Studying in Paris: My ESCP Business School Experience

Author: Zak Linnemeier
Event Date: September 20, 2023
I began Purdue’s MEM program after finishing my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. I knew from the start that Purdue MEM would present me with opportunities that would excel my professional career. What I did not know was how soon, and how exciting, some of those opportunities would be.


After I was accepted into Purdue MEM, there was news of a new exchange partnership with ESCP Business School in Paris, France. I had always wanted to study abroad when I was in my undergraduate, but was unable, like so many others, due to the pandemic. Naturally, I jumped on the opportunity as soon as I could and was selected following my application. I was a little nervous at first since I was the only one that would be going, but looking back on it now, it was one of the greatest, most impactful, experiences of my life.

Once I arrived in Paris, ESCP held a welcome ceremony for all the exchange students. This was a great opportunity to meet new people who were in a similar situation. There were several planned events like these throughout the semester to ensure that students were finding their way and making the most of their time. As a result, I learned that finding new people to be friends with was not going to be an issue. 

I didn’t know what to expect when I began my classes at ESCP. I was definitely a bit nervous about that. The classes were 3-hours long, once a week, and you really only received a final grade based on a few assignments. Once I got into them, however, I was relieved. The classes were very interesting and engaging. For the most part, you were paired with a team and worked together. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes that I took, and believe what I took away from these classes will benefit me in the future. 

I had always heard that Europeans enjoyed social life, but I never really knew how much. It was a bit of a culture shock when I got over there. Having a long lunch during the work week, three-hour long dinners that start around 8:00 PM, or going out for drinks with friends on a weeknight, these are just a few things that I noticed were very common practices in the French culture. At first, it was a bit surprising. However, the longer I was there, the more I began to appreciate the slower pace. It enabled me to embrace the moments and experiences that I will have for a lifetime. At times, now that I am home, I sometimes find myself missing that part of the culture there.

I could go on and on about the different cultural experiences. I traveled as much as I could, visiting museums, cathedrals, and gardens while traveling throughout Europe. Paris may be one of the most visited cities in the world and there is a reason for it. It is absolutely astounding. The Eiffel Tower? Taller than you think. The Louvre? More art than your brain can process. Notre Dame Cathedral? Still breathtaking throughout its restoration. Personally, some of my favorite things were just walking along the Seine River, going to bakeries, eating the local cuisine, and going to the different parks. 

Paris was incredible, but I also got to explore many other cities and countries. I had a very wide range of places that I wanted to see, and I didn’t get to see half of them. It is not because I didn’t travel every weekend, because I did. It is because there is so much to see. It would take too long to point out each city that I visited, so I will just stick to the countries in the order that I visited them: France, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, Austria, and Switzerland. It would be hard to pick out a favorite place that I visited because they are all so different and unique in their own way. Traveling in Europe is very easy and cost effective. Booking train tickets or flights, either way it’s very reliable and not difficult at all.

Studying at ESCP Business School helped me to grow, not only as a student, but also as a person. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity provided by Purdue MEM that fulfilled a dream of mine that I thought was no longer an option. To anyone that is considering studying at ESCP, I would encourage you to do so and reach out to me with any questions. I greatly enjoyed my time there and am looking forward to returning to Europe and seeing more of the amazing things it has to offer.