Moving to a foreign country can be daunting. It is reassuring, therefore, to know that you can rely on the International Students Office, which welcomes more than 3,000 international students annually, to help you settle in smoothly. The ISO team helps EDHEC’s international students with all kinds of administrative matters and is there to lend them support in daily life.
Written on 15 June 2021.
“To help the students, you have to try to put yourself in their shoes and guide them accordingly, without preconceptions or a priori assumptions, as everyone comes with their own culture and way of thinking,” says Yasmine Nicolle, Manager of the ISO.
The International Students Office was created in 2010 by Richard Perrin, Associate Dean for International Relations, and is available to international students on EDHEC’s Lille and Nice campuses.
The ISO team facilitates international students’ daily life in France, from the immigration process to accommodation issues (spanning student residences, homestays, private rentals, and real-estate agencies), health insurance, housing benefits, income-tax declarations, etc much more. Once a student is officially enrolled, they have access to ISO services.
When students arrive on campus, the ISO team ‒ Céline, Kathleen and Nicolas in Lille and Yasmine, Palaman, Émilie, and Isabelle in Nice ‒ organises three key events to help them immerse themselves in their new environment: a campus discovery tour, a student gathering dedicated to international students and a presentation on practical matters. Students get to meet their classmates ‒ and the ISO team ‒ from all around the world through ice-breaker games.
“These are great moments when we get to meet those students which whom we have been exchanging emails since their enrolment,” says Yasmine.
The ISO team will also introduce students to various aspects of the French culture by organising at least one event per semester (a French movie night, a wine and cheese party, a group outing, the distribution of chocolate before the Christmas break), as well as a photographic competition and exhibition on the EDHEC campuses.
Such events are essential for the students and the ISO team to build trust and strong relationships. Memories are built on both sides. Student-driven events are also welcomed, such as the 2019 Indian Garba celebrations, says Yasmine, “which brought together the Indian community from several programmes on the Nice campus. We were taught a few traditional dance steps and it was a time of great sharing and laughter. Student initiatives are always welcome.”
Rishabh Patil, Master in Management student
“From the day I started my new life at EDHEC in France ‒ and even long before that ‒ the ISO was there to guide me each and every step of the way.
Right after being accepted for the Master in Management programme at EDHEC, I was contacted by someone at the ISO, who explained to me in detail all the formalities that needed to be taken care of before I made my way to France. Finding my first apartment, opening a bank account, dealing with the CAF financial support system, and renewing my residence permit were some of the things that would have been really challenging and time-consuming if it weren’t for the ISO.
When everything seemed quite uncertain at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISO gave us continuous help and support ‒ a luxury that international students at many other universities didn’t have. We knew that we could rely on Céline, Kathleen, and Nicolas, the faces behind the ISO, should there be any kind of emergency.
To this day, the ISO has continued to provide me with guidance. If it weren’t for their reminder last month, I would have missed the deadline for doing my taxes. It’s really great knowing that there is such a strong support system in the form of the ISO at EDHEC, just an email or a phone call away.”