Paris offers an impressive range of higher qualifications in management. The international nature of business degrees means that studying in different countries is a positive advantage. Many programmes include study in several countries and market this as an important selling point. They are also widely recognised around the world, which is a big advantage for people who will be moving a lot during their careers.
The standard requirements to enter an MBA programme are bachelor's degree, or BA, and usually some professional experience; at least two years, but often as many as five. Many programs require students to sit a computerised Graduate Management Admissions Test, or GMAT.
The Kaplan Test Preparation Centre specialises in helping students sitting for all the standardised American examinations, including the GMAT, as well as the SAT, (Standard Assessment Test), GRE (Graduate Record Examination), and LSAT (Legal Standard Assessment Test). It also offers general English classes and preparation for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TOEIC (Test of English in International Communication) exams for those whose English is not so strong. The students benefit from help with the course application process and an international environment. The centre also offers free tests to the general public in any of the exams on offer.
The European University, for example, has campuses in nine European countries. Most of their professors have other occupations in addition to teaching, which helps to give the course a practical focus. In addition to a full-time one year MBA program, they offer an Executive MBA involving nine hours of lectures on Saturdays over a ten-month period, with courses starting five times every year. Their Flex-MBA comprises 15 intensive three-day seminars, and students can join the program at any seminar.
INSEAD is one of the world's most prestigious business schools. Their MBA lasts around ten months. Tuition is expensive, but the school has an excellent reputation, which attracts ever-increasing numbers of students from 54 different nationalities.
The Ecoles Parisiennes de Gestion are a group of private universities offering a wide range of study programs. Of interest to the undergraduate anglo-phone is the new BBA degree-a 3 year program open to anyone with a High School diploma, A-Levels or equivalent including foreign language classes and field studies. At least one year is spent in Paris, the rest can be done either in Paris or at one or more of the partner universities, in Morocco and the States.
It is also possible to obtain a second degree from those partner institutions. The courses are categorised in three levels of difficulty and cover anything from Finance and Economics to Computing, Statistics, French and American cultural studies, Accounting, Law, Politics, International Relations, Management and Marketing, all of which are taught in English. The BBA can be amended by a fourth year to obtain the Diploma that is accredited by the French state.
For post-graduates and for executives, the schools offer a variety of Master level business programs, three of which have an international scope and are taught multi-lingually: The European MBA is taught in Paris and London, the American MBA in Paris and the States, and the Latin-American MBA in Paris (either in English or French, depending on student's preference) and in Cuba (in Spanish). You can start these programs either in October or in February, and applications should be made early.
If you're longing to be a hot-shot hotel manager, IMHI is the school for you. The Institut de Management Hotelier International is a private graduate school offering a 21 month specialised MBA in International Hospitality. The core components of the course and a wide range of options are taught by experts from Cornell University and the ESSEC European Graduate School.
The students benefit from a stimulating international environment and strong corporate relations, both of which contribute to IMHI's excellent record of graduate recruitment. In fact, if you want to take on a more substantial period of work experience, you could tackle the combined study and work program for EU nationals. Trainees spend half their time working in the tourist industry as well as following the full course curriculum. You will need to have a BA degree or equivalent and a year's experience in the hospitality industry to enter this course.
The Open University Business School (see Open University below) offers single courses and entire degrees (Professional Certificate in Management, Professional Diploma in Management and MBA) taught with the support of CD-Rom, computer conferencing and Web sites. All courses are taught in English.
The Schiller International University is a small, independent university following the American system of higher education. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in Art and Design, International Business Administration, Economics, Graphic Design, International Hotel and Tourism Management, International Relations and Diplomacy, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medicine and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. All courses are taught in English, but the university has campuses all over the world: Florida, London, Heidelberg, Madrid, Engelberg & Leysin (Switzerland) and two in France, namely Strasbourg and Paris. Transfers from one campus to another are possible and encouraged, which gives you the opportunity to study in different countries, yet remaining at the same university without loss of time or credit.
At the beginning of every semester, each campus conducts an orientation program designed to help new students adjust to their new environment, and throughout the year, a variety of social events are planned.
Students studying at the Paris campus who have a sufficient command of the French language can take courses at the Sorbonne for which they receive credit from Schiller. Schiller also offers a wide range of language courses. Students from other universities may transfer to Schiller in any semester, but have to spend at least the last two semesters there to receive a degree from Schiller. Employed adults can enroll as part-time students.
The Institut Superieur De Gestion pledges "to train tomorrow's managers for a rapidly globalizing business market". Three business degrees are on offer and are taught in English. The International BBA includes core courses covering all aspects of business as well as majors in humanities, arts, languages and specific areas of management. The 15 month MBA offers a unique combination of theory and practice, taught in 3 business centres of the world: Paris, New York and Tokyo. Students study in Paris and then undertake short intern-ships. The 21-month Executive MBA is a part time course giving professionals the chance to update their management skills whilst maintaining their current positions. It is taught in the evenings and at weekends and ensures an excellent level of linguistic ability is reached in both English and French. There are generally still a few places available for all programs commencing in October.
The range of non-business related opportunities is also very wide. WICE offer a wide range of courses. Many of them are aimed at helping people learn about and enjoy French culture, from wine-tasting to architecture and philosophy. Other courses are aimed more at professional development, such as their English teaching programs.
The Boston University in Paris, arranges intern-ships in French and international companies for US university students. Prior to the work experience, students follow an eight week intensive French language and culture course to brush up on their business French and learn about the European economy. The subsequent eight-week stages are available in all sectors of the economy from cultural and artistic placements through to political, journalistic, media or marketing positions.
If you prefer guided distance learning, you can follow in the footsteps of the over 450 students who live in France and follow courses in Arts, Modern Languages, Social Sciences, Health, Social Welfare, Education, Law, Business, Management, Computing, Sciences or Technology with British Open University. These courses can be taken purely out of interest, or put together towards a BA or BSc degree. Certain courses can be combined towards an OU diploma, and there is also a wide variety of post-graduate degrees and opportunities for full-time and part-time research. If you have already studied at higher education level, you may be eligible for credit that can be counted towards your OU qualification.
The OU is based in the UK, but following their courses from France is not a problem. You will have contact with your tutor by post, telephone, fax and possibly email. In the Paris area, there is even personal tuition and, depending on the number of students, group tutorials. Don't despair if your TV doesn't pick up the BBC broadcasts with Open University programs, as those will be sent to you on tape.
Most courses at undergraduate level run from February to October, and two open evenings are held in Paris, at the British Council, where you can find out more details.
The Paris American Academy offers both degree- and short term intensive- programs in Fine Arts, Fashion and Interior design. They are taught bilingually, and there are special language support programs.