ESADE, Bocconi, or UK universities?


I am a French high school student and I would like to study business abroad. 

I applied to ESADE, Bocconi and other schools in France (ESSEC, ESCP). I was not admitted to Bocconi (which was my first choice), and I was admitted to ESADE. ESADE's BBA is the most recognised in Spain (with ICADE). They have exchanges to HEC, Sciences Po, Bocconi, USC, and Wharton. The starting salary in 2017 was 55000€.

My goal is to study at a prestigious university in Europe with a strong network. And it seems that ESADE does not have this international recognition that I am looking for. Therefore, I'm hesitating to take one gap year to try Bocconi again and apply to English universities (LSE, UCL, King's College). I will therefore reject my offer from ESADE. By taking a gap year to train for the SAT, and thanks to my French Baccalaureate grades, I am pretty sure to get into Bocconi, UCL, and King's next year.

Is ESADE much less prestigious than these universities? What do you think about taking a gap year to apply to these universities?

I don't know in which sector or where I would like to work after my studies.

Thank you very much.

Comments (21)

Most Helpful
May 5, 2021 - 4:20pm
SLB00, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Much depends on if you want to work abroad or not. ESADE will occasionally place into London, for example, but it doesn't have the alumni network of Bocconi or HEC in the UK. It would be a big risk if you wanted to get into London (or Frankfurt or wherever). That said, I'd still expect recruiters would be aware of it.

In terms of UK schools, KCL should not be on your list. Targets are Oxbridge > LSE, Imperial > UCL, Warwick, with small differences between them. Gap years are pretty common in the UK, so if you're confident you can get into a good school then go ahead and do that. 

May 5, 2021 - 4:23pm
SLB00, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also adding that "prestige" and "international recognition" may not be the best way to choose a university. It also depends heavily on where/what that "prestige" is. Take Bocconi for example: very few people know it outside of finance/business but for what it does it's one of Europe's best schools. A similar case could be made for say TUM or Delft in engineering. 

If you want to work in London long-term, go to a UK university - or possibly Bocconi, HEC or SSE. If you want to work in Spain, go to a top Spanish school. Same for Paris, Frankfurt, New York, etc. 

May 6, 2021 - 5:35pm
Romanoide, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for your reply.

I don't aim to work in any particular country. Hence my indecision. I would like to join the university that will open the most doors for me internationally, whether it be in England, France, Spain, or Italy.

I don't have the grades to get into Oxbridge. And I won't be able to study Management at LSE and UCL because I didn't study mathematics in my last year of high school. However, I have the grades to get into their BSc in International Relations and Economic History which are subjects I am interested in (although I prefer Management).

May 9, 2021 - 5:57am
SLB00, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Subject doesn't matter that much in the UK so I'd probably do that if you can. LSE, UCL, and Bocconi are really the only ones that will give you the international mobility you're looking for. 

May 9, 2021 - 10:18am
Romanoide, what's your opinion? Comment below:


I have just received an award covering 75% of my tuition fees at Esade. I will therefore only pay 4000€ per year (instead of 17000€), while I will pay 30000€ per year in the UK. The money I will save by going to Esade will allow me to do my Master in better financial conditions, although I will probably get an equivalent scholarship at Bocconi.

I plan to do my Master at Bocconi, HEC, or LBS/LSE/Imperial if I join Esade's BBA.

Do you think I should refuse this offer anyway?

Nov 16, 2021 - 8:15am
breakingjournal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hello Romanoide,

I would like to know more about how you get this scholarship and a bit of your situation, I'll not be able to afford it without economic aid.

But the web does not allow me to message you since I am new, I've just registered to contact with you. Could you send me a message, please?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Nov 16, 2021 - 8:33am
boib_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If I can, only go to ESADE if you are Spanish and want to work there afterwards (for the majority of your career). If you want to go international, then don't go there. Economy is terrible and people don't speak English... 

Jun 1, 2021 - 11:11am
testreviews, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congrats on your scholarship! Regarding undergraduates, Bocconi and Esade are pretty much on the same level. Bocconi places better in finance in London than Esade. Regarding placement in tech and consulting, it is very similar. I wouldn't count on Bocconi and Esade (or even HEC) for going to the US after graduation. Bear in mind Esade's network in Latin America is very strong, if you're interested in working there. I've done my undergrad at Esade and will do my MSc there as well. If you need some additional info, send a PM.

Nov 16, 2021 - 8:32am
boib_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bocconi and ESADE are not on the same level at all. Bocconi is much better. I really don't understand why you would want to go to ESADE or IE, super overpriced for what they offer. If I were you, I would go to HSG, RSM or CBS. These schools are far more international, the people actually speak English and the economy is doing way better (so easier to find a job). 

For me its seems quite obvious. Get good grades and then apply to top masters: HEC, LSE or LBS.

Best of luck! 

Feb 1, 2022 - 7:31pm
Mathir, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi, as a current french student, i am confronted to the same dilemma. I'v received offer from UCL and Esade  and i will soon attend the bocconi test. Furthermore, i would later like to study a master in France after my Ba. Even if UCL seems globally more prestigious, both the cost and the environment of the studies push my choice towards the ESADE. Moreover, It is pretty unlikely that i will be accepted by the bocconi. What was your final choice  and where would you recommend me to go ?

I would be glad to discuss with you by message if you have the time.


thank's in advance.

Feb 3, 2022 - 4:08pm
boib_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

(trying to be polite) but... wtf, would you want to go to a failing economy. Spain has one of the lowest salaries in Europe and the schools in Spain have a moderate international alumni base (excluding south America where a lot of people want to flee)... Great, if you are Spanish but meh if you are from abroad :) 

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