I always knew I wanted to study overseas at some stage during my degree. A semester exchange gave me the chance to complete topics that weren’t available in my home university and experience life in a city that is very different to my own. Having completed a semester overseas, I now have an edge over the countless other students that are completing the same degree as me and have formed memories that will always stay with me. I had always wanted to travel to France, and around Europe. Lyon seemed like the perfect place to live in, as the city is so beautiful but not too big, so I was able to explore all of it in the time I was there. It was also easy to travel to other countries while I was staying there.
I lived a 10-minute walk from the main city centre of Lyon and my University which was very convenient as I was able to see and do everything I wanted in the city without worrying about transport. My host university was very welcoming and organised many activities for the exchange students to do such as dinners and cultural tours of the city which enabled me to quickly make friends and experience the life in Lyon. During my week I frequented the beautiful cafes and local shops and on my weekends I travelled to Paris, London, Marseille and Barcelona with some of the people I had met at Uni. I had also planned extended travel to Italy after my semester however this was not possible due to COVID.
I came home from my exchange when my University shut down. Luckily I was 3 months into my exchange when I left, so I didn’t miss too much of my semester. I had online lessons for all of my topics when I returned home, as well as completing online exams which were difficult due to the time difference. I had the time of my life on my exchange and would definitely recommend other students to follow the same path when COVID allows for travel again.
Annelise Smith, Bachelor of Business (Advanced Leadership) student undertook a semester exchange at ESDES School of Management, Catholic University of Lyon, France in S1 2020.