"I’m moving to France on Wednesday” I had repeated this phrase what felt like hundreds of times whilst working my last few shifts at my summer job. Finally the day had arrived… armed with nothing more than a suitcase I was setting off for my year abroad in Lyon, France.
Starting university was a new experience all together. A year long course in French Law lay ahead of me and on my first day I was optimistic, my understanding of French was certainly not terrible, and I was sure I’d be able to get by. However, two hours into my first three hour dictated lecture on European Community Law, my morale was not quite so high. I am pleased to report that things got better and soon I was scribbling away with the best of them.
The amount of work was far superior to anything I was used to at home and settling into a routine was hard at first. However as the weeks passed I soon settled into my new life in France. Life in France simply cannot be compared to life in England. Classes started at 8am and could go on as late as 9.45pm!
Culturally, my year in France opened my eyes more than I ever imagined possible. Socially I had a huge range of friends, those close to me heralding from Columbia, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Italy, The Netherlands, Japan and China to name but a few. This meant my eyes were opened not just to the French culture, but to the cultures of the world at large. I was able to travel freely and cheaply around Europe and our adventures took us far and wide.
Academically I thrived, achieving high marks in tests and examinations and enjoying my education to the full. As an individual I have grown immensely, challenges faced have made me a stronger person. I worked as a nanny whilst studying in my second semester and this again allowed me to experience French family life to a whole new level and I shall be eternally grateful to my employers for welcoming me with such open arms.
In educational terms, I have acquired a work ethic which, had I remained in the UK, I am quite sure I would never have achieved. Europe was never too far away for me as I was privileged to travel when I was younger; however this year has re-opened my eyes to all the opportunities that are available to me as a European Citizen and thus encouraged me to reassess my future in order to integrate a life in Europe into my plans.
I returned with a renewed belief in myself which is in large part thanks to the amazing experience which I have undertaken this past year. I know that a year’s study in another country will make me more attractive to prospective employers and am pleased to come away with a qualification in French law. Above all I leave with an insight into life in another country, fluency in another European language and friends who come from all over the world. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity presented to me and look forward to exploiting my newly acquired talents on the European stage in the future.
Download a copy of this case study in pdf format
The United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland)
Registered in Singapore as a branch (T09FC0012J) and as a charity (No 0768).
Our privacy and copyright statements.
Our commitment to freedom of information. Double-click for pop-up dictionary.
Open the original version of this page.