Students Testimonies

Promotion Master's students QEM


Since its appearance, the Quantitative Economics Master Program has prepared several generations of students that, with the connections these students have made since finishing the program, have already created a vast network. Students have also formed the QEM Alumni Organization, they are part of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association and of a Facebook Group where they can be contacted. About 700 applications per year, the successful Master student in Quantitative Economics (QEM) come from 49 different countries which can be seen from the map below.



Students testimonies are given below:

2016 Graduates

Oksana Bashchenko, Ukraine

I am very thankful to the QEM program for the opportunity to study in two European Universities and to get an excellent preparation to continue my research in the doctoral studies. Beside the excellent academical background, this program gave me a chance to meet new international friends and to immerse myself into the culture Spain and France. It was unforgettable and life-changing experience.





Agnieszka Paluch, Poland

QEM Programme equipped me with knowledge of quantitative aspects of economics and gave me tools that I use to do research. I met great professors that were for me an inspiration and encouragement not only when it comes to doing high quality research but also when it comes to their attitude towards life and professional work. Studying in Spain for three semesters opened before me the opportunity to learn Spanish in an environment where I could make progress the quickest. QEM Programme gave me a chance to make friends with people from different countries and backgrounds and this experience along with rigorous knowledge of quantitative economics was the most enriching one in the whole programme.



2015 Graduates

Davide Pietrobon, Italy

The QEM program has been an incredible experience to me, both from the standpoints of providing high-quality graduate education, and of enriching my personal life. I had the chance to meet a huge number of professors and peer students from all over the world, learn economics from some of the top world researchers in the field, live in several amazing places in Europe, and get acquainted with different cultures and lifestyles. The QEM program is an all-around life chancing experience.



2014 Graduates

Coming soon


2013 Graduates

Piechucka Joanna, Poland

The two years of the QEM program were the most exceptional years of my life, both scientifically and personally. Having the opportunity to follow the IDEA program in Barcelona and the ETE program in Paris gave me both a strong background in quantitative economics, and a chance to discover two beautiful cities. It was great to share this experience with students coming from the entire world. The cherry on the top is a lifetime friendship I gained. Thank you QEM!



Altaghlibi Moutaz, Syria

In words QEM was a turning point in my life, a challenge, and a great experience. The courses I followed within the program equipped me with the tools and the analytical methods necessary to continue in my professional endeavors, though I have to say that there is no room for laziness in this program, it is quite demanding and require a lot of hard work. The international nature of the program taught me how to adapt by exposing me to different European educational systems. QEM was not only an added value on a professional level but also on a cultural and social one, living within different cultures opened my horizons and changed the way I perceive the world around me, it also gave me the chance to meet people and make new friends from all over the world, which I consider priceless. All in all QEM for me was a unique experience and I am proud to be an alumni from this program.



2012 Graduates

Vardar Baris, Turkey

The QEM program was a great experience for me in terms of both academic and personal improvement. It provided me the necessary tools for quantitative research in economics and allowed me to receive a fellowship for the EDEEM PhD program. I made great friendships with the people coming from all over the world and I enjoyed experiencing life in different cities. I suggest the program for the people who aim to obtain a master degree in quantitative economics.



2011 Graduates

Daniel Felix Ahelegbey, Ghana

QEM has equipped me with various tools in advanced methodologies and models in economics and the possibility of connecting ideas from financial modeling, game theory and econometrics to modeling life situations. These experiences has instilled in me the interest for research and further study. Through QEM, I am now familiar with some European cultures and languages.



Evgenia Frolova, Russian Federation

I consider my QEM experience as one of the best experiences in my professional and personal life. The experience we gained, the knowledge we obtained, the friends we met, -all this gives us a new start in our future professional life.





Yuanyuan Li, China

The two-year study in the QEM enables me to build a more solid basis in both mathematics and economics, as well as an easy and quick access to the frontier of the researches. Not only the high-quality education in European institutions offers me an adequate preparation for a further study, but also the experience of studying in different institutions provides me with a broader mind in the academic study, as well as better communication capability with people from varied background.




2010 Graduates

Antinyan Armenak, Armenia

It was a fascinating experience that was on one hand demanding and challenging on the other pleasant and interesting, full of unforgettable moments. The knowledge one gains during the two years of hard studies is very useful for prospective academic career. Moreover, the life in 4 extremely different countries and the cultural diversity of the program participants is a nice opportunity to add advantegous dimensions to your personality building an internationally oriented profile, needed so much in the modern world of ""Globalization"".

To conclude in one word, it is just AMAZING.


Diogo Alves, Portugal

The QEM served a signalling device for my abilities in quantitative methods. This helped me substantially in finding my current job and, I suspect, will be instrumental down the road, as I plan on joining a PhD program in the area.






Enareta Kurtbegu, Albania

As a graduate student 2006-2008, I would like to share with you my experience of studying in the QEM program. Of course, these 2 years will be one of the brightest and most colorful experiences in your life.

While describing the QEM experience, I would say really good words about it. First of all the academic experience, the content of the program itself, the possibility to study in different universities and to be taught by well known professors is a big advantage of this program. Secondly, the possibility to move in different countries and to get to know from near their cultures, lifes and languages is just amazing. I am mentioning it as the last, but actually it is not, I am really grateful to get to know the QEM students with whom we studied together. Actually, I would not call them just friends, because during these years we created a very big family. I am really thankful to have been part of QEM 2008-2010 experience that was really special.


Jeanine Baumert, Germany

As a graduate student 2008-2010, I would like to share with you my experience of studying in the QEM program. Of course, these 2 years will be one of the brightest and most colorful experiences in your life.

The QEM programme gave me excellent preparation for my PhD studies. In particular I appreciated the high standard in Mathematics, compared to other programs in Europe, which puts me at a huge advantage in my current course.


Liudmila Antonova, Russian Federation

QEM program allowed me to improve my background in many economic disciplines and to continue my academic career in the PhD program.

I am also grateful to the program for the opportunity to live in different countries and to become familiar with different European cultures."






Nikoleta Skecic, Montenegro

Even though it has international character, organization of the program is quite good. QEM Administrative Staff at both universities are very helpful and provide great support to students. Thanks to them and EM scholarship, I did not need to think about my accommodation, visa issues, financial support, insurance etc. Regarding courses, I would say that they are rigorous with accent on application of mathematics in economics (which got along well with my previous mathematical background). Besides professional development, QEM gives opportunity to personal improvement due to its international feature. Studying abroad with classmates all around world is definitely the best way to learn about different cultures, including your own.


Ran Wang, China

It provided me rigorous training in quantitative methods and graduate-level economics, which serves the foundation for my current business school program in Oxford. The quantitative nature of QEM program not only adds much credit to my profile in applying for Oxford, also will help me in the future career development in financial industry.

Besides, the multinational program also benifits me in terms of communication and life-long experience.


Tepmony Sim, Cambodia

During the QEM period, I experienced a great change in my life. I could meet many diverse people from diverse continents, I could experience different sense of cultures, moreover, I could join in a great program. I dare say that QEM is a very good program.






Viktoriia Skrypk, Ukraine

The opportunity to study in up to 3 european universities is unique among the offered programmes. It helps a non-Eu citizen to understand better the particularities of the european nations. Moreover, the programme`s curriculum was good enough for the students with Bachelor degreees from different fields.






Xin Zhao, China

It is a wonderful master programme. It offers me a opportunity to study and travel around europe. It is also a high quality master in quantative econometrics. The knowledge and ability that I got during the two years will help me a lot in the future.









2009 Graduates

Abhishek Ranjan, India

QEM was an amazing social and academic experience. Being a part of the program,  I had mobility between the Universities of Bielefeld and Paris. Both of them were very well organized and coordinated. The courses offered  emphasized the  analytical thinking and rigor, which made a perfect platform for my research career. And, at the same time, it was a pleasure to meet people from all parts of the world,  whose company and memory I will always cherish.


Alexander Jonathan Carver, USA

I am still learning from my QEM experience. To live in foreign countries for two years strengthened my belief that people from around the world share a common humanity.  My experiences also highlighted that small cultural differences can have big impacts and caused me to examine the meaning of home and my responsibility to it. The QEM courses are technical.  Students are presented the techniques that they need to understand academic papers and produce their own research.  This competency benefits aspiring academic economists and anyone who must judge economic research.


Christopher Rauh, Germany

The first weeks of the program I encountered in Bielefeld were very demanding, but provided the foundation, in particular in the field of mathematics, for the following months. The courses of the first year in Bielefeld and Paris covered the basic fields of Economics (Macro, Micro, Econometrics) theoretically and practically while offering the necessary tools for specialization and research in the second year. While I chose to specialize in Microeconomics, I had the possibility to visit and participate in courses of other fields, as well. The specialized courses of the second year in Barcelona were of a wide variety and are updated every year to match the newest fields of research in Economics. Small research projects helped to deepen the skills and prepare for the master dissertation of the final semester. People always talk about how one university only focuses on one field, but I did not encounter this problem. Additionally, I had the opportunity to teach at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, which helped me to see Economics from the other side of the classroom and that was a great experience.

At all destinations where I studied, we were welcomed warmly with welcome meetings, and the administrative staff provided support by finding a place to stay, helped us with visa issues or other problems that occurred. In addition, cultural trips and guided tours were organized in order to get to know the cities and cultural sites, such as the magnificent Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The language courses were very helpful, and it was also a way to get to know local culture.

The multinational environment was not only given by the number of countries we studied in, but also the international participants of QEM. I have had the possibility to visit the homes of my fellow students in Italy, India and Greece and supposedly many more places to come. In general, the QEM experience was overwhelming. Entering the program I sought academic progress and life in many interesting cities, but what I found was much more than that. After the program, I had no problems finding a job in Barcelona and am actually applying what I learned.


Constantine Yannelis, USA

The QEM program was a wonderful experience, both personally and professionally. The program's courses are very technical and demanding, and this rigor gave me a solid platform to pursue a PhD in Economics, which I will begin at Stanford this fall. The programs location in Paris also allowed me to work during my summer vacations at two major international organizations, UNESCO and the OECD. The faculty is incredibly supportive of students, and class sizes are often very small--I recall several classes which had only two or three students, which provides for tremendous student-faculty interaction. The academic nature of this program makes it truly excellent for those students who wish to pursue careers as research economists.

The program is also a wonderful personal experience as I now have good friends from all over the world. QEM students work hard, and they support each other and in this process they build lasting friendships. I still keep in touch with many of my friends from the program. For example, this week I will have a dinner with a friend and former QEM student who is now living in my country; next month, two of my former classmates and dear friends will be visiting and staying with me, and two months after that I have the honor attending a fellow student and friend's wedding.

You will spend a lot of time studying as a QEM student, but the fantastic locations of the program ensure that you will have some wonderful experiences outside of the library. The European cities where classes are held are unrivaled in terms of architecture, cuisine, art and cultural activities. I have no regrets about the QEM program, it was truly a wonderful experience. I learned a lot, and at the same time I had fun and met many wonderful people whose friendship I continue to value highly.


Fatima Jouad, France

The QEM program was a fabulous and enriching adventure. After my bachelor in Mathematics, I wanted to study abroad. QEM offered this international experience by giving me the opportunity to study within different great European universities.

During this program, I was very pleased to meet students from all around the world. Besides, as classes were high-level and very demanding, I learned to study hard and fast... And the work pace was blistering enough! But as one says, things hardly attained are long retained.

This experience strengthened me and provided me a solid foundation to pursue a PhD in Mathematics and Finance. Eventually, "Ce n'est que du Bonheur"!


Jack Willis, United Kingdom

The QEM program was a fabulous and enriching adventure. After my bachelor in Mathematics, I wanted to study abroad. QEM offered this international experience by giving me the opportunity to study within different great European universities.

QEM is an experience. Academically the programme is very rigorous. It is equivalent to the first two years of American graduate school and thus a lot of technical material is covered. Students are guided through the demanding courses with a large amount of interaction with professors and class sizes are small. Hence graduating students are extremely well placed to enter economic research.

I came into QEM having previously studied maths. As such it was important for me that the programme structure had some flexibility; I needed to spend more time on general economic issues and less time on the maths prerequisites. In my first year I was able to do exactly this. The flexibility of the QEM programme is one of its strengths, and the wide range of courses available in the Universite Paris 1 meant that in my second year, where I followed the Empirical and Theoretical Economics programme, I was able to follow an extremely broad set of courses according to my interests. I also had the opportunity to TA several classes, which was a great experience.

The value of QEM extends beyond what is learnt in the classroom. Culturally, the bringing together of upwards of 60 people from all around the world to live in a new culture is very exciting, and I made a truly global group of friends. I was originally attracted to the programme because it enabled me to study in a strong graduate programme in economics while living in France - something I had wanted to do for some time. I was able to construct a life in Paris which I was very sad to leave afterwards, and the cultural visits organised by the programme ensured that my understanding of French culture ran deeper than it might for a typical international student there.

As an Alumni of QEM, I have found that the programme has helped me in numerous ways. While writing my dissertation I found a job for a development economics consultancy in Oxford, UK. This was an area in which I had wanted to work for some time and without having studied economics I certainly would not have got the job. I have applied various things that I learnt during QEM in the role, and my French has proved invaluable, from translating short texts for colleagues to meeting trade unionists in Madagascar.

Last year I decided that I wanted to pursue a doctorate in Economics. American departments still dominate in the field and as such I applied to many of them. I had a high acceptance rate, and thanks to QEM I will be very well prepared when I start the doctoral programme at Harvard this September.


Marco Vigetti, Italy

 I joined the QEM program in September 2007 without knowing what to expect from it. At the time, I was one of the many nostalgic students of the "Erasmus experience" I had during my undergraduate studies, and the Erasmus Mundus master looked like the perfect way to spend another couple of years studying around Europe.

 My first destination was Paris, a city I have always loved for its magical and unpredictable atmosphere and lifestyle. On the welcome day, I realized that among these 50 students who were present in the room, only about 6 or 7 were European. I started wondering how a mix of such different cultures would work during the next two years.

To be honest, the first semester courses were much, much harder than what I  had expected. We had to go through all the basic math courses at incredibly high pace. During those three months, my friends and I spent most of our free time studying. I think I have never worked so hard in my life, waking up early before going to classes, and studying until late at night. Many times I though that this master program was way too much for me, and that I would be not be able to finish it.

As the months and the exams went by, we created study groups to help each other, and it seemed to be a good solution. I was so relieved and happy when Christmas season came, and we finished all those exams! We did find time to have some fun now and then, but this was definitely the hardest of the four semesters.

Semester two. The destination: Bielefeld. We had heard a lot of strange things about this city. There is a legend (the Bielefeld conspiracy) that says that Bielefeld doesn't actually exist. To confirm this legend, I have met many German people who had no idea about where Bielefeld is! Anyway, when I reached Bielefeld Hauptbahnhof on a cold January morning, the city was far from being one of the prettiest towns I had ever seen. Nevertheless, we had a much better semester when comparing to the first one.

The courses were still quite tough, but we actually managed to have a very intense social life! We had at least one big house party every week; we got to know German and Erasmus students, and when the spring came, our diet mostly consisted of delicious barbeques.

We also spent a lot of time at the university library, which became our second home during the exam sessions. QEM is not an easy course! Eventually, July came, and it was the time to leave Germany. And, it was also the time to split our QEM group. It was sad to say goodbye to many of our classmates that would either stay another year in Bielefeld or go to Venice. But, I was even more looking forward to reach my third and last destination: incredible Barcelona.

I recommend to every future QEM student to spend as much time as possible in Barcelona. I heard that Venice is maybe a bit easier course-wise, Bielefeld is more finance-oriented, but there is no doubt that the capital of Catalunya will be the one that will leave the best lifelong-lasting souvenirs! The university is outside the city center, but it's very well communicated. The staff of the QEM office is really friendly and helpful, and the university campus offers sport facilities and lots of green. You can sunbathe/drink beer/study in the garden when the spring comes.

We were four European QEM students in Barcelona in the second year, and we received a scholarship and became Teacher Assistants for Spanish undergraduate students. It was very interesting experience! There is no need to describe the city of Barcelona: it is simply awesome! Parties, beach, international people, l'auberge espanol - everything in this city makes you want to stay longer once your QEM year has finished. We finished our exams at the beginning of June 2009. I  left to Brussels where I wanted to find a job in the European Institutions. My QEM degree helped me to be selected for a Traineeship in the European Commission, which is  a great starting point for my career.

I was not sure if QEM was the right thing for me at the beginning, but it turned out to be an incredible adventure across Europe, with a group of fantastic and smart people from all over the world.


Yehenew Endegnanev, Ethiopia

The QEM program is organized with a goal to transform students from both backgrounds in economics and mathematics into researchers (professionals) in quantitative economic analysis. From my experience, I would say the program does a great job at it. At the places I have been to: France, Germany and Spain, the professors were highly qualified and well experienced.

Students from my batch came from more than ten different countries providing a unique multicultural experience. I have developed strong friendship bonds that will continue to hold for lots of years ahead.

Currently, I am doing my PhD in a top-level program at the Universitat Autònoma  de Barcelona. I know that this would have been very difficult to achieve if not for the QEM program. I will always value the opportunity that QEM presented me and my unforgettable student experience in Europe.


Wayne Tarrant, United States

As a part of the first group of the QEM students, I knew that we would be guinea pigs. There were many things that needed to be learned by both students and administration.  The administration was quite willing to follow students' needs. I feel certain that students in years to come will be able to say how much better the QEM program is.
 
My story is probably different from the others. I earned my bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in Mathematics at the universities in the United States. I had been a university professor for a few years, working in areas of pure mathematics. During those years, a friend of mine introduced me to the beautiful work of Markowitz and Sharpe, and I knew I wanted to learn more about finance. When there was the opportunity to study in Europe, I was sure that I wanted to try the Erasmus Mundus QEM program.
 
My wife and I moved to Bielefeld with a two year old son and a three month old daughter. We struggled to find a place in the city, though the university was welcoming. I learned a great deal in the basic courses, and I was more sure that I wanted to study finance.
 
We went to Paris for the second semester, where we stayed until the end of the program. This gave us the opportunity to find a community in the city. We found many friends and began to learn more about the French culture. We settled into a neighborhood in the 14th arrondisement and got to know our neighbors. We became very close to our boulanger. If there is no other reason to live in Paris, the bread and open-air markets would be enough.
 
But, I also found a place in the academic life. I began to learn more about economics, game theory, and finance. These are very diverse areas with vastly different mathematical tools, and yet, they have a meeting place in market behaviors. In my second year, I became interested in auctions, decision under uncertainty, and risk measures. It was in the last area that I decided to write my memoire.
 
Dominique Guegan is a leading expert in risk measures, and she was my advisor for the thesis. My wife and I needed to leave France in April before my thesis was written, as we were expecting our third child. I took a job as a professor at a small teaching college in the United States, and it took some time for me to get the thesis written. As I got the ideas for the thesis together, Professor Guegan had some good ideas to make the paper a much better one. I defended the thesis and earned master degrees from Bielefeld and Paris.
 
It has been the time subsequent to the thesis that has been so rich for me. Professor Guegan has kept in touch, making sure that I work to get the paper published. An expanded version of my thesis, called "On the Necessity of Five Risk Measures," was made available as a working paper on the website of Univeristé Paris 1. The website DefaultRisk.com somehow found the paper and put a link to it. For the period 1 April 2010 to 1 June 2010, this paper was the fourth most viewed paper, behind three papers that are often-cited classics, each more than ten years old. We are working to get the paper published in a journal, and it is now with an editor.
 
I have received invitations to attend several research conferences. During the last few months, I have been to the NYSE on Wall Street in New York and to the Fields Institute in Toronto for different areas of financial study. I have invitations for several other conferences and hope that I will be lecturing in London in December 2010 and in Paris in January 2011. I also plan to submit proposals and papers for several competitions.
 
I do not write this for purposes of ego. Instead, I want present and prospective QEM students to understand the quality of work that they will be prepared to do. By studying with the professors of QEM, you will be capable of working in the highest level of institutions and prepared for doing great quality research. You will also have contacts that will impress others, as I have often mentioned knowing Bernard Cornet or doing work with Dominique Guegan, only to have people look impressed by these facts and to treat me more seriously. Although it may be difficult to complete the program, it is an accomplishment that will pay great dividends.



2008 Graduates

Anara Omorova, Kyrgyzstan

As a graduate student 2006-2008, I would like to share with you my experience of studying in the QEM program. Of course, these 2 years will be one of the brightest and most colorful experiences in your life.

You will study in the international environment at very good European universities located in terrific places. Each university has its own distinguished features, but they all provide very high level of education. For me, the QEM Erasmus Mundus  turned out to be an academic, personal, and cultural adventure preparing for the real life.


Kaleab Mamo, Ethiopia

When I first arrived in Venice, I was not sure if I would be able to study properly in such a beautiful city. As it turned out, I got both: good education and nice life in Venice. I am happy that my second year of the QEM was in Venice. Here are my main reasons:

Regarding the course work, I was able to take several advanced courses from the PhD program as well as from the advanced program of International Masters in Economics and Finance (IMEF). This makes it easy to compare profession oriented programs and research oriented programs. The experience I had during the classes with the PhD students and the students from the professional oriented IMEF program was such a great help when I was deciding whether or not to join a PhD program. 

Moreover, the close relationship between my professors was very helpful in many aspects. The faculty, in general, is friendly and very helpful with any kind of problems, academic or personal. Without the guidance from my advisors (also other professors) I would not be where I am now, and I am very grateful for that. I can proudly say that Venice provided me with the necessary education and support to fulfill my career objective. Furthermore, the administrative staff is also the best I have experienced during my QEM years, including Bielefeld and Paris.

In addition, life in Venice was GOOD. It is a privilege to get a chance to stay in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Apart from the city being beautiful, the people are very friendly and nice. It is not so common to go out and make friends with a complete strangers while they are enjoying their SPRITZ!! Need I say anything about the wonderful Italian dishes?

To summarize, QEM in Venice offered me a variety of courses and helped me to choose the best path for me. Moreover, I enjoyed living in Venice. It was a great academic experience as well as an adventure.