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Question: student life in HEC - for non-french speaker

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New post 15 Jan 2014, 01:17
Hi all
Just wondering if you think it's advisable to apply if you cannot speak french at all? I understand that English should be the teaching medium but it would be great if someone can share experience living and studying there?

Thanks much in advance.
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New post 03 Feb 2014, 21:18
Just want to bump this up.. any sharing would be great :(
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New post 04 Feb 2014, 00:05
Are you looking for the MBA?

I studied there for a masters and thought it was amazing. However, it really depends on what you want. Small town, big brand name, tight community? That's HEC.

Second you need to be aware that HEC is french-centric. You're in the most elite school in France and you'll notice right away. However, if you're not focused on France it may not be for you. You'll need to do a little extra leg work (not much, but yes be aware) to get into London offices etc - as you're competing against LBS/ Oxbridge/ sometimes Cass / Imperial etc.

I am saying all of this because ultimately, it will affect how you perceive the school. I loved the community.
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New post 04 Feb 2014, 05:31
Desley1 wrote:
Hi all
Just wondering if you think it's advisable to apply if you cannot speak french at all? I understand that English should be the teaching medium but it would be great if someone can share experience living and studying there?

Like Cantona, I was a student of HEC. If we restrict ourselves to only discussing living and studying, then the answer is straightforward: you will be aboslutely fine. I would say almost everyone can speak English there (apart from some staff) and you will be able to connect with people.

As for subsequent employment, things get a little tricky. Fluency in French is almost essential for a job in France, though it might partly depend on which program you are in (internships in France for non-French speaking Grand Ecole students, for example, are less difficult to secure than for those in the MMFE).

I am slightly hesitant to offer more advice without additional knowledge of your background. For example, which program(s) are you considering at HEC? And what are the other schools that you are considering?
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New post 04 Feb 2014, 18:29
guys, thanks a lot for the replies.
I understand HEC's reputation in France vs. in other places and it is not a problem for me. I most probably will go back to my own country after MBA so really it's the community, network and curriculum that i am looking for.
My concern though is more or less the student life there. I stayed in China before while knowing just basic Chinese. It was interesting and I was fine mingling amongst my group of friends & other expats but daily life was definitely a challenge. I just don't want to face the same situation applying to HEC
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New post 04 Feb 2014, 18:37
If you speak english.. you're more than fine. Just understand you're living in France.. in French culture.. if you like it you'll be great. If you don't, then don't study in France!

The MBA is the most "international" of the degrees, so you will have more non-french classmates to begin with.

The campus is great. There is a ton happening. Just know that the Grand Ecole runs the school - meaning students age 19-23. Its young and vibrant.

Some students opt to live in Paris, which I don't really understand. It is however another option if somehow it didn't work out for you.
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New post 05 Feb 2014, 01:06
The HEC campus has a diverse student body, so knowing English will be enough. And there will be plenty of opportunity to connect with people.
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New post 05 Feb 2014, 08:16
Thanks guys. Got your point. Guess I have a good hang of it now. :)

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Re: Question: student life in HEC - for non-french speaker  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2014, 22:09
For MBA students, French learning is a part of the course structure, but it wouldn't harm you if you learn a little french beforehand, just to get around :). I have just started learning French over the weekends would advice you to enroll for a course or go to youtube and watch all videos for subject French with Vincent, his videos are amazing.

Have you already been shortlisted. Am planning to apply for Jan 2015 intake
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New post 03 Mar 2014, 01:20
farhanc85 wrote:
For MBA students, French learning is a part of the course structure, but it wouldn't harm you if you learn a little french beforehand, just to get around :). I have just started learning French over the weekends would advice you to enroll for a course or go to youtube and watch all videos for subject French with Vincent, his videos are amazing.

Have you already been shortlisted. Am planning to apply for Jan 2015 intake


Hey, thanks for replying. I'm still waiting for admission jury. I really want to get admitted though and if things go well, I am probably going to take up French too. good luck for your application :)
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Re: Question: student life in HEC - for non-french speaker   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2014, 01:20
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