A new beginning

Christmas is over, and the new year is about to begin. Last week, I left Munich, my home for the past four years. In another few days, I will be moving to France to begin my MBA studies at INSEAD, a business school south of Paris.

During the past few weeks, a surprising number of people have asked me to stay informed about my experiences in the year ahead. I hope this blog will help to keep everyone in the loop.

Sitting among packed boxes at my parents’ house, I’m struggling to complete all the necessary last-minute preparations – health insurance, tax returns, computer installation and so on. Not to forget the three books we were assigned as pre-reading before the term starts in January, 1,589 pages in total.

Please don’t ask me how many I’ve read so far. And yes, setting up a blog is much more entertaining than reading about the principles of accounting. :-)

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One response to “A new beginning

  1. Alex Gladstone

    My name is Alex Gladstone and I’m in the INSEAD J’10 promotion.
    I know that many people who come to this blog are at least slightly concerned with the INSEAD language requirements. For those of you from the US and Canada, I’m going to guess that your second or third language is probably Spanish.

    If you do need certification in Spanish you basically have 3 options. The first is to fly to France and take the language test in Fontainebleau with FL&C language school, but I wouldn’t suggest that unless you are already pretty close to fluent.

    The second option is to study independently or with a school familiar with the DELE exam, but this is fairly difficult since the DELE exam is only given twice per year. Regardless of whether you are in a January or July start and when you might get your acceptance letter, you will be in a situation where you’ll only have one shot to take the test. The DELE takes a very long time to return your results (up to two months?) so while you wait you’ll have to keep studying hard in case your fallback is to take the FL&C test instead.

    The third and IMHO the best option is to take classes with tradfax.com to prepare for the FIDESCU D.I.E. (I know its a terrible acronym for an exam but don’t worry) which is also accepted at INSEAD. Tradfax is the first (and right now the only) school and _exam_center_ in North America that is associated with FIDESCU.

    Tradfax is physically in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Its run by Francis Guinazu who has been teaching Spanish, Portuguese, and English as a foreign language for over 25 years. He’ll assess your skills and if necessary set you up with an intensive course of study (say, 8 hr/week or so) to help prepare you for the exam, and you can do it in person via skype or even by phone. You can take the test with tradfax directly rather than having to fly to Spain or elsewhere.

    I’m plugging them because I personally used their services and went from a very basic level of Spanish to the required level in just a few months while working a full-time job by using their intensive course.

    Check them out at http://www.tradfax.com
    And good luck to you all!