ESCP Europe was founded in 1819, it is the oldest business school in
France, and it is considered to be one of France’s top three business
schools. In 2010, The Financial Times ranked ESCP as having the
number one Master of Management worldwide. The school is
situated in arrondissement 11, with the metro stop Rue Saint Maur
right outside the school. The campus consists of 6 buildings that
surround the beautiful schoolyard. Compared to BI, the school is
relatively small, and the technical facilities are not as good as at BI.
There are around 2500 students with approximately 150 exchange
students. However the school has a lot of full-time international
students as well.
ESCP Europe offers 2.5 and 5 credits courses having a duration of 5
and 10 weeks respectively. The 2.5 credit courses take place in
either the first or the second part of the semester. This constitutes 5
lectures. If you choose no specialization, you will have only electives
and the final exams will be held in the last class (where it is the case
– some courses have only projects to be handed in). Also, it is
mandatory to attend the courses. More than two absences mean
that you automatically fail the course.
When did you receive the information package from the University?
We received an information package from the University in May.
The package was informative and included all the necessary
information for getting started at ESCP as well as tourist information
for Paris. We also received our student ID and password in May and
was able to access the school mail address and intranet.
Any difficulties?
Received all the information we needed through email, and
experienced no difficulties.
Does the visa cost anything?
Residents from EU or EFTA countries do not need to have a visa to
enter France.
How did you order your ticket – any problems?
We ordered tickets online, both from Norwegian and SAS. The
tickets are not that expensive if booked in advance, this makes it
possible to order only a one-way ticket to Paris.
The introductory week started the 12th of September, with a
compulsory seminar; European Integration Seminar. This seminar
lasted for 1 week with a written exam on the last day. If you passed
this exam you were accredited 2.5 ECTS.
The first day of the semester was the 19th of September, so the
school starts later than at BI.
We had a study-break in from the 24th to the 30th of October.
However, depending on your courses, most of us had two weeks off.
We all had electives and specialization courses, thus the exams were
spread throughout the semester. Some had exams in October, but
mostly all the exams was in early December, with an intensive exam
week. Depending on which courses you chose, the exam period
lasted from late November to 9th of December.
Any special events?
The school has several students’ associations that organize parties,
events and trips throughout the semester. Every Thursday a
different student organization throws a party at school. We were
pleasantly surprised by the great number of company presentations
and companies holding recruiting seminars. However, most of it is in
French. Additionally, the office for international students arranged a
few social events for the exchange students.
Generally the reception at the school was good despite bureaucratic
procedures that take a lot of time. This is France, so get used to it.
Was the administration and faculty well prepared for your arrival?
Everybody was well prepared, and things went quite smoothly
during our integration week.
Did the school’s students participate in the reception of the exchange students?
Unfortunately the school students did not engage in the reception
of the exchange students besides some brief presentations of
students organizations that were held at the introductory day (in
Did you have housing at your disposal or did you have to find your own housing?
There are several opportunities regarding housing. ESCP has no
accommodation on campus. However, the school has an agreement
with a student residence called “Le Vivaldi”. You have to send in an
application to live here. ESCP sends you the application form before
you arrival, which you have to fill out. Le Vivaldi is located 25
minutes away from the school by metro. Most international
students at ESCP stay here. Another option is Cite International
(, which is a huge student city located South
in Paris, approximately 45 minutes away from school by metro. Here
you have 40 student houses of different nations. The standard
differs between the houses. You also have to apply to stay here, and
we recommend you to apply early. Bjørnar chose to stay in the
Norwegian House at Cité. The monthly rent was about 450 euros.
You get your own room, but your share bathroom and kitchen with
the rest of the hall (approx. 20 people). The area where Cité is
situated is very nice and quiet. You also have a park and a grocery
store nearby. Getting a private flat is pretty difficult (and expensive)
in Paris. You can expect rent to be between 600 – 1000 euros a
month. We emphasize that you arrange accommodation before you
arrive, as it can prove to be quite difficult and time-consuming to
find something once you're there. However, there are a lot of ads
for apartments in different newspapers, but there are also a lot of
people looking for accommodation in Paris. An option is to go
through a rental agency, in which for example John was very pleased
to have done.
We would recommend to stay at Cite Universitaire instead of Le
Vivaldi, as Cite is cheaper, cleaner, and has a very nice campus with
a lot of things to do.
What support did you receive from the school in locating housing?
The international Office sends out the application form for Le Vivaldi
before arrival. If you want to stay here, you have to fill this out;
almost all students who apply get accommodation here. Also, in
addition, after you have received the username and password for
the ESCP intranet, you can log in and find a forum where different
private flats are posted.
Any special issues or good ideas for prospective students?
Since it is very difficult to find a flat for a short term stay in Paris, we
would highly recommend to find a flat before you arrive. We talked
to some people spending almost a month looking for an apartment
when they came to Paris.
Accommodation: between 609-725 EUR / month in “Le Vivaldi”
residence, depending on size. The deposit you have to pay is the
same amount as the rent. Additionally, you also have to pay
administration costs 460 EUR.
450 EUR / month at Norwegian House at Cité.
Private apartments costs between 600-1000 EUR, depending on
Transportation: 62 EUR / month for a RER/Metro/bus pass
(unfortunately you get a 50% reduction for students only if you buy
your transportation card for 1 year)
Food: 300 EUR / month (the food at the school cafeteria is very
cheap – around 4EUR for starter, main course and drink; a lunch in
the city is around 15-25 EUR depending on where you go. There are
several small, nice restaurants in the area around ESCP.)
Mobile: If you are buying a prepaid card, it is very expensive.
However, we recommend to get a contract. Bjørnar and John got a
contract with La Banque Postal, which was quite cheap. However,
be aware of this bank's inefficiency. Things take time!
Books: most lectures do not require to buy books; hand-ins are
distributed freely in class and you have almost all reading materials
Internet: At the Norwegian House at Cite, Internet is included in the
rent. However, we are not sure what the case is regarding Vivaldi.
The internet connection at school is quite slow, but works most of
the time.
Is there an international office?
Yes it is. We experienced no issues, and they are very helpful.
Who is responsible for incoming exchange students?
Mr. Pierre-Andre Richer is responsible for incoming exchange
students and he is very helpful and tries to make your stay as an
exchange student as good as possible.
How does the international office function?
The International Office is located on campus. If you have any
requests you should send an e-mail to Pierre-Andre or you can drop
by his office.
Did you receive all relevant information?
We received all relevant information upon arrival.
No specific events were held in order to be able to promote
exchanges to Norway. However we always recommended Oslo and
especially BI as a study destination due to the quality of the courses
taken in Norway.
How was your relationship with other students?
The exchange students made a Facebook group were we planned
social activities together. We mostly spent time with other exchange
students. As the school has no buddy system it was a bit challenging
getting to know the French students. However, the school does
offer a so-called Tandem program, where you get to meet one
French student in order to practise your French (and vice versa).
How is the relationship among the exchange students?
The relationship between the exchange students was very good. We
had classes together with other exchange students, and through our
facebook group we arranged a lot of social gatherings.
Is there a student organization, and if so, are the exchange students part of it?
ESCP has a lot of student organizations and student activities
organized, and they are eager to accept exchange students.
Unfortunately, most student organizations organize French speaking
activities and it is rather hard for non-French speaking students to
integrate. However, don't be intimidated, as French people
participating in these activities are eager to help you and also speak
quite good English.
Are there any special activities and gatherings for exchange students?
There are social activities at school as mentioned and also
gatherings arranged for exchange students by the international
How do you like it at the school?
The school was nice and some courses were really good. However,
the system is much more bureaucratic than at BI and the school
facilities are quite old compared to those at BI. The library is very
small and loud so it is better to study at home or to study at another
library or cafe. We spent a lot of time at school having classes and
doing group-work.
Did you have any language problems with the faculty or other students?
We experienced no language problems at school. However, the
canteen personnel do mostly not speak English, but you get a long
way with sign language if your French is not that goodOkOihj.
How are the possibilities to experience the country and the culture?
There are great possibilities to experience the French country and
culture. Most touristic objectives are free for young people coming
from the EEA / EFTA countries (18-25 years old) and there are a lot
of great places to be seen inside as well as in nearby Paris.
How do you think the exchange experience will affect you from a cultural and social point of
By going on exchange you meet a lot of people, not only from
France, but all over the world. By exposing yourself to such an
experience you develop as a person and get memories for life.
How do you think the exchange experience influences your future career possibilities?
By taking courses in the école supérieure having the no.1 worldwide
master in management program we do consider that the career
possibilities are enhanced. A potential employer will see the
multicultural abilities of students and their adaptability and having
completed a semester of exchange at ESCP is valuable for any
company. Further, learning the French language will be a possible
advantage in our future career.
In which languages are the courses taught? Any problems?
Exchange students have the option of partaking in courses conducted in either French or
English. An adequate selection of courses in both languages exists, so you are certainly not
at a disadvantage if you do not speak the native tongue. However, it is advisable that you
should be proficient in French if you do decide to participate in a course held in French.
How would you evaluate the level of study compared to the level at BI?
In general I would say the level of study is lower in comparison to BI, however I believe it is
very much dependent on the professor and subject you choose. For instance, finance
courses tend to be held at a high level so it is advisable not to subscribe to such a course if
you don’t have a fundamental comprehension of finance. Whereas, more theoretical
courses, such as “Indian Business Culture: require little prior knowledge.
In general, courses and their syllabuses seem to be a bit more disorganised. Students are
given very little preparation time before the announcements of exam dates and exams
themselves can be only half an hour long and set in an informal setting! Conversely, to BI, a
proportion of student’s grades is acquired through compulsory class attendance. I believe a
student is only allowed to miss one class, any more than this you can loose up to 20% of
your overall grade. Additionally, in comparison to BI, courses can be much shorter and more
intense with students often being graded on presentations rather than exams and
coursework. Such courses are often much more interactive and discussion based with your
contribution often being noted. We found this teaching method refreshingly different from
Is the teaching primarily practical or theoretical?
Again, this is often dependent on the courses you choose and their respective lecturers.
However, in general courses at ESCP tend to take more of a practical form, especially in
comparison to BI. Reading lists aren’t as commonplace as BI and they are certainly not as
extensive. There seems to be a greater emphasis on more practical group work applications,
often in the form of group reports and presentations. In the class room case studies are
commonplace and discussion and debate is encouraged.
Are the professors using cases, group work or lectures (or a mix)?
See above
How is the workload compared to that at BI?
Our overall consensus is that the workload at ESCP is significantly less than BI. However,
there are some exceptions e.g. Commodity Risk Management and Portfolio Management
require a higher level of workload. Courses often take a more practical approach; required
reading outside of class is kept minimal (bar finance classes). Grades are often comprised of
simply partaking in a group projects or presentation where the workload is split between
three or four people. Exams can be very short and announced with little notice. Resultantly,
you may be left with only a few days to prepare, which, although irritating, does reduce
workload. It should be noted, weekly hand-ins are commonplace in certain courses.
What is the relationship between the students in the classroom?
Generally, the relationship between students in the classroom is very open, friendly and
intellectually stimulating. The encouragement of participation is class discussions, debates
and presentations followed by questions, obligates students to speak up and interact with
others. Resultantly, class settings quickly become more social.
Is the literature in English?
Once again this depends, for the courses held in English the respective literature was in
English, likewise for the French courses.
What types of exams were you given?
We were given exams in a variety of forms - mid-terms, term papers and final exams.
However, the setting is much more informal. Exams take place in the classroom and are
normally of shorter length.
Do students have easy access to the library and its resources?
For a student coming from BI, the library (along with the gym) at ESCP is arguably its weakest
point. The library consists of a total of four study rooms, two printers that don’t work, ten
ageing computers without Microsoft office. Additionally, the library is about twice the size of
the Amigo Kiosk at BI and is often overcrowded. The windows do not open so the circulation
of fresh air is non-existent, be sure to bring an ample supply of water and deodorant
because it is comparable to working in the Amazon Rain Forrest. Be aware, the staff at the
library isn’t the most accommodating.
How is the access to the computers?
From a BI the access to computers is quite poor. The university has two computer rooms,
both of which have about ten computers and are often overcrowded.
How is IT used in the teaching or as a distributor of information?
Assignments are often distributed by e-mail. Dependent on the courses, most professors
utilise powerpoint during their lectures.
European Integration & Management Seminar 2.5 ECTS
The introductory seminar was very useful because it learned us a lot
about finding our ways in Paris and it got us a valuable insight into
the French and Parisian cultures and historical milestones. I think
that this course was very important for understanding the way
things work in France. Each lecture was devoted to a different topic,
such as great French figures, the EU, the French school system, and
the history of Paris. It was a week-long course with a written exam
at the end.
Political Marketing 2.5 ECTS
The political marketing course was very interesting and entertaining,
we made a lot of practical case studies and I really got to understand
what political marketing is about and how it is done. Very well
structured course. The final evaluation was composed of a group
presentation on a specified topic and a written exam (5 short
BE13 Stratègie d’entreprise et management des systèmes informatiques : le cas
This course was taught in French and it was comprehensible only for
the audience that had a background in working with ERP systems. As
a former SAP consultant I had no problems in mastering this course,
but students that did not work with software programs before
found it very difficult. I would not recommend taking this course
unless being familiar with ERPs. The final evaluation was a written
project and a presentation concerning the implementation of an ERP
in a company.
Economie monétaire
The course was taught in French. If you’re taking other finance
courses, economie monetaire is rather supplementary than
complementary (if you’re taking other finance courses). This is due
to the strong emphasis on derivatives and securities. Strong French
level is required since the professor prefers talking, and writing on
the blackboard.
MC01 Marketing communication
I found this course to be interesting at first due to its practical
nature, however it quickly become repetitive and monotonous as
the lectures seem to only consist of example upon example of
marketing campaigns. We had two assignments during the
semester, a final project (to design a marketing communication
campaign for a product / service of our choice) and the presentation
of this project.
OA07 Business Experience, History and Society
I thoroughly enjoyed this course, however I am quite partial to
historical events. This is essentially a business history course, that
studies the laissez faire economies of the 19th Century, proceeding
all the way up to the rise of communism and fascism in Europe. The
course particularly follow Chandler(ian) thoughts. The professor is
particularly competent, experienced and entertaining. Students are
free to conduct a presentation on a book review of their choice
which can lead to some stimulating discussions.
OD01 Management de projet
This course was taught in French and it was exceptional as well. It
was very practical, with a lot of case studies along the way and guest
speakers from renown companies in France that are in charge of
impressive projects. We had a presentation on a given topic, a final
exam and a written project. Very demanding course but highly
valuable in academic terms.
Commodity risk management
This is a course about how commodity markets work and how to use
derivatives. I think the course was very good but you have to be
somewhat interested in commodity markets. Basic knowledge about
derivatives is also recommendable but no prerequisite. There was
one assignment to do each week, which was really good for
learning, but the teacher only chose a couple of students that had to
hand it in. It is highly recommended to do all the weekly hand-ins.
This was 30% of the grade. 70% was a written exam in the last class.
I think the professor was very good. There was no book or articles
for this course, only the handouts from the professor.
Financial institutions management
This course focus on how different financial institutions work. The
syllabus was large but it only touched the surface and did not go
deep into details. It is a useful course because you learn a lot that
you should know if you want to work in a bank etc. The professor
was good and knows a lot, but a little boring to listen to. The
evaluation consisted of 50% open book exam and 50% term paper
which is written on a subject of choice, and is supposed to be a very
short research paper. There was no book or articles, only the
handouts from the professor.
International finance
This course focuses on how to manage money when you have
subsidiaries etc. in other countries and is exposed to foreign
exchange rate risk. I think it was a very useful and instructive course
and it is very practically oriented. The professor is American and
very knowledgeable. There were some case discussions during class.
Class participation was 10% of the grade but you only have to be in
class. There was one mid-term 30% and a final exam 60%.
There was one book in this class but it was not very necessary to
have it.
The U.S. cinema industry
This is a 2,5 credits course and if it is possible to take it you should.
Students study the golden age of American cinema and classes
consist of watching and analyzing movies such as “Night of the
Hunter”, “It’s All About Eve.” A very enjoyable and refreshing
change to the typical business students agenda. The grade is based
on a written assignment that is handed out in the last class.
Investment Banking and Financial Engineering
This is a course in applied finance. During the lectures we went
through different types of strategic and financial decisions facing a
firm. It is taken for granted that you know basic financial theory and
you should expect a lot of calculations. Evaluation was split in two:
one hand-in valuation case and one final 3 hour exam in the last
lecture. I was really satisfied with this course.
Financial Analysis and Strategy of Firms
I was less satisfied with this course. Mostly because of how it was
organized. We were split up in random groups in the beginning of
the semester. The groups got two business cases each and had to
present a solution to these during the semester. Each lecture
consisted of 2.5 hours with student presentations and 0.5 hour of
questions from the teacher and/or students and a discussion of
relevant theory. Due to language difficulties (pronunciation) it was
sometimes hard to get the main message in the presentations. The
presentations also differed with respect to quality. Since the
presentations were such a big part of the course, I felt that I didn’t
get as much out of it as I wished. Evaluation consisted of the two
group presentations and a final three hour exam in the last lecture.
What Does the Brain Do?
A 2,5 ECTS class that covered basic, theoretical description of how
the brain works, and how we can use this knowledge in our daily life
as well as in a job situation. The professor is fund of class
discussions, and likes it when the students are interested involved.
There was a final exam in the end of the class.
How to Manage Young People and Seniors
This is a 2,5 ECTS class with two different lectures; one with an HR
background and one with a marketing background. The mix
between marketing and HR makes this course very interesting.
Topics covered were issues in companies due to age gaps, what to
focus on when marketing products and services towards young
and/or older consumers, how to advertise towards the elderly and
so on. A special focus was also given on differences and similarities
between generations. The final grade was given based on written
exercises in class, group works and shorter hand ins.
Political Marketing
This is a 2,5 ECTS class. It consisted of 5 lectures, where the last
lecture was the written exam. We got a brief introduction to
marketing in general, before the professor focused on more specific
public marketing topics such as political marketing, public-private
partnership, ethics and so on. We also watched and analyzed several
public marketing TV campaigns from different countries. In the end
of every class we discussed various cases, which made the course
more practical. In addition, we had a group presentation of a chosen
topic. As a political economy student I found this course to be rather
trivial. Most of the issues and theories were very easy and given.
Consumer Behavior
This is a 5 ECTS class, which deals with basic consumer behavior
issues such as word of mouth, loyalty, cultural differences, opinion
leadership and so on. The final grade was based on hand ins,
presentations and a final exam. The final exam was a multiple choice
exam. I would not recommend this course for students having
studied marketing earlier. The course was interesting, but I felt that
it was more a repetition of what I had already learned in previous
consumer behavior and marketing classes from my bachelor.
Portfolio Management
This is a 5 ECTS course about how to structure a portfolio. It is very
theoretical, and demands a lot of work. You should have some basic
knowledge before taking it.