19 December 2014

For even the most seasoned traveler, relocating to a new country to study can be daunting, but moving abroad to be with your partner can present a whole host of different challenges. It was with these challenges in mind that the HEC Paris MBA Partners’ Club was set up, providing an instant network of friends, activities, and resources to help partners and children in their transition into life on campus and in France.

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The Club not only helps partners acclimatize to HEC Paris life, they want to make sure that the partners make the most of their time spent in France. By organizing regular meals, social events, and trips, this informal network provides a way for MBA partners to share interests and explore everything that Jouy-en-Josas, Versailles, and Paris have to offer.

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With each MBA intake, the club says goodbye to outgoing members and welcomes a new group of students and partners, and a new President and Treasurer is elected. Club members meet weekly to organize upcoming events and trips, including dinners, excursions, and getting involved in on-campus events, such as the recent Cultural Weeks. This term they have been cooking up a storm, their first food stall event proved such a resounding success that it sold out within an hour, leaving students and staff demanding more. Happy to oblige, they prepared delicacies from their home countries for a second time, giving MBA students and staff the chance to get a taste of an array of different cuisines, including but not limited to: Indian, Japanese, Russian, Vietnamese, and American.

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We sat down to talk to some of this intake’s Partners about their experiences both on and off-campus. All of them agreed that being a member of the Club made the transition into HEC Paris life much easier, and that having a pre-existing network ready to welcome them on campus took a load off their minds. For those living on campus in Jouy-en-Josas, the opinion was unanimous: there’s a real sense of community. One partner really appreciated the change in pace – “it’s a calm, tranquil environment, having previously lived in Jakarta, it’s a welcome break being here for the year.” Those with young families were keen to add that the calm environment is ideal: “My children are good friends with the MBA students!” That being said, many also spoke about how exciting it was to be so close to Paris, “some of us go regularly for French lessons, but we always try to organize some excursions in the capital, so that we can all experience it together.”

Needless to say, being a member of the Partners’ Club “family” is a great opportunity, where members develop a solid circle of friends, with a network and memories that often last a lifetime.

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