The Pass-World entrance exam is an exam in which students with non-French diplomas can pass in order to enroll in the 2-year Master in Management program within one of the select French business schools. Grenoble Ecole de Management is one of the seven French business schools that offers the Pass-World exam for entry into Masters in Management program. Three Pass-world students who are currently studying at Grenoble Ecole de Management have shared some of their experiences of being an international student at GEM.
Deborah is a Pass-world student from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) who is currently finishing her first year of studies at GEM. Deborah chose to study in France because she wanted to add an international competence to her background. She chose GEM because it is among the best business schools in France and in Europe. Pass-world allowed her to come to GEM after passing the entrance exam. In choosing a university, GEM was Deborah’s top choice. Deborah will complete the Masters in Management in 3 years which includes one year of internship that starts this coming fall. After a year of internship in France, she will return to GEM to complete her studies.
Integration at GEM:
It was quite easy for Deborah to integrate in France because her sister was already studying here at GEM so she was able to help her become acclimated to life in France from the administrative processes to life at school. She enjoys life in France as there’s a different climate than the one at home with snow, all four seasons, and the beautiful mountain scenery. She has also been able to meet new people.
Additionally, Deborah joined the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Association to help with her transition to GEM: “It allowed me to easily integrate myself through its various cultural tours, business and discovery tours. I also met many other people from different backgrounds.”
Maniph is a Pass-world student also from the Ivory Coast who began her studies as a GEM student in September 2013. She is currently in her final year with a specialization in accounting and audit. Maniph chose GEM for a variety of reasons, but mainly she chose GEM for the degree that she would be receiving at the end of her studies. Pass-world was a big help in her entry process because they helped her to prepare for the entry examinations as well as with all the administrative formalities.
Integration at GEM
Integration at GEM was very easy for Maniph because GEM is a very international school so the administration is equipped to help international students. Maniph also said that the Center for International Affairs office was of much assistance to her because there were French people in the office so it was very easy to communicate with them.
Among the many memories she has created during her time at GEM, there are a few that stick out to her. Some of Maniph’s favorite moments included the Graduation Gala and the Christmas season. During the graduation party, she wore a dress and everyone else was also dressed up and having good time. Another of her favorite times was the entire Christmas season because everyone was talking about it and there were many beautiful decorations around Grenoble. She said it was just a very happy time.
Post graduation plans
After graduation this spring, she will stay in France to look for a job in accounting. She feels acclimated to the French culture as it is similar to her own culture. She’s ready to kick start her accounting career in France.
Yixin arrived at GEM in September 2013 through Pass-world. Her journey to France started in her last year of universities studies in China when she had the opportunity to study in France, more specifically in Grenoble, for one year at university. It was an opportunity that correlated with her French language and civilization studies. She’s happy she jumped at the opportunity because she ended up loving Grenoble. After a year at university in Grenoble, she began post-bachelor studies at INSEEC in Bordeaux. She studied there for a year, but when Pass-world offered her the opportunity to study at GEM, it was another opportunity she couldn’t pass up. Because of her Chinese diploma, Pass-world was able to help her enroll in the Grand Ecole program at GEM. Yixin is now currently on track to graduate in March 2017 with a double diploma and a specialization in purchasing.
Arrival and Integration at GEM
Because Yixin had already lived in France for two years, cultural integration wasn’t necessary upon her arrival at GEM. When she arrived in GEM, she was in class with 30 other students, however, only two of them were Chinese like her. The class she was in was for students who were on “alternance” which meant they were working and going to school simultaneously and, therefore, these students had a higher maturity level meaning they were very willing to help her get acclimated to studies at GEM. It was this way that Yixin made some of her best friends at GEM. Although the people were very helpful, Yixin says that her ability to speak French helped in the success in bonding these relationships. And because there were no language barriers, they starting doing activities together like hiking from the beginning. Today she says they are some of her best friends here. They eat lunch together everyday after courses, and are constantly part of each other’s everyday life. “The integration was great. I met a lot of nice people which made it really easy.” One tip that Yixin would like to give to new students who are in the French track or are wanting to integrate with French students is to be very proficient and confident in French before arrival. Many French students are self-conscious about their English so she recommends really strongly to speak French. In her opinion, good integration into is based on good French language skill.
Favorite Moments at GEM
Yixin has had some very exciting moments at GEM both inside and outside of class. For her, the in course aspect had been a very satisfying aspect during her time at GEM. For example, in some of her courses the professor was very inspiring and was able to create a very effective atmosphere for learning. She had no business courses prior to coming to GEM, therefore it was a brand new field of study that she never experienced before. She is highly satisfied with the knowledge that she has learned. She says that compared to the person she was four years ago, she has grown up a lot and has changed very much as an individual.
“There have been some very interesting exchanges between professor and student. The in class environment and discussion have encouraged us to think loudly in her mind, which is very different from my previous education.”’
Other favorite moments for Yixin were times she shared with her friends outside of class at the student events organized by the student associations. She has enjoyed spending time with her friends in these places. Although the events aren’t related to her studies, they allow her to feel alive and to create more cherished moments with her friends here.
According to Yixin, this program is very original and effective program for international students. The principle is a foreign student represents her country while she is mentored by a coach who is professional in a company in or around Grenoble. The society organizes many activities throughout the year where all the jeunes and coaches meet as a group. During these activities, many exchanges are made: whether they be cultural, professional, etc.
“It can help you not only in your integration and life in France (you are able to talk about problems with them), but it can also help you develop a professional network. So it’s a program that can help students in two aspects:
in social (friends) and
in professional (networking).”
At the end of the year, there is an innovation project competition. Yixin says it required a lot of creativity because they needed to create a project that was very innovative and then present their idea in the best way in front of the jury. After the competition, the winner of the competition can go on to develop the project in real life with the help of money and resources that they receive for winning. It is an amazing opportunity for international students with a business idea to work with French professionals.
More information about Pass-world can be found here: http://www.pass-world.com/master/en/member-schools/grenoble-school-of-management/.
Thank you to Deborah, Maniph and Yixin for sharing their experiences at GEM as Pass-world students!
(by Katie Tebbe)