I thought I’d base today’s blog on my experience so far as an Erasmus student, I’ve now been in France for just under 2 months but honestly the time has flown by and I can’t believe there’s only 2 months left of my Erasmus in France.
Firstly, it’s a fun experience and a great way to experience a different culture and a different way of life. For me, this is the longest I’ve been away from home and I feel that I’ve become more independent living here on my own. The good thing is that every Uni has an ‘ESN Erasmus Student Network’ and this is like the Erasmus society at Leicester! There’s a group of French students here that run it and they organise nights outs, day trips, picnics and other little meet ups for the Erasmus students. This is a great way to spend time with other international students who are in the same boat as you.
During classes it can be a bit daunting at first (especially if you’re studying in another language). I have all my classes in either French or Spanish and I find it fun because I get to fully immerse myself in the language but of course there are times where the language barrier can get in the way, (although, as an Erasmus student this gets taken into account in some exams).
Also, as an Erasmus student you don’t follow a set degree as you would in Leicester, so for example I study Spanish and ‘Lettres’ (which is French for French people so literature, grammar etc.) which isn’t a degree combination here and I belong to pretty much every year group. The downsides are that the people in the classes are constantly changing and it’s harder to blend in and make friends with the French who have been there since year 1. However, there are many sports clubs and culture clubs where you can interact more with them.
Everyone here is also really interested about where you come from and what life is like in England, especially the French students or other Erasmus students studying English. It’s a great feeling telling them about traditional dishes and good places to visit etc. and then listening to their stories too. In Spanish oral class last week, the Erasmus students had to go to the front of the class and for about an hour answer, in Spanish, the questions that the French students asked us. The questions were about being an Erasmus student and about England in general, there were 2 of us and at first I was a bit nervous but it was great fun and I felt really involved in the class and helpful.
Finally, you can relax more as an Erasmus student but I think here it takes more effort to do well so maybe not too much relaxation but definitely more than in Leicester! Also, on the plus side it’s still on average 26 degrees and it’s mid-October, so feeling very lucky!!
If you have any more questions, just leave a comment below!