International students of the Master in Management – Grande Ecole program Sarath Babu, Gaurav Chakraborty, Antonella Durand Laban, Kaustubh Lahoty, and Navalika Sharda recount their respective experiences of admissions, integration, and adaptation to student life at emlyon business school, in France, and in Europe. The keys to their success? Do the necessary admin, take the first linguistic steps, and above all make the most of the many support services and people around you.

Sarath – from a life in India to a host of opportunities in France

BABU Sarath, PGE - emlyon business school

“I arrived at emlyon via the direct application process, at the end of which I had three firm offers. Until then I had spent my whole life in India. That said, diversity was something I very much welcomed and the process of settling in was certainly facilitated by the welcome I received at the school and practical things like getting to know my surroundings via city tours, for example.


I wasn’t too sure what climate to expect in the purely meteorological sense of the word but otherwise my expectations were confirmed – I opted for France and have been anything but disappointed!"

Gaurav – from overawed to making a place

CHAKRABORTY Gaurav - PGE, emlyon

“During my final year of under graduation, I was stuck between pursuing further studies straight away and embarking on my professional journey. After weighing everything up, I opted for the study abroad path, and what a great decision it has proven to be. I guess I was a bit overawed in advance and upon arrival.


However, I quickly settled into the very comfortable environment created by all around – student services and fellow students, above all. In a way, I arrived with so many pre-conceived ideas that I ended up just going with the flow. Making some initial efforts with the language has definitely helped, meaning that I have soon learned to make a place for myself in my new surroundings, an approach I would recommend to all.”

Antonella – the strength of the International Student Office

DURAND LABAN Antonella - PGE, emlyon

“I was drawn right away by the learning by doing approach espoused by emlyon and their whole earlymakers ethos. This was quickly proven to be the case once I got stuck into classes. I arrived from my native Peru with a certain amount of volunteering experience under my belt and would certainly like to keep this going, whilst here in France.


In terms of personal interaction, the International Student Office has played a key role so far, plus the various contacts you establish with your peers. And, on a more banal but just as important note, get your “Caisse d’allocations familiales” application in order asap as the financial support it can provide is not to be underestimated!”

Kaustubh – overcoming the culture shock

“The interview-based selection and admission process was relatively smooth, well run as it was by the French Chamber for Commerce and Industry. I had lined up two other potential schools in France as well, but the curriculum and overall set-up at emlyon swayed it for me, plus I felt the school ticked all the right academic and professional boxes. I was fully prepared for a culture shock in comparison with my native India and I must confess that the many student events were among the easiest and most effective ways of overcoming this initial challenge. On another practical but ultimately less fun front, make sure everything is in place in terms of visa application and social security. You’ll have to learn to become much more self-sufficient pretty quickly and this is all part of the process!”

Navalika – when it’s the people who count

SHARDA Navalika - PGE, rmlyon

“I went down the direct application process, with the flexible nature of the curriculum being one of the main selling points for me. I had to go through a video interview that covered areas specific to Management and HR but also incorporated more human elements to my reasons behind applying. Integration was eased via the types of assignments in which we were involved right away, a podcast-based one sticking out in particular.


The school and the student experience have more than met my expectations so far, and this is in no small part down to the people. Succeeding academically is obviously very important but this place is about more than just grades – the people make the experience what it is.”

If you would like to find out more about the Master in Management - Grande Ecole program, student life at emlyon or integration in France, get in touch with our student ambassadors on em-connect!