Everyone went through a time struggling with campuses choices, and I was not an exception. I had little information on what different campuses really look like, limited networking opportunities with alumni and current students…… I really didn’t know what to do when I had to make my choices.
Having now finished my first year in the MiM (during which I was a Student Ambassador), I came up with the idea to create a campus review to help future students make their choices.
5 of my friends contributed to this article, which describes student life on 5 of the campuses. We are all in M1S2 (Master year 1, Semester 2). All contributors did their M1S1 in Paris, so Paris has been used as the baseline.
All interviewees were asked the same open-ended questions:
1. Students: number of nationalities represented
2. Academics: workload, assignments, group work, teaching content
3. Campus: Canteen/snack bar, environment, extracurricular activities, career services
4. Cities: city life, cost of living, travelling tips
5. Why I chose it: reasons for choosing the campus
They are mostly French, because they are the biggest student population in the MiM. Other nationalities have similar numbers on average.
The workload was not as heavy as last semester. For group assignments, the groups are established by the faculty in advance according to nationalities, and were used for all group assignments. The teachers have a very slight accent and are easy to understand.
The Berlin campus is an stand-alone campus with a good environment. Printing is free, so you can easily get all class material. But the commute can be long, and there is no canteen.
English is common in Berlin, so you can live a comfortable life even though you don’t know German. The living costs are lower than in Paris, but city life is also less interesting.
5. Why I chose it
Regarding why I chose Berlin, I can’t give specific reasons. But if I had to make the choice over again, I would choose Berlin.
Compared with Paris campus last semester, Italian students are the majority and Indian students are the minority. Some faculty is also from Italy.
For core courses, we were pre- assigned into specific groups, which we could not change. But for elective courses, we created groups by ourselves. We could understand the professors very well, both English and Italian, even if the Italian professors have stronger accents.
Regarding homework, every course has lots of cases to be prepared (except accounting : ) ), so this makes up the majority of our work outside the classroom. This is quite different from other campuses, where we had to give presentations on what we learned, for example in the strategy and marketing classes.
Located in the southwest of London, the campus is small yet charming. We don’t have a full canteen, but sandwiches, salads and pasta can be bought from the snack bar.
Career service is quite good and personalized. For example, we have lots of opportunities for 1 on 1 training sessions. The job/internship suggestions we received are most useful for finding a position in the UK, because of the School’s UK network.
Personally, I think London is a modern city, while Paris has longer history and more developed culture. In terms of living costs, London is higher than Paris. I cannot speak more about travelling due to my limited experience, but I prefer the Musée du Louvre to The British Museum. For British food, I recommend their traditional national specialty, Fish and chips.
5. Why I chose it
London is a famous and popular city in my country, so I wanted to go there and experience London life for myself. I have to say, all the students on the London campus really enjoyed themselves there.
For the percentage of nationalities on the Madrid campus, 50% are French, 25% are Italian, 10% are German, and the remaining 15% consists of people from other non-European countries and Chinese. Most of the French people came from the French track in Paris in M1S1.
For me, the workload was much higher than in the first semester in Paris. Even though there aren’t as many presentations to do (one presentation per week on average), we have tons of written assignments. Each course has group work this semester, and you have to find yourself a group following certain specifications (several nationalities, gender mix, etc), meaning that you have to mingle and meet new people. All the professors treat their work seriously, but some of them have a strong Spanish accent. In addition, I would single out the accounting class, because Madrid is the only campus that requires a group presentation. This gave me a practical understanding of IFRS.
The Madrid campus is located in the north of the city. The school cafeteria offers you various choices: you can buy a “dish of the day” for €4; Spanish snacks and sandwiches are also available. There is a beautiful grassy area in the campus, which is a good place to relax. We don’t have as many student societies as on the Paris campus, but you can still gain a lot from events like the Running dinner* and Post in Instagram and get free coffee**. We received job descriptions from careers service at the end of the semester.
Compared to France, Spain has a much lower cost of living, and its capital Madrid is not an exception. Even though the city doesn’t have as many sightseeing places, it does have passionate people, wonderful rooftops, awesome sunshine and incredible drinks.
5. Why I chose it
I have friends here, so I chose Madrid to be able to see them again. I missed Paris very much when I first came here, especially because there are not many Chinese students here. But things got easier and easier with time, both at school and in the city. If I had the chance, I would come to Madrid again.
There are more than 100 nationalities represented in our school. Focusing on the MiM on the Paris campus, French, Chinese and Indian students were the most numerous (in that order) in the first semester. The number of Chinese and Indians decreased dramatically in the second semester, replaced by Italians and Germans.
ESCP Europe is famous for its workload, that’s to say, every course has its after-class assignments. The academic performance evaluation is based on group projects and presentations extending in the whole M1 year. We also had factory visits and manager interviews.
You have to find a group on your own for almost all classes, but for one or two classes, the professor assigns the groups. You can understand the professors’ French-English accents with no difficulty.
Paris has two campuses (République and Montparnasse) but MiM students study in République. Paris has the most teachers and students among our six campuses.
It’s a small but beautiful environment with several classical buildings and one modern-designed building. Its facilities are quite user-friendly, including the snack bar, canteen, computer room, library, etc. We also have lots of interesting student activities and societies.
Paris campus has the biggest career service: the most coaches for 1-on-1 sessions, frequent workshops on CVs, motivation letters and interviews, and networking breakfast and lunch breaks meetings.
… And then there’s the amazing city life. Thanks to our school’s location, you can easily experience real Parisian life. If you are under 26 years old, you can live your Paris life to the fullest because you get great student reductions for enjoying cultural activities, including operas, movies, and exhibitions. The CAF is by your side to get housing reductions, cutting down your housing expenses. If you usually cook at home, you can control your monthly living expenses to around €1,200.
Everyone chooses to eat French food for a reason: it is really awesome. You definitely have to try real French food in Paris. With “La Fourchette (an app)”, you can get extra discounts of up to 60% on a three-course meal.
5. Why I chose it
I majored in French as an undergraduate, and then I worked in a French-speaking country for 3 years. I didn’t want to leave the French environment. Many friends recommended Paris to me. I also wanted to experience such an international and historical city, so I stayed in Paris for my second semester.
There are 45 students in our class: 10 French, 6 Chinese, 1 Spanish, 1 German and the rest are Italian. Because our school has a partnership with Politecnico di Torino (the local engineering school), 2/3 of the Italian students have an engineering background, which adds diversity to the class.
The workload is around the same as in Paris. The campus assigned us groups in advance, in which nationalities and gender ratios are mixed and balanced. Our professors have obvious Italian accents. It was hard to understand everything at the beginning, but things got quickly easier after you got used to them.
Politecnico students work really hard! They would prepare for cases and slides very well before classes, take notes on printed versions of the slides, and even interact with professors after class. They made me feel like I was back in high school. So you have to devote more time on group meetings and team projects to keep up.
The Turin campus is quite small, to be honest, as it only consists of several classrooms (2 floors, 6 main classrooms) for the MIM and premaster within the Universita Torino Dipartimento economia campus, which is on the edge of city center.The Food and Beverage programme takes place in the Unicredit building which is in the middle of the city center!
We do not have meals on our main campus because there is no canteen, but we can buy croissants, cafes and sandwiches in the cafeteria. Therefore, most students bring homemade food to school for lunch. The rest buy student menus (€5 for average quality food) in nearby restaurants.
The campus is in a typical Italian style that has a long history: there are lots of sculptures in the corridor. Also, we have seating in an open area for enjoying and networking in the sunshine during breaks.
The campus held a really nice opening party for us in the LAVAZA museum in the city center.
Turin is a beautiful city but it’s not very big. It’s very liveable and has GREAT chocolate and ice cream!!!
I really enjoy a cozy life at a slow life pace in Turin, even though everyone goes back home on the weekdays and the only shops open on Sundays are near the main square.
The city centre is around the train station, including Via Roma and three more blocks. The main attractions of the city can basically be covered in a three-hour walk.
There are just two metro lines, both of which are pretty short.
The tram is the main source of transportation. You don’t need to wait for them for a long time on weekdays, but the wait can be around 30 minutes on the weekend. And the tram is not open 24hours/day, so you may suffer from this if you are a nightlife lover. I seldom take the bus, so I cannot share more information on that. But I have also noticed that local students commute by bike.
The prices in Turin are lower than in Paris. A meal in a mid-level restaurant is €15 per person, a student menu nearby the school costs €5, a breakfast menu (a croissant and a cafe) is €1.70, bottled water costs €0.50. in a bar, and you can get two beers or one cocktail for only €7. Supermarkets are cheaper as well.
A lot of places are worth visiting.
Turin is the center of the Piedmont Region, so there are lots of different Italian foods to try. For example, there are many different kinds of pizza and pasta. Different types of pizza have their own name, and so do ravioli.
5. Why I chose it
There is only one class in this campus, so we develop close relationships with each other. So it is a good chance to explore a new country with lovely people in the sunshine.
I want to borrow a phrase from a professor on the Madrid campus: “Warsaw is a mystery”. The campus doesn’t open to M1 students, so we cannot provide any suggestions. You could explore it by yourself!
Choosing your campuses is a hard decision because you have to plan your first academic year without in-depth knowledge of our school. I can only recommend to learn know more from older students, including the ambassadors and this article will be a good start. Also, following your heart is always a good choice : )
It is really awesome that you can study and live in different cities and experience different countries and cultures when you are young. Moving to new places is troublesome, getting out of your comfort zone is hard, but all of these will provide you with your best memories!