Xinyu Wu from China, Abhijit Singh from Germany, and Alexis Pulido Murillo from Mexico, students benefiting from the CMIRA grant given by the Région Rhône-Alpes, share their different experiences as incoming students at GEM.
Abhijit, tell us about the reasons that led you to choose GEM.
The first reason was the CMIRA grant. I am actually self-supported; I don’t have any loan or anything. I worked for some time in Germany at Siemens and I earned some moneys which I decided to invest in my studies. I had the choice between an exchange program and an internship but the CMIRA grant truly encouraged me to choose the exchange program. However, that was only one reason why I chose GEM, the second one being that I am foodie! Therefore it was a really nice opportunity for me to enjoy the food because when you come as a tourist you don’t see a lot and you don’t experience much. Staying here for 3 or 4 months was a good opportunity to actually discover the culture. While I was in Germany I came in France for business trips but I could not even manage to go to Paris so coming to France for longer had always been on my mind. I therefore postponed the internship to next year and came to Grenoble for a semester.
How do you like the school here?
I really like the fact that it is massive. It is much bigger than my home university, the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. I really like the fact that there are so many students here. I also love the library here as I am writing my Master Thesis so I spend a lot of time in the library and I really like it. Facilities are of course up to the mark and it’s really nice. I think people are very patient here and very supportive so this is a good thing too.
I currently live on my savings as I’ve been out of work for more than a year now so the grant is definitely helpful. With it I can really enjoy the student life without worrying of having to pay student loans. I also bought a bicycle from metro-vélo so I can go anywhere in Grenoble, it is quite nice! Overall I am very much enjoying my experience here.
Xinyu, why did you choose to do a double-degree at GEM?
It is a good business school, it is ranked 6th in France. It is also a very international school so I can meet classmates from all over the world. As I want to improve my English and my management skills so I chose this school. Furthermore it has a contract with my home university in China, the TongJi University, so I chose GEM.
Did the CMIRA grant have any occurrence in your choice for GEM?
I first decided to come to GEM and then, later, I applied to the CMIRA grant.
How is CMIRA going to help you?
It will help me pay my rent, travel around and have better standards of living here.
How do you like your life here at GEM and in France in general?
I have experienced many new different ways of studying, teaching and doing student presentations. The classes here are very different from China and I can learn different knowledge. I think it is quite useful and I gain a lot of knowledge.
I think France is a very lovely country and as I know a little bit of French so life here is really not inconvenient. I have travelled to several places in France and I think it is very beautiful.
Alexis, why did you choose to come to GEM?
Basically I chose GEM because of the rankings and the recognition of the school. The Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, my home university, has so many programs of exchange and double-degrees… Hopefully, as I wanted to go for a double-degree it narrowed my options. I could then choose between Asia, North America or Europe. I had already been to Asia as I studied in Singapore for 6 months so I already knew that way of living. Then, as I live in Mexico and I often travel to the USA, moving there would not have been something new. So my option was Europe and from that, GEM was the best option, the best university. I was encouraged by the rankings and getting to know a different culture; especially because French people love their gastronomy, their culture and their language, it was interesting for me to learn how other people see things.
What about the school itself?
In comparison to my home school it is very small. I think my home school is probably twelve times this size and we have sport facilities and tennis courts and all that. So I kind of miss that, but on the other hand, even if GEM is smaller, it is quite new and has good installations despite the chairs in the classrooms which are not that comfortable.
Did the CMIRA grant encourage you to choose GEM?
No, actually I had made my choice before and then only did I see the opportunity to apply to the grant so it did not influence my decision.
Now you are here, how are you going to use it? Travels, extras, daily life improvement?
It is a combination of the three elements you mentioned actually. As it is my first time in Europe I’m planning on travelling to see a lot of things here. It will also help me with my daily life, I’ll be able to live more comfortable without being too careful with my budget, not restricting all the time.
Overall, have you been enjoying your stay in France so far?
Yes I enjoy it a lot. I am not particularly fond of the bureaucracy and all the paperwork we have to do to get here, but aside of that yes I like it very much. The food is very good, people are friendly and it is really nice to get to them.