INSEAD’s Two-Campus Approach to Business Education

The final deadline for INSEAD’s September, 2010, intake is still is still a month away, and there’s still plenty of time for you to craft a successful INSEAD application. Continuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we take a closer look at life on each of INSEAD’s two main campuses. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free — all you have to do is register to access all of them — but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your INSEAD research.)

As part of INSEAD’s commitment to providing an MBA education with a truly international perspective, the 10-month MBA program is run concurrently on two campuses, located in Europe and Asia:

  • European Campus: Fontainebleau. The town of Fontainebleau — referred to by INSEAD students as “Fonty” — has been a fashionable weekend getaway for the French aristocracy since the 16th Century due the town’s location in the middle of one of Western Europe’s largest forests. The forest provides extensive opportunities for walks, running, biking and rock climbing. The INSEAD campus contains 28 lecture halls, two restaurants, a bar, a bookshop, a gym, squash courts and extensive library resources. Additionally, INSEAD is just a ten-minute walk from the center of town. Fontainebleau itself is dominated by the massive Chateau de Fontainebleau, which served as a “hunting lodge” for French rulers from Francois I to Napoleon, who was escorted from the Chateau’s grand horseshoe staircase into exile on Elba (from which he would eventually return).

    MBA students in Fontainebleau must make their own arrangements for accommodation, which range from apartments in the town itself to rented country houses and private chateaux that dot the surrounding countryside. Most INSEAD students rent a car during their stay, which is virtually a necessity. When you tire of French country living, Paris is only 40 miles away to the North and provides everything you would expect from one of the world’s global capitals. If you have never visited, prepare to be dazzled. Given the amount of traffic, the trip typically takes about 90 minutes.

    Paris can be difficult to navigate by car unless you are a native, so don’t forget your GPS. Train service to Paris is available from the neighboring town of Avon. During breaks, MBA participants in Fontainebleau explore France’s wine regions, lay on the beach in St. Tropez, ski at Courchevel or go on shopping trips to Milan, where there are many bargains to be had. Barcelona and London are also popular weekend and holiday destinations.

  • Asian Campus: Singapore. In contrast to INSEAD’s European campus, the Asian campus in Singapore is located in one of the world’s most highly urban settings. The campus accommodates 950 students and includes lecture halls, a library, meeting rooms, extensive workspaces and a fully equipped fitness center. As in Europe, MBA students in Singapore make their own accommodation arrangements, which range from modern condominiums with swimming pools and tennis courts, to government-subsidized apartments. The MBA office has a listing of local real estate agents and landlords who can assist with the housing search.

    Singapore is a bustling, modern city-state that combines Chinese, Indian, Malay and British culture. It is known for its fantastic shopping, a wide array of culinary experiences and an impressive selection of cultural events. Sentosa Island is a popular island resort that includes a dizzying selection of recreational facilities including volleyball, inline skating, cycling, canoeing, miles of tropical beaches, two golf courses, a butterfly park and an oceanarium, to name just a few. After dark, Singapore has a lively nightlife. Fortunately it is all a breeze to explore