Tuesday 10 November 2015

Studying at ESSEC in Singapore!

Four students recently back from Singapore shared with us their thoughts on studying at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus, living in this vibrant city and learning more about the region and themselves.

1. Why did you choose to do your Pre-MSc courses on the Singapore campus? 
by Tristan, ASTI, Pre-MSc & Core Track Class President 

It was an obvious choice for me! As I studied outside France for my bachelor’s, I wanted to discover a new country to begin my master’s. ESSEC Asia-Pacific was indeed suited for such purpose. While out of France, I still had the opportunity to benefit from ESSEC personalized education.
The Pre-MSc courses in Singapore follow a special schedule: for every five weeks of lecture, students have one week of holidays. Thus, I had the chance to visit neighbouring countries very easily because of Singapore’s central position in Southeast Asia.
I also wanted to be taught by an international faculty. In fact, our professors come from Asian countries, namely the Philippines, India, China, etc.; this enhances a lot class content. 
During my stay, I learned some Mandarin that I now use to break the ice with Chinese students at ESSEC or with locals in Singapore.

2. What were the most striking experiences you had (regarding the courses and studying in Singapore) 
by Chloé Bernard, ASTF

First of all, by doing my Pre-MSc courses in Singapore I had the opportunity to develop very close relationships with the other AST students due to the strong cohesion of a small group: some of us were living together, we organized trips abroad all together, etc. 
The diversity of our backgrounds was very enriching: we shared our knowledge about different industries (health, law, finance, economics, real-estate, etc.) and the way we work. This was particularly useful when working on group projects as we were more creative and more accurate (for instance when the engineer of your team can explain why your idea of a new technology/service is indeed possible).   
Then, I also had the opportunity to have courses about Asian cultures and economies explained by eminent Asian professors. It is very enlightening to deeply understand the specificity of the different Asian cultures. It will be a strong asset in my professional career as it is now unavoidable to work with Asia in business.     

3. Would you recommend Essec students to do their pre-msc courses at the  Singapore campus? Why?  
by Marc Sautarel, ASTF, founder and president of ESSEC Students’ Sports Club (BDS) in Singapore

As an ASTF student, the choice to begin my ESSEC studies in Singapore was pretty simple for me. It was a part of a logic of personal enrichment, especially on the international side and the wish the pursue a worldwide experience. 
I would undoubtedly advise all AST students to attend their Pre-MSc in Singapore. They will benefit from an entire year in this wonderful city, with international professors, courses taught in English, Mandarin Lessons, and Southeast Asia discovery. 
In my opinion, beginning in the Singapore's new campus is more interesting than in Cergy's, and it would clearly bring another point of view and way of life to each student that will choose this great opportunity. 
Ultimately, I had the chance to set up the first Student’s Sports Club at ESSEC Asia-Pacific. I organized different events such as charity runs, futsal matches, or ping-pong tournaments. It was great to see both current students and Singaporean alumni compete together. 

4. What would be your advice for interested students? 
by Emma Granier, ASTF

Step out of your comfort zone! 
That’s not big news, Singapore is in the middle of SEA area. Yet, it is quite easy to live there just as we do in Europe. You can find most of European clothes brands, cheese, wine, etc. But you may have to pay a bit more for it though. So, it might be better to leave some of your western habits behind for a while. Don’t worry, you’ll have a lot of new things to try out and discover. 
Ok, Marina bay and the Gardens by The Bay are nice, but there is more in Singapore. You can do a tree-top walk in MacRitchie Reservoir Park or cycle in Palau Ubin for instance. More, don’t hesitate to cross the border and go in Malaysia or Indonesia to spend the weekend at the beach, etc. The more you discover, the more people you meet and the richer your experience will be.
For more practical matters, it is convenient to arrive a week before the courses begin to have some time to settle down. You’ll spend most of your time with other ESSEC students so it can be nice to choose an international flatshare with other people.
Most residences or condos have a list of nice facilities (BBQ pits, swimming pools, tennis court, etc.). But let say you don’t have a swimming pool, there are a lot of swimming complex island wide with entrance fee of $1. 
Eventually, if at one point, you feel home sick, there are a lot of French places in Singapore (restaurants and cafés) plus French cine-club and others events at Alliance française.

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