“The fun comes through the appetite for learning”
For Dominic Holt, who is pursuing Luxury management from ESC Rennes-France, studying in a foreign country makes a person evolve in terms of knowledge, competition and life in general. Dominic, who chose to study in France, specifically for his love for luxury and art, believes different cultural backgrounds and traditions help one adjust socially.
Dominic also has a strong advice for prospective Indian students in France, “Keep all the warm clothing and Indian spices handy, for the food is very different from what Indians prefer!”
In this interview with Careers360, Dominic talks about his life in ESC Rennes, how the university has helped him think more and discover their own ability as a global student.
Below are the edited excerpts:
Q: How and why did you choose your university?
A: I had visited the CampusFrance fair organized in Mumbai since it wasn’t happening in Hyderabad in 2011 and then, when I met all the officials of the universities, I found ESC Rennes to be closest to matching my requirements on providing Luxury Management at a lesser tuition fee, better facilities and exposure through the industry stalwarts.
Q: Was there any specific reason why you chose to study in France?
A: Yes, since I love luxury and art, and France is the epitome of luxury. It has headquarters of two luxury groups - LVMH and Kerring, hence I chose it and I also thought it would be good to learn French to stay in touch with different luxury brands. Besides, the government supports students through CAF.
Q: Tell us about the campus life at your university. How different is it from the Indian campus life?
A: It’s more practical and realistic in the form of subjects directly articulated to perform through hypothetical projects and interaction with people from different countries and to understand what challenges would one face while doing business in that particular country.
Q: How is the competition level? How would you describe your experience of studying in a foreign university?
A: It makes a person evolve in terms of knowledge, competition and life in general. You compete with people from different countries and you got to survive in a non-English speaking country. The fun comes through the appetite for learning and living in a country similar to India yet different in their ways of living.
Q: Did you look beyond the Indian community while making friends?
A: Of course! This is the time when one has to make the most of the International community in ESC Rennes, for what is a man if he hasn’t learned anything each day? People from different cultural backgrounds and traditions help one adjust socially. Making friends apart from studies was the best thing at ESC Rennes. Today I have a better reason to travel to Italy, Brazil or Taiwan, thanks to my new friends.
Q: What about fests? Have you taken part in any of the fests organized at your university?
A: Yes we have various country wise fests and local fests that includes Christmas, French “CrÃªperie”, Chinese, Russian or Spanish day. It was fun in knowing the world in a street of ESC Rennes called “Rue des Entrepreneurs”. Plus we have oenology classes on wine tasting and knowing about the French wine and we all love it!
Q: Are you a member of any club? How does it help to orient yourself with the university?
A: We have clubs that promote health, sport, events and wellbeing of the student community. Since I was busy with studies and discovering Europe, I didn’t join the ‘WELL COME’ club of the school.
Q: Going from India, how is life at a foreign country? What do you do to adjust in a new environment?
A: The first thing to do when one visits France is to be prepared to deal with non-English speakers. While the French people are helpful but when alone, life can get tougher on the streets of Paris or Rennes. It would be better for students to have an escort or guide in the first 2 or 3 days while getting familiar with the topography and living habits of the French. Needless to stay, have all the warm clothing and Indian spices handy, for the food is very different from what Indians prefer. Yes, it could be yummy and appetizing but it’s better to cook Indian food at home and to save extra money.
Students need to be open to respect the other culture, what is seen as taboo or unacceptable in India could mean otherwise in France. Be prepared to accept things and the other country’s way of living. You don’t have to be them but you also do not have to shun them away. Acceptance and learning is the key. Travel as much as you can on your visa, for Europe has beautifully preserved its traditions, buildings, food and drinks.
Q: Do you hold any part-time job? How does it help in your education?
A: Few were lucky to get part-time jobs in restaurants and super markets and it sure helps you to be independent and pay through your college soon, if you have any loans or fees pending. If your French isn’t strong enough for the job, then do not expect any.
Q: How do you balance fun and studies?
A: The schedules by ESC were published in our calendar and so I used to do my time management so as to have the fun bit and to work on the projects. This way I didn’t let my studies hamper my French experience and the flexible time tables on each subject gave me time to plan short or long trips. And having a French speaking or French friend with you always help. They could be your best buddy to be with and to feel the French hospitality that you will always remember.
J’aimela France !