Maria Garcia (Mexico)
I like the French language and was interested to getting to know the culture, so I studied in Troyes at the Group ESC Troyes (École Supérieure de Design) From September 2012 until January 2013.
The language can be challenging. If you’re planning on going to France learn at least some words and phrases in France. And you should know that the administration process when it comes to for example opening a bank account or getting CAF (housing benefit) is very slow. You have to be patient!
When in France you should really visit Paris and other beautiful France cities, such as Strasbourg and Lyon. Visit some castles, eat French food and don’t forget about the wine. Enjoy your stay in France!
Noor Steenbergen (the Netherlands)
I’ve been on vacation to France as long as I can remember and I fell in love with the country and the language. Therefore I decided to go on exchange to Paris at Paris-Sorbonne (September 2013 – January 2014).
If you want to study in France I advise you to look into CAF, housing benefit. You’re probably entitled to it and it will save you a lot of money, but as with everything in France it won’t be easy to arrange. You should save up if you decide to study in France, because life in France (and especially in Paris) is expensive. You should also beware of pickpockets, especially in Paris.
One last tip for others who want to study in France: Enjoy your stay in France and eat lots of crêpes with Nutella!
Vera de Jong
Nice places to go to at least for a weekend are Paris, St. Tropez or Nice. I will recommend all the Bistrots that exist in Paris. Going to a football game match of the Ligue 1, the highest football competition, is really something fun to do when you are visiting France!
French people speak really bad English. Be aware of the different weather, whether you are in the south, north or middle of France. Don not change your money in stations, there is a lot of trouble with pickpockets.
The laundry services in Paris are easy to use. My friends told that cities like Toulouse or Bordeaux are not much equipped. The rent is really different whether you are in or outside of Paris.
Go out shopping! Go to a public garden to read a book. The French cafes, bars and restaurants are good too. I recommend Restaurants where you can consume typical French food and drinks such as French cheese, and French wine.
It’s nice to go to rugby, handball and soccer games. You have to be careful of the pickpockets who are in the whole country. It’s a good idea to learn French before you leave, because French don’t like to speak English or can’t speak it.
The main advice I would give is: Don’t get too much of a good image of France; do not expect it will be elegant, fashionable, and beautiful all the time. And be aware of pickpockets!