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.

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Comments (11)

May 5, 2021 - 4:20pm

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

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

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

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. 

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May 9, 2021 - 10:18am


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?

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