In a promising initiative formalized in 2020, ESSEC Business School’s MSc in Hospitality program and Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration have teamed up to offer a unique opportunity to students. Participants enrolled in either program can now opt to earn part of their Master’s degree abroad, at their respective partner campus, gaining access and exposure to an even broader range of expertise and opportunities. This includes courses taught by internationally-recognized industry practitioners at both world-class institutions, as well as internships in Europe and the United States.
As summed up by ESSEC IMHI Academic Director, Carlos Ramirez:
With this partnership we offer our participants a unique opportunity to increase their international exposure by studying at one of the best hospitality schools in the United States and by gaining professional experience during their internship in the North-American hospitality sector.
Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) was established in 1981, the very same year that ESSEC’s MSc in Hospitality, also known as the Institut de Management Hôtelier International (IMHI), was launched. This unique collaboration between BU and ESSEC Business School brings unprecedented opportunities for graduate students in the hospitality field. In the words of Arun Upneja, Ph.D., Dean of Boston University’s SHA,
What an incredible manner to experience the world and develop the true global hospitality mindset so necessary for our business, particularly today.
While the ESSEC IMHI program is headquartered in the Paris area, it gives participants enrolled in their 2-year track the opportunity to earn part of their Master’s degree in the United States. Conversely, BU SHA students may opt to spend time continuing their studies at the ESSEC campus in France. According to French program participant Cédric Moley, the exchange is an opportunity to challenge [himself] and to adapt outside of [his] comfort zone. More specifically, he says, being in a multicultural environment as a university student teaches me how to handle situations with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Through this exposure, students benefit from experiencing two different cultural contexts as well as different teachers and teaching methods.
ESSEC IMHI students may also opt to pursue and complete an internship in the United States, benefiting from a local talent center and an extensive network of partner hotels and restaurants. While in Boston, IMHI participant Théo Deschamps De Paillette is delighted to be able to “have the opportunity to network with local hospitality leaders and to develop a vision of the hospitality and catering industry at the international level.”
Between attending classes abroad and taking advantage of internship opportunities, students may stay at the partner campus for 4 to 9 months. Students’ visas are organized by the respective institutions, and students benefit from the full support of their home campus as well as their exchange campus. Courses are taught in English, but of course, a working knowledge of French may benefit BU students studying in France to integrate with the local culture and fully take advantage of internship experiences. From among the cohort of French students in the exchange, the consensus is that the opportunity is a great way to improve professional proficiency in the local language and immersion in the culture.
The French students who successfully complete this dual program earn both a graduate certificate from Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (BU SHA) and a Master of Science in Hospitality Management from ESSEC. According to Célia Merveille, a 2021 exchange participant, the opportunity has helped her “move toward becoming a business leader.” She says, “Thanks to the double Master’s exposure, I feel prepared to become a leader of tomorrow capable of responding to economic, environmental, and social challenges.”
This exchange program is not just for students; the benefits of the program extend to professors at the two institutions as well. They are invited to experience residency programs across both campuses, in France and the United States.
Overall, this offer combines two long legacies of excellence when it comes to graduate studies in hospitality. It both reflects and magnifies the global focus of each program, providing a rich and tempting opportunity to future leaders in hospitality on both sides of the Atlantic.