So it’s now been just over four months since I left small town Adelaide for big city Paris. Unlike a lot of other exchange experiences, I’m currently interning at a company rather than undertaking a project at a university. This means that I work full-time and have little time to explore. Nonetheless, I’ll talk about a few little trips which will hopefully enthuse you to travel abroad!
Since my last post, I’ve relocated to a small flat-share in Cergy currently housing five other young people. The flat-share is lovely and living with others – who are at the same point of life as myself – has been really beneficial. Living with French roommates has also allowed me to both improve my French, and understand more about French culture.
Working during the weeks has been a great challenge! The language difference can be a struggle with many of the documents in French, but I’m improving slowly. In terms of projects, I work within a small team of engineers which allows me to collaborate and share my work. I’m also able to present my project at a number of presentations which is great experience for my future career.
At the end of May, I set off to Belgium with a couple of work colleagues. We visited a number of chocolate museums and shops, the Grand Place and the Delirium Cafe (which I highly recommend). We also had a quick look at the Atomium while walking around Mini-Europe. All locations were highly-recommendable. During the Saturday of that weekend we undertook a short (ish) drive to Amsterdam. Here we walked through the red-light district (I’m sure you’ve heard of it) and admired the beautiful architecture and canals.
During another weekend, again with a couple of friends, we drove to the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Brettoneux. Here we visited the grave of one of my relatives, and learnt a bit about Australian war history.
So far the trip has given me a really good insight into what life is like outside of Australia. When I first left the country, I had no idea what to expect; but through being in France for four months I can go back to Australia with a new perspective on everything, which will hopefully aid me in all aspects of my personal and professional life.
If you ever get the chance to go overseas… Take it with both hands! You only live once.
Lachlan McDonald, Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) (Honours) undertook a 6 month internship at Easy Skill SAS in Lyon, France during S1, 2019
Read my 1st post here