Grenoble Ecole de Management

Going to school at Grenoble Ecole de Management has been the most unique education I’ve ever had. I’ve never attended such a specialized school where the focus is entirely on business studies. International Business is my major and area of interest so I fit right in. Students here are extremely talented and passionate about business and I’ve learned a substantial amount from my peers. Every day I feel lucky to be part of Europe’s 17th top business school and to be able to take advantage of all it has to offer.

In France college or “uni,” as they like to call it, is 3 years long instead of the typical 4 years in America. There are full time students that attend GEM just like at any other university and there’s also exchange students. You can be on the French or English track but everyone at the school knows English. In fact, most students you meet here know more than 2 languages which I find fascinating. In America, this is not as common.

My classes are all in English and I take 6 different business courses and a French language class. You are placed on a specific track so you don’t choose your classes like at college in the U.S. This I don’t mind since schedule planning always made me stressed! The most unique part about how GEM functions is your class schedule changes every week. You never have the same routine and I’ve learned to embrace this. One week you may have 2 classes every day, while another week it may be just 2 classes during the entire week! When we are given our full schedules for the semester in advance, this makes planning trips very easy. I love looking at my schedule and seeing an entire week open for possibilities!

Since GEM is an international business school, students flood in from around the world. In my classroom there are students of 13+ different nationalities. I think this is the best part about GEM and what makes the education so rewarding. People come from so many different backgrounds, cultures, and religions yet we all come together in one classroom and share who we are and where our home country stands in a business mindset. I cannot begin to explain how much I’ve learned about the world from my time at GEM. I know so much now about different countries, business practices in them, and about the EU which we really don’t learn about in the U.S. It really has opened my eyes to actual global issues and keeps me up to date and informed like I never have before. Basically, I am more than ever being exposed to real life concerns that matter and this experience is what will help me most post-college.

Being surrounded by such bright students and internationally renowned faculty can definitely be intimidating at times, but I know they are helping me grow. During my time here I’ve done countless group presentations completely eliminating any fears I used to have about public speaking. European education focuses more on group work and team interaction than individual assignments and projects. This produces a more engaging learning process and how to really do business with people from different cultures (again preparation for the “real world!”) My school back home as great as it is, could not offer me such an international perspective and context. That is what is so wonderful about studying abroad and expanding your horizons!

Business aside however, students here are truly the life of the party as GEM is known to be a “party school.” Everyone I’ve met here is genuinely welcoming, fun, and knows the proper balance of “work hard, play hard.” I’ve met so many amazing people at this school who have become great friends and acquaintances. There are also numerous student organizations that you can be part of but they are mostly incorporated of French natives. Exchange students may not be members of them but we fully engage in all their fun events, bake sales, and parties.

Overall, I am blessed for my opportunities at this school I’ve grown so fond of. The 3 hour classes may be tough, but I can always count on their 50-80 cent espresso to-go drinks to perk me up during break time. My experiences at GEM are unfortunately coming to a close now that finals week has approached, but I know I’ve come a long way since I began my studies here in September. I hope I’m making my home university proud becoming a truly international business student. 🙂


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