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  • Locations: Cergy-Pontoise, France
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Iowa State applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 10/01/2019
Rolling Admission 02/20/2020 06/13/2020
Academic Year 2020-2021 03/15/2020 03/16/2020 TBA TBA
Fall 2020 03/15/2020 03/16/2020 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Adviser: Bontrager, Danette Housing Options: On Campus
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3 Language of Instruction: English, French
Host Country Language: French Click here for a definition of this term Sponsor: Iowa State
Click here for a definition of this term ISU Course: EXPRO Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Exchange
Click here for a definition of this term Classification at Departure: Junior, Senior
Program Description:


A Semester in France: ESSEC Business School Paris, Reciprocal Exchange

Check out Samantha's blog from her semester in France! 

Administered by the Study Abroad Center for the College of Business  

Program Features

FranceWhy France?

This ISU exchange allows ISU students to spend a semester or full academic year at ESSEC Business School, located just outside of Paris, France, while an ESSEC student comes here for a comparable period of study. You will pay ISU tuition and fees and receive tuition credit at ESSEC. Most exchange students opt to live in one of three nearby student residence halls, for which you pay ESSEC directly, or you can contract for lodging in the private sector.

ESSEC is consistently ranked in the top 15 business schools in the world. It has been ranked No. 1 among French undergraduate business programs for many years. The Bachelor in Business Administration at ESSEC became the first undergraduate degree to ever be accredited by both AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System). 
One of ESSEC’s greatest strengths is its international focus. 42% of the 135 full-time professors come from outside of France, and there are 4,200 students in ESSEC’s Bachelor in Business Administration program, including 220 international students from 30 countries. All international students attend a 3- or 4-day orientation session before the start of each semester as a way to become familiar with the campus, staff, and program. ESSEC has 87 student associations that encompass a wide range of interests including arts, music, culture, humanitarian work, music, and professional life.




ESSEC is located in Cergy-Pontoise, a suburb of Paris. Cergy-Pontoise is a modern city with nearly 200 restaurants, numerous shops, a man-made lake and marina great for water sports, as well as the plaza of the Axe Majeur, which provides a spectacular view of Paris on a clear day.  Cergy-Pontoise has grown from only 34,050 inhabitants in 1962 to about 200,000 today.  About 1/2 of its inhabitants are students at one of Cergy's many universities.  

You will find plenty of transportation in and around Cergy. There are 17 bus lines and three train stations within the area, and it is only a 35-minute train ride to the center of Paris. There is also a direct bus to the Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
Paris is one of the world’s leading business and cultural centers, and its influences in business, politics, fashion, arts, media, entertainment, and science make it one of the world’s major global cities. From the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, Paris has endless sites to keep you busy. In addition, Paris’s central location allows you to fly to most of the major cities in Europe in less than a few hours. France has a beautiful temperate climate with average temperatures between 32° F and 46° F in the winter and between 60° F and 75° F in the summer.



FranceWhat courses?

Classes in English

You must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have achieved at least junior standing to be considered as a candidate for this exchange, since the Bachelor in Business Administration (B.B.A.) program conducts only its final two years in English. You must be in good academic standing and not on academic or disciplinary probation. You will apply for the program through ISUAbroad, including submission of academic transcripts and two letters of academic recommendation. An interview with the exchange’s ISU coordinator is required. 

ESSEC Business School offers a full range of business classes including Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Quantitative Methods, Information Systems, Economics, Business Law, Strategic Management, and Entrepreneurship. There are also language classes available.
Students who choose to study in the fall semester will take third-year classes, while students who study in the spring semester will choose classes from the fourth-year curriculum.

Academic Information (Courses list and course catalog)

Optional Intensive French Program:
Though French language knowledge is not required for this program, students may opt for an Intensive French language learning program prior to the program.  Fall students could take a summer program; spring students one to two months in January and/or Febuary.  This programs are offered at additional cost through Iowa State's partners, ISA and CEA. 

Upon arrival, students may search ESSEC's database of internships to find an internship during or after the program.


Cost and Scholarships

FranceHow much?

As this is an exchange, you pay ISU tuition and fees. Room is paid directly to ESSEC's housing bureau, Allegessec.   Academic Year students are eligible to receive a French housing subsidy for about 50% of their housing costs. 

For more info on costs, see the budget sheets for the term that interests you. 

Academic Year


FranceWhere will I live?

Student live in apartment style housing managed by the ESSEC's housing bureau, Alegessec.   For more info, see the housing section of ESSEC's exchange website.


Dates and Contacts


Orientation at ESSEC is the last week in August.  Fall semester starts 1st week of September and ends mid-December.  Spring semester starts late February and ends mid-June.  Academic Year students will have a full 2 1/2 months Christmas break.  


How to Apply

TravelWhat else?

Applications are due March 15 for Academic Year and Fall, October 15 for Spring. 

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Danette Bontrager in the Study Abroad Center.