HHL offers more than 130 partner universities to choose from when going abroad – Marc Lorenz decided to attend EDHEC Business School in Nice, in the heart of the French Riviera. Alix Robert in return came to Leipzig. A review about their exchange experiences.
“It is easy to perceive Nice as just this tourist hotspot full of rich people and yachts, which it certainly is during the main season. But when the summer comes to an end, at least time-wise, and most tourists have left the city, you start to explore the everyday-life of Nice, although you will probably never lose the surreal feeling of being on vacation”, says the HHL M.Sc. student Marc Lorenz. Having the choice to do so, Marc decided to spend an Erasmus semester at EDHEC campus in Nice instead of Lille, which is another campus of EDHEC.
EDHEC (École de Hautes Études de Commerciales du Nord) is one of the few Grandes Écoles in France and is ranked one of the top 15 European Business Schools, holding a Triple Crown Accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. Among the additional operating campuses in Paris, London and Singapore, the campus in Nice stands out: It is situated on the picturesque Promenade des Anglais with an overlook of the Mediterranean Sea, offering 300 days of sunshine per year and approximately 100 km of beaches. The modern complex provides an excellent environment for learning, teaching and research. Several areas are dedicated to sports, arts and voluntary activities –for instance, the fitness centre is offering a wide variation of courses such as pilates, zumba and body bar.
Nice, nicknamed “Nice the Beautiful”, has a population of almost 350.000 people and is, as a vacation resort, famous for its international atmosphere and cultural offers, including numerous museums and hosting events such as the Nice Carneval or the Nice Jazz Festival. “In the evening, the streets are full of life, even during the week. It all contributes to a pleasant atmosphere as you might expect it from the Côte d’Azur. Furthermore, there are plenty of places around Nice worth visiting – be it the breath-taking mountains with picturesque French villages, for example Gourdon and Eze, or famous metropoles such as Cannes and Monaco”, says Marc.
As a partner university EDHEC provides to options for HHL students: Lille campus is offering a Business Management track whereas Nice is home of the Financial Economics track. The focus here lies on subjects like Advanced Corporate Finance, Private Equity or Corporate Treasury Management. The courses are similar to ones at HHL regarding group works and presentations. Case studies and practical examples provide an in-depth view and state-of-the-art insight into current topics. Marc admits that he found the classes quite challenging because of an intense workload and required prerequisites. But still he appreciates the chance of getting to know a different point of view on financial topics and on top of that discovering a different educational system:
“If you really want to deepen your financial knowledge, get the chance to be taught by excellent professors with real practical knowledge, if education is what you seek, EDHEC is the place to be. However, if you only want to travel and party, it may not be the right choice for you.”
Alix Robert, a final year master’s in management student at EDHEC currently spending a semester at HHL, points out the differences between his studies at EDHEC compared to HHL: “I appreciate the intimate class size of HHL, which is completely different from my school in France. Here, we all know and see each other daily, making it easy to establish and maintain close relationships. HHL has reached, and even surpassed, my expectations. I really appreciate the school’s way of teaching, including its focus on group work and team dynamics.” With a little touch of humour, she adds: “And even if after six months, I continue to be amazed by the passion of HHL students for PowerPoint alignments and never-ending group meetings, I also very much enjoy working with these friendly people, who are eager to learn and deep-dive into every topic.”
Despite these differences, HHL and EDHEC share a similar welcoming spirit when it comes to international students. “The international relations office made it very easy for exchange students to start at EDHEC and to handle the different procedures. Regular information sessions combined with sufficient opening hours and prompt mail service helped us handle different issues. EDHEC welcomes a large number of exchange students with whom it is very easy to connect.”, says Marc.
For Alix the orientation week at HHL set the perfect base for her exchange experiences: “I am very impressed by the international dimension of the school and how HHL is welcoming exchange students. Our welcome week in September was very well organized and made me feel like I had chosen the right place. During this very special week, I met all my exchange friends with whom I would later spend unforgettable moments traveling around and enjoying the city of Leipzig.”
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Photos (c) by EDHEC Business School