A Year Abroad might be a compulsory part of the course if you study languages, or it might be an optional path to turn a three year course into a four year, such as with Management. We had the options of Budapest, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Lille. After going to the initial meeting I decided that a year abroad was something I wanted to go for. When else would I have the option of living and studying in a foreign country for a year? I liked the idea of having a change and experiencing a different kind of education and culture.
I applied for Lille, the vibrant student city in the North of France, because I like the French way of life (aka. croissants, bread, cheese and wine) and I already had a very basic knowledge of French from studying it at school so thought it would be a good opportunity to expand my knowledge. The university was Université Lille 1 and the course was Bachelor Business Administration.
The actual process for undertaking a year abroad was fairly straightforward as long as you keep up to date with what’s going on. Basically you go to a few meetings, and fill in the paperwork required (there can be quite a lot). Chris Grocott, the year abroad co-ordinator for Management, was very helpful and always replied to emails answering any questions I had. A benefit of doing an Erasmus year abroad, in a European country, is that you get Erasmus grant. Depending on where you are, this works out at about €10 per day which does make a difference.
The next step was finding accommodation. Although I liked the idea of sharing a student flat, this was difficult to organise especially as I don’t speak much French. In the end I went with the halls of residence provided by the uni aimed at international students, Reeflex Residence. Then all that was left to do was brush up on my French using Duolingo and wait until September…
See my next post for my experiences during the year and my overall thoughts!