Fascinating Experiences Of French Exchange Students | A Desi-Videshi Amalgam At IIM Udaipur

IIM Udaipur firmly believes that future leaders and managers are best developed in a multi-cultural environment. At the time when the world is shrinking and everything is thriving globally, leaders and managers need to be well equipped with global thinking/mindset. Hence at IIMU, learning is boundless.

To impart the global perspectives to its students, IIM Udaipur has ties with many management schools of France and Germany and is incessantly trying to expand its reach into the international arena. But a relationship can’t be one-sided, therefore every year IIMU hosts many foreign students, who come to understand what management means in the Indian context.

Here are the French students, who are currently on an exchange program in IIMU, sharing their personal experiences:

Hello Guys! Thanks for agreeing to share your experiences with us. How are things going in IIM-U?

Hello, no issues. Things are going quite well.

Great. Can you please share some details about your background and ambitions?

After finishing high school, we studied some very theoretical subjects (Math, Philosophy, Geopolitical) for around two years in order to pass the entrance exam for entry into top French business schools. That’s how we ended up in Edhec Business School.

We spent the first two years studying mainly general business fields such as Corporate Finance, Marketing, Cost Accounting etc. at Edhec Lile. Alongside our studies, we joined student association (it is like the committee in IIM-U) where we spent most of our free time as these associations are quite demanding. Louise and Emilie joined the Fashion Association and Thibault and Julie, the audiovisuals one.

After those 2 years in Edhec Lille, we all interned for 1 year in different fields and countries: luxury marketing, corporate finance or venture capital in Paris and New-York.

This year, which we are spending in IIM Udaipur, is the last one of our 4-year program. We needed to spend at least 6 months abroad to validate our diploma. We will be graduating at the end of the year in global business management. We all have different ambitions: working in marketing for Louise and Emilie and finance or consulting for Thibault and Julie.

That fascinating! Well, why did you choose India for the Exchange Program?

We all wanted to go far in a country where the culture is different from ours and as Europeans, we were quite fascinated by Asia. So, we thought spending six months in India would be an incredible opportunity to experience the Indian way of life and travel in very specific places in India (and not only the South and the Rajasthan where most travellers go when they just have 2 weeks). As we knew that India is a country of rich culture and history, so opting India for the exchange program gave us the opportunity to discover it.

 Also, India is a fast-developing country where everything is moving at a very fast pace, we thought it would be interesting to experience it from an audience perspective.

Indeed, India is one of the fastest growing economies. So, how has been your experience till now? 

Incredible! We have been enjoying a lot, students on campus are very welcoming and we enjoy most of the classes we attend. Everything is very different from our home country and, initially, it took us some time to adjust but now we are really enjoying our stay on the campus.

During the first semester, we have been able to tour Ladakh, Assam and Varanasi and realized that every part of India is very different from one another.

Our experience in India and in IIMU has been a great discovery in terms of educational and personal development.

Good, that you guys are enjoying your stay. Can you guys shed some light on the differences in education culture between France and India? 

One major difference which we noticed is that rules concerning laptops and mobile phones are stricter in IIMU than Edhec. For example, in France, we can use these devices during class but using mobiles in IIM-U are a strict NO.

Also, IIM-U is more technology-oriented than Edhec, we are quite impressed or (perturbed?) by the Bio-Metric Machine we must check before entering each class.

Finally, there are very few real campuses for Business Schools in France. We are not used to living on the campus. In Lille for example, we were sharing an apartment with friends.

Interesting to know! So, is there any aspect on which IIM-U can improve upon which might benefit upcoming exchange students? 

The overall welcoming was really nice but one thing which could improve the process, if one IIM-U student is assigned for each exchange student. It could be helpful to be even more integrated into campus life.

Thank you so much for sharing your valuable and interesting experiences. Enjoy your remaining stay at IIM Udaipur & All the very best for your future endeavours!

Jeetesh Varshney

Jeetesh Varshney is currently a student of the PGP 2018-20 batch of IIM Udaipur and a member of the InsideIIM Student Team and representative of Placement Preparation Committee of IIMU. He has previously completed his Computer Engineering from Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur and has work experience in software development. He is an avid reader and his favourite authors include JK Rowling, Christopher C Doyle, Amish. He loves travelling and exploring new places and cultures, and nothing makes him happier than good food and chocolates. He is someone who learned a lot from InsideIIM while preparing for his management entrance exams and now writing stories on InsideIIM to share his experiences for the benefit of the future aspirants.