Bonjour à tous!
So, it finally happened. About two weeks ago, I finally moved to France, and I’m currently in the process of becoming an official resident of this country for at least one year! Once I receive my residence card, this will be the 5th country that I’ve lived in for longer than 6 months and where I had to go through the entire bureaucratic process starting from applying to the residence permit up to opening a bank account and remembering my debit card pin code. Pretty cool if I dare say so myself.
The last couple weeks in Jouy and HEC have been pretty interesting though. HEC being one of the most well known business schools in Europe is actually quite different from NHH, so it definitely needs some getting used to.
The good news is that I avoided having any expectations, so that I wouldn’t get disappointed if things didn’t end up being the way I pictured them, and I’m honestly pleasantly surprised by a lot of things.
Here’s some random thoughts that hit me during my first few days here:
- “Ok, they were right. HEC Paris really needs to change its name to HEC France!”
Jouy en Josas, where school is located, is a 30 mins car ride from Paris, but that’s on a very very very good day where you’re the only one driving. On a normal day, it takes a little longer, and taking the train from downtown, I would plan at least an hour. On the positive side, I’m still hanging out in Paris almost every weekend, and I’m really considering the option of moving to the city during my second semester, but we shall see…
- “This campus is ridiculously big”
Coming from NHH, I forgot what big campuses look like, so when I ended up at HEC, I was a little surprised. This campus feels more like a small town, and it’s funny to think that so many people actually stay on campus for days without ever feeling the need to step out of the gate. (I guess thank God for needing long runs?). There’s even a little forrest and a lake on campus!!
- “Some French people actually don’t mind speaking English”
Or even if they do mind, they still speak it. And some actually impressively well, which is honestly one of the biggest surprises for me. The French are in general known for loving their country and language and not being fans of speaking English. So, it took me by surprise that a lot of French students voluntarily sign up for a Master program in English! I truly respect that! One of the things that I didn’t quite get at NHH was how business students who wanted to become future CEOs of international companies avoided signing up for Business courses in English and only opted out for Norwegian ones (even if their English was better than half of us non-Norwegians).
- “There are other non-business’y business students out there in the world”
The program that I’m currently registered to at HEC is titled: Master in Sustainability and Social Innovation, so it’s not most people’s first choice when applying for a Masters. BUT when you meet the rest of the students in my class, you become hopeful that we can actually make a difference. Never before have I met this big of a group of business students who were all passionate about sustainability.
- “Paris will always be so pretty!”
Seriously, this city. No matter the weather, no matter the season, it will always remain gorgeous!
More to come soon, for now I need to get some readings done for class tomorrow!