Thursday 2 July 2015

Ben Rochfeld of ESSEC Et Bab association on student life in Cergy

Interview by Adil Dewan, 1st year MSc in Management student

Ben Jo Rochefeld – ESSEC Et Bab

ESSEC’s main French campus is based in Cergy, a 30-minute ride on the RER A train service from the centre of Paris. I caught up with Ben Jo Rochfeld of the ESSEC Et Bab association, which focuses on promoting student life in Cergy, to discuss some of the finer points of being a student in Cergy.

Adil: What kinds of activities are there for students at the weekend?
Ben Jo: Well Cergy is a student city - as well as ESSEC there are two big universities and four engineering schools. All this means that life for students in the city is very vibrant. During the summer there is a cool place called Les Etang Cergy where you can swim, you can surf, you can wakeboard and even pedalo. The Port is a nice area with lots of great restaurants. It is perfect to go for a date, it is quite romantic!

Adil: Is there anywhere good to watch a film?
Ben Jo: There is a movie theatre at Cergy-Le Haut (next to the ESSEC student residence) and there is one closer to school near Prefecture. There’s also a musical theatre just two minutes from ESSEC.

Adil: Where should you go for a meal in Cergy? 
Ben Jo: If you are alone and you like fast food I would recommend le MG, it’s the best kebab in Cergy! But if you are want something more up-market I would advise you to go to the Port, there’s some really classy places around there.
If you are with a group of friends and planning on having a few drinks, you can book out an entire restaurant called the Musarde for 17 euros per head.

Adil: A drink with friends?
Ben Jo: The O’Sullivan’s bar near Cergy Prefecture has a cool atmosphere because they show sports matches on TV (and they support PSG). It’s pretty cheap, they serve beer and cocktails. 
Of course the cheapest place to go for drinks in Cergy is the Foys, ESSEC’s very own student bar. The pints there cost between 2 and 3 euros.

Adil: What about shopping?
Ben Jo: The 3 Fontaines, one of the biggest malls in Val-d’Oise where you can find everything you want... high-end fashion stores, affordable high street chains, restaurants – everything really.

Adil: Are there places to practise sport?
Ben Jo: There’s a tennis court in front of ESSEC exclusively for students. The Stade Maradas is available for groups of football and rugby players. There is an ice-rink near school. There’s a swimming pool next to the prefecture and there are many gyms. There’s a great place to run called L’axe Majeur. It’s pretty picturesque and there’s a lot of people training so you’ll never feel out of place. You can practise any sport here, except cricket I guess! (laughs)

Photo: L’axe Majeur

Cergy is a great city, you can do whatever you want here. It is very dynamic and it’s truly a great experience to study here.

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