cochoncochon asked: Did you enroll yourself or through an exchange program? Were your courses in french or english? And (last one) if in french what did you think of the language barrier?
I went through an Erasmus programme, my courses were all in French and the language barrier wasn’t too bad, you just have to ask the other students to clarify if you think you’ve missed something and obviously it depends on your level of French when you go. You can read more about the details of my exchange here xx
I miss this tumblr because it reminds me of Paris but also because of all the other awesome blogs I follow, so I’m gonna follow everyone with my cityspire handle, so we can all bake a cake made of happiness and rainbows
Anonymous asked: How did you go about paying for your accommodation in advance? Did you book it through an agency? x
I was at the Foyer International des Etudiantes and they just let me pay all my months in a lump sum at the beginning of the year x
Anonymous asked: Does the Sorbonne allow you to choose courses other than foreign languages?
I was at Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and I didn’t have to do any foreign languages if I didn’t opt for it! I did mostly literature courses and a French language course. There’s loads of other stuff to choose from, I’d recommend having a look at their website and what they have to offer. x
Anonymous asked: What courses did you take at the Sorbonne nouvelle?
Firstly I was at Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) - there are two others, Paris-Sorbonne (IV) and Sorbonne-Panthéon (Paris I), so they obviously vary from university to university.
I took all literature courses, some where purely French literature, others were ‘littérature générale et comparée’ (comparative literature) - the full list is here
Hope that helps! x
My friend got me this funny little disposable camera at Christmas that imposes slogans on your photos and I only just got it developed. These photos are so amazing, it was such a pleasure reliving these moments and the captions that came out on the photos were so appropriate! I love disposable cameras, you forget about what you’ve taken and then you get pleasantly reminded of things you’d thought you’d forgotten. I love them!!!
(If you’re wondering which one is me, I’m on the left in the top one and the left in ‘this shit cray’)
Anonymous asked: Hello! Just been through your blog and it was really wonderful. I'm doing my year abroad in Paris right now and have been here and month and so far I'm hating it. I live by myself in a studio which is very depressing after living in a 7 bed student house during my 2nd year, I haven't really met very many people yet and those who do just seem to already have their little cliques so I spend most of my weekends in or sightseeing alone. Any tips?
Hello! Firstly DO NOT WORRY. This is EXACTLY how a lot of other people will be feeling. It is so, so hard making friends, let alone French friends. Even though I now look back very fondly on my year abroad I sure as hell hated it for a good half of it. That’s not an exaggeration, either.
It’s hard to make friends in a year, I had to start all over again in January when some of my Erasmus friends left since they’d only been studying there for a semester.
Firstly, I’d say get a tandem partner - someone with whom you can practice French and they can practice their English. This should be relatively easy - you can put a poster up with a picture of yourself and your contact details in the hallway of whatever uni you’re studying at.
Secondly, work on those cliques. A year abroad is the time to get pushy. Before Paris I was an incredibly reserved person, it took me a long time to make friends or even to want to be friends with people. You have to get in the very un-English habit of being super open. If you meet someone you think is fun invite them for a coffee or a drink, get their number, arrange to meet up with them. It’s so weird to do at uni here and when I do it now I’m back people do think I’m a bit forward, but it’s the only way you’re going to make friends.
If you’re at uni then there will surely be an Erasmus group on Facebook of everyone doing their year abroad at the same place. Post on that group saying you’re going to this exhibition, that gig etc and ask if anyone wants to come. You’re sure to find someone who’s in the same position and just fancies some company. Also there’s stuff like To Be Erasmus in Paris which arranges outings and things to do.
The other thing to do is find out who else from your home university is studying in Paris and just message them on Facebook. I made loads of friends from Edinburgh who I would never have met otherwise because we were from completely different groups. Just drop them a message and ask if they want to grab a coffee or hang out at some point.
Lastly, find something to do extra-curricular. Join some kind of club or group and just find that tiny bit of courage in your pocket to try striking up a conversation. You have to have thick skin, some people won’t want to know but some people will. Once you know a couple of people, invite them all round to yours for drinks or try to arrange soirées or pub trips. That way you can ask them to bring along some of their other friends. I wouldn’t let the size of your studio worry you - most people won’t be living anywhere bigger. It was perfectly normal for people to be sitting on each other’s laps, the majority of parties I went to!
The French people it’s easiest to make friends with are those who’ve either studied abroad themselves or want to learn English or move to England/America for job prospects.
I know it’s so hard and sometimes you feel like packing it in and want to go home every weekend. It will get better. I was lucky in chancing upon a couple of friends but the rest of the time I just had to be a bit pushy and felt really uncomfortable but eventually ended up feeling like I wasn’t encroaching on other people’s friendship groups!
I really hope that helps and I’m glad you enjoy my blog! Hang in there. I wanted to quit French altogether and go back to Edinburgh in January, but I’m so glad I stuck it out to the end. xxx
Anonymous asked: Hi! I'm planning to go study at Sciences Po Paris for the Spring 2014 semester and I was wondering if you knew any useful websites or links for where I could find accomodation, also if you knew what areas I should be looking at for housing?
Firstly, see if you can find a Facebook page for exchange students for SciencesPo 2013/14 - there should be one. Sometimes people post adverts for flats or you can post that you are looking for something.
Secondly some good websites are Fusac.fr, Collocation and Appartager. You can post ads or reply to them on there.
Area-wise, as far as I know SciencesPo courses are mainly held in the 6th, so if you can find something central in the 5th/6th/7th arrondissement that’d be the most convenient. The 15th (Montparnasse area) is nice and you might be able to find something close, too. Don’t worry if you can’t find anything in those areas as it can be quite expensive. Just try to avoid living in the banlieues beyond the péripherique, tends to be more dangerous there and also more of a nuisance in terms of transport. Belleville and around Pigalle tend to be a bit dodgy but I had friends living there who didn’t have any problems…
Hope that helps !