The world is your oyster at ESSEC’s Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore. The curriculum endorses autonomy, supports creativity, and encourages students to discover their unique journeys. Ask the students what they like most, and the answer is similar: real-world experience and opportunities for international exposure.

Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students choose to start their education in the Singapore or France campus before moving to the other in their second or third year.

On top of studying on different continents, an opportunity for an exchange program with one of ESSEC’s 170 partner universities is on the cards.

The universities include the University of Michigan in the United States, King’s College in the United Kingdom, the National University of Singapore, HKUST in Hong Kong, Tsinghua University in China, Keio University in Japan, and Yonsei University in Korea.

Exchange programs continue despite travel limitations, and those like 20-year-old Singapore-based French student Alexandre Loo, who cannot travel to their host universities, attend classes online.

Embracing New Cultures and Experiences

Rather than seeing this as a drawback, the third-year GBBA student, slated to start a prestigious two-year exchange program with Peking University in his fifth semester, sees this as an opportunity for growth. For one thing, it has trained him to become more flexible and adaptive.

“I’ve learned that there’s no one way to reach a goal—we can use different tools in different ways,” Alexandre shares. He further explained that despite being in Singapore, he still serves the Peking University student community as Social Chair, regularly organizing events for students to network—albeit online.

His classmate, 20-year-old Chen Siyi, is also virtually studying at the ESSEC Cergy campus from her hometown in Guangdong, China. The time difference has worked in her favor, allowing her to intern at the compliance department of a global financial services giant, Morgan Stanley, during the daytime and attend classes at night. She hopes to engage in more professional experiences on top of her internship and the three work placements that ESSEC requires.

“I want to try different areas to see what I’m interested in and good at,” Siyi shares. Having spent a year interning at the IT department of BOSCH Singapore while still attending physical classes at ESSEC, she’s an expert at time management. She quips, “I think that if you want to do it, you’ll make time for it.”

Resilience and initiative will help one make the most of their ESSEC journey. Alexandre declares: “Tools [to help us] exist, but it is our responsibility to be proactive.”

Taking Ownership of the Journey

The game-changing “tool” for Alexandre was ESSEC’s career workshops. These helped him refine his curriculum vitae and LinkedIn profile.

In the spirit of proactiveness, he has also taken on many roles, like being a student ambassador and co-founder of the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Merchandising Club, which produces apparel for the ESSEC community. These student life activities have honed his people skills and leadership drive—valuable skills for his future.

Siyi shares that ESSEC is also the gateway to an extensive support system. When she was looking for an internship in her first year, various alumni reached out with advice about her LinkedIn profile and offered introductions to relevant contacts.

“We always support each other. That’s what I love most about the school,” Siyi muses, adding that these relationships might be one of the biggest perks of being part of the ESSEC community.

After all, with class sizes capped at 80 and cohorts kept small at the Singapore campus, connections, support, and learning can run deep and readily available for those willing to take the plunge.