From personal interview to campus welcome events: a close-up on Montpellier Business School’s international entrance exams


With its diversity and its increasing internationalisation, last year, 778 foreign students passed Montpellier Business School’s international entrance exams in an attempt to one of its programmes (Master Grande École, Bachelor of International Business Administration and Master of Science). This year MBS received over 1038 international applications from 104 different countries.

“At the international admissions department we’re in charge of overseeing the international entrance exams for MBS’s Bachelor programme and its Master Grande École programme,” explains Ms Nassira Djarboua. “This admissions process has two stages: first, an application form lets us verify the candidates’ eligibility, particularly their prior academic or university background. Eligible candidates identified at this stage are invited to take the admissions tests, namely an oral English exam and a personal interview.”

“As the candidates are spread out across the globe, these interviews can take place on the MBS campus, at one one of our Outsourced International Recruitment Centres (Centres Externalisés de Recrutement International, CERIs), or by teleconference,” adds Ms Djarboua. “After the admissions tests, which are held every week, the candidates’ results are sent to an admissions committee, and the successful candidates are invited to enrol in MBS for the following school year.”

Once they’ve enrolled, these future students are handed off to the International Welcome Department, which accompanying them until they arrive at MBS, and then throughout their entire time at MBS. “In the 2016-17 academic year, MBS’s International Welcome Department assisted more than 300 international students, not including exchange students, who enrol in the Master Grande École or Bachelor or Master of Science programmes,” explain Nassira Walton and Vincent Fernandez, contacts for incoming non-exchange international students. “After the students enrol, our activities are organised into three blocks: before the arrival at MBS, the arrival, and throughout the studies.”

“First of all, we send them several emails about specific topics to provide them as much support as possible: the visa application, the academic calendar, housing, the banking and healthcare systems, etc. When they arrive in Montpellier, the international students are met at the train station or at the airport and the walked to the place they’re staying or to MBS, where we welcome them and provide initial practical information. For three weeks, before courses begin, they do an orientation programme intended to let them discover their new environment and get settled in. The orientation programme combines courses in French as a foreign language, office work, and a workshop on living as an expat, as well as workshops on specific issues, such as the healthcare system in France, opening a bank account – in collaboration with MBS bank partners – student life, teaching and evaluation methods, pedagogical resources, etc. In short, everything they that will be useful and necessary for them to succeed. We’re also there throughout their programme for individual check-ins and specific meetings at key moments in the course of their studies.”
Meeting on 5 September for the arrival of new international students.

To learn more about the MBS international admissions process, see