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INSEAD bias against Americans?

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Status: Darden '12 Alumni
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INSEAD bias against Americans? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2009, 22:06
I know that the inside joke amongst INSEAD students is that the language requirement is setup to filter out Americans, but how much credence is there to this sentiment (anti-Americanism) regarding student and school culture?

I ask this in earnest trying to find out as much as I can about school and culture fit without visiting from the other side of the globe. I also don't want to be overly generalizing either and understand that posing this question in itself could be taken in an offensive manner, so I ask as respectfully as I can.

I'm curious as to how I would be received by INSEAD student population knowing I was an Iraq War veteran and in general if there is any tinge of anti-Americanism at the school. Again, I try to ask as respectfully as possible, and do not mean to imply that the sentiment is there.
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Re: INSEAD bias against Americans? [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 02:04
lakai777 wrote:
I know that the inside joke amongst INSEAD students is that the language requirement is setup to filter out Americans, but how much credence is there to this sentiment (anti-Americanism) regarding student and school culture?

I ask this in earnest trying to find out as much as I can about school and culture fit without visiting from the other side of the globe. I also don't want to be overly generalizing either and understand that posing this question in itself could be taken in an offensive manner, so I ask as respectfully as I can.

I'm curious as to how I would be received by INSEAD student population knowing I was an Iraq War veteran and in general if there is any tinge of anti-Americanism at the school. Again, I try to ask as respectfully as possible, and do not mean to imply that the sentiment is there.


Having spoken to a few INSEAD guys when I was conducting my own research, I don't think there is any real anti-american sentiment. The truth remains - this is an international school in western europe and expects it's students to be internationally focused and culturally sensitive. It is also based in a non-english speaking hub as you know. So the language requirement makes perfect sense.
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Re: INSEAD bias against Americans? [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 11:37
thanks b-daddy.

the language requirement to me was never a big deal and i could easily see why they would require it.

my question was more of an inquiry into the overall sentiment of the student population. my experience working with people from various cultural backgrounds have been overwhelmingly positive, but there had been a few times where the anti-americanism was quite overwhelming to the point where I would have rather not deal with certain people.

i assumed INSEAD wouldn't have a problem with this but wanted to pose to question to gauge the responses from students.
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Re: INSEAD bias against Americans? [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2009, 06:37
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Hi, unfortunately I cannot provide the best answer because as an East European this has never been an issue for me and furthermore, I have not arrived on campus yet.

Anyway, the second most common nationality in INSEAD is American (IIRC, too lazy to fact-check right now), so there are plenty of Americans there. Many professors are American; the school uses a lot of US case studies. That being said, many of the American students are second generation immigrants, or have dual nationalities, or have lived a significant amount of time somewhere abroad.

All of the INSEAD students I have spoken to have been exceptionally friendly and open-minded. I guess that when you attend a school with such a diverse student body, you learn not to assume anything about a person just based on his nationality and background. You have students from all over Europe, from the Middle East, from India, China, Russia, Americas, Australia - I am looking at the directory and there are admits in my class from every possible part of the globe. But we share one thing in common; all of us have put a lot of effort and we are paying through the nose for the privilege to be in this diverse crowd. Therefore my guess is that no one, and I mean no one, at INSEAD is a prejudiced bigot.

Of course there are going to be lots of people who disagree with US policy. Maybe you will be dragged into arguments about that - just speculating here. Where exactly 'disagreement' turns into 'anti-Americanism' is anybody's guess and it depends on you as well.

My advice - visit INSEAD's stand at you local MBA fair and talk to the marketing people. Several of the girls working in marketing and in the admissions office are American, they should be able and willing to tell you about their experience working in France/Singapore. Also, try to reach any current students or alumni with background simiar to yours.

Hope this helps, PM me if you need stats from MBA Connect.
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Re: INSEAD bias against Americans? [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2009, 12:16
thanks Nerdboy.

I appreciate the feedback. much of what you are saying is assuaging my concerns. again, the assumption was that this would not be a problem, but felt the need to confirm with those who know more than I.

thanks again.
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Re: INSEAD bias against Americans? [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2009, 11:45
Agreed with Nerdboy and buffdaddy -- as an American, I didn't have any concerns during the admissions process at INSEAD. That includes the short time I spent in Fontainebleau itself, as I found it to be a mostly friendly town in terms of accommodating international students. That said, I would have to defer to current and past INSEAD students on how they found living in France in general.

FWIW, we have several US armed forces veterans (along with French, British, Singaporean, etc.) here at LBS, so I would imagine INSEAD to be somewhat similar. And we also have the same joke here for our language requirement -- but the Aussies, Brits and Kiwis get included too. :P
Re: INSEAD bias against Americans?   [#permalink] 03 Oct 2009, 11:45
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