I leave in just about a month and have nearly finalised everything for my exchange where I’ll be studying in Tours, France.
I have dual-citizenship with the UK, which means I am free to study in the EU without a visa during my exchange (in the meantime at least!). This has made the planning stages a lot easier as I don’t have to stress over visa applications! My mum is a travel agent, so she helped me arrange my flights and insurance and at a nice discount too!
I leave Australia on the 28th December to spend New Years Eve in London with an old exchange student friend that came to Flinders from the UK last year. I am really excited to see the fireworks along the River Thames and the London Eye. I’ll spend a couple more days in London and do some sightseeing, but I won’t do it all, as I plan on returning throughout the semester or in the summer time.
Then I’ll take the Eurostar train and spend a few nights in Paris before making my way to Tours on the 6th of January, which is only just over an hour train ride from Paris anyway. Hello day trips to Paris!
I have organised to live on a private student residence in Tours, as the university ones didn’t really catch my eye. It is still walking distance to my classes anyway, but looks a lot nicer.
Even though I have done 2 years of French at Flinders, I am still concerned about the language barrier, as I don’t feel that confident with my language knowledge, but know I will pick it up quickly living there and taking language classes offered by the university for exchange students. I can’t wait to be immersed in the French culture and enjoy a lot of French pâtisseries. Yum!
I also have more traveling planned after my exchange, where I’ll spend about 2 months traveling Europe. I am so excited as I always wanted to go to Europe and now I get to live there! Finally, I plan on spending Bastille Day in Paris (I can’t live in a country and not be there to celebrate their national day!) before jet-setting back to Australia to settle in again before semester 2 of uni starts.
Melissa Sainsbury, Bachelor of Education (Primary R-7)/Bachelor of Arts, Semester 1 2017 exchange at Université François-Rabelais de Tours, France