Exchange Story - Francesca Pimpinella

Exchange Story - Francesca Pimpinella


Francesca Pimpinella, 3rd year BScIBA student

Nationality: Italian
Exchange destination: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA


Why did you decide to apply for an exchange during your bachelor?

I am very interested in different cultures and I really enjoy meeting and working with people with different backgrounds, so I immediately felt enthusiastic about the idea of spending four or five months in another country. An exchange was a perfect opportunity for me to dedicate all my time to the topics and courses that I am most passionate about.


How did you decide on your exchange destination?

I had never been to the USA and I have always been very interested in American college and working culture; it’s profoundly different from what we are used to in Europe. Furthermore, I was really excited about the idea of spending a semester in one of the best business schools in the world, since the University of Pennsylvania is part of the Ivy League of academically excellent and selective universities. During my semester at the University of Pennsylvania I had the opportunity to attend part of their Multinational Management concentrations.


Tell us a bit about your exchange university.

My exchange experience was very intense. My classes were absorbing, my professors were very engaging and I really appreciated the hands-on, practical attitude that distinguishes American colleges. Also, it was really stimulating and motivating to work with such ambitious and determined students, who definitely taught me a lot about different approaches to problem- solving, learning and feedback. 

And the campus is incredible!


How did you choose the courses that you took during your exchange?

I chose my subjects mostly based on my interests and the professional path that I want to pursue. I also looked at exchange reports from other RSM students that took part in the same programme in previous years. They really helped me to understand which subjects and courses I would enjoy the most.


How should new students start preparing for the exchange?

If you want to apply to a prestigious university, your GPA is of fundamental importance (e.g., in order to apply to the University of Pennsylvania, you need a GPA of at least 8.0). Once you are certain about your grades, you need to provide proof of your proficiency in English, usually by taking the TOEFL. Moreover, if you are thinking about applying to a non-English-speaking country, I highly recommend that you know at least the basics of the language spoken there.