has pushed me to challenge myself and see what I want to do when I graduate. The professors are very direct and will tell you what you need to hear to better yourself. It might be hard at first, but trust me you will learn plenty from them.

I truly don’t want this experience to end. I have grown and learned so much from it that it will be very hard to say goodbye. But I know that I will come back, meeting all these people from all over the world has opened up so many opportunities. Know I have friends that I can go visit around the world, and now it will be their chance to show me more about their cultures.

No matter what, this year has been one of the most amazing years of my life. And I will truly recommend ESSEC to anyone who not only wants to learn more about the French culture but also who wants to immerse themselves in a very diverse and fun community.

I just want to say thank you and I will miss you.

Categories: France

The best way to describe my experience at ESSEC Business School was a change of pace. Going on a semester exchange during a COVID-19 semester was something I was hesitant on but decided to go for it anyways. Classes were very interesting and I was still able to see my friends on campus throughout the week. For the majority of the semester, many places in Paris and Cergy were closed. Museums, restaurants, and historical areas were shut down until my last month here. Despite all the closings, I was forced to look for smaller things that made me happier that allowed me to get more out of this semester. I focused on the relationships between my friends and staying together. Everyone wanted to explore Paris and do as much as we could, but the lockdowns prevented a lot of that. Instead, we focused on simpler things such as eating and cooking together and playing basketball to have a great time. Once Paris opened up, everything became a lot more lovely and I have grown to appreciate the city even more. Paris is a beautiful city and I plan on returning in the future for leisure or a new job opportunity. ESSEC Business School is a lively environment when it’s completely open and I recommend anyone to take this opportunity to go. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend my spring semester.

Categories: 2021, France, Reciprocal Exchange