I had three welcome days last week organised by the international students institute (ISI). We did different things from the menial French administration to outrageously fun events mixed in with a lot of confusion, which equates to a perfect Erasmus experience. We had a welcome breakfast which was cake with sugary nuts and of course there was also coffee. Everything has nuts in it here as it is a speciality in this region. There are three different types of walnuts I believe and it is very versatile but I feel sorry for those with nut allergies.
We were given some instructions about choosing our modules for the semester. The lecturer briefed us on the structure of the university and also its prestige in France which struck an appropriate amount of fear into us. The most shocking thing he said was that French students have preparatory classes for ‘les Sciences Po’ (les Grandes Ecole) and it is very difficult to get into. So it will be interesting to see how it compares to Dundee and which one I find a more progressive university. The interior of the university is quite old which chalk boards, wooden benches and I would say out-dated building. However the modules that I hope to take look fantastic. There is one entitled, ‘Muslims and Islam in contemporary France’ and another ‘the geopolitics of the Middle-East’.
I almost forgot to mention I MET LOADS OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS!! There are Bazilians, Americans, Swedish, Finish, Belgium, German, a Mexican, Canadians, a Uruguayan, Hungarian, Australian, Slovakian, Czech Republican and more! I think everyone was so relieved to meet people in the same boat as themselves, I certainly was. We all went up la Bastille together that day and practiced our broken French with each other. We had more cake when we got to the top 🙂
We met that night for a few drinks a bar called London Pub! We got table service! Lol Although normally it does function like a pub/bar where you order at the bar. The waiter came over with bowls of sweets and crisps which was awesome! Anyway the next night after a day of boring admin and campus tours etc… we had another night out organised by the university. This was at a bar called Plan B. They had a really great menu with aperitifs I had never tried before and also some local drinks such as Chartreuse which is a nutty drink. The transport system must be working with the university’s board of professors or something because the last tram home is at 1.30 despite the bar shutting at 2pm. So early bedtimes for all! Anyway overall I have found those two nights super sociable and a great way to meet new people, the music wasn’t too loud and the drinks were better quality. I haven’t lived here long enough to say yet but so far the student culture seems different and I am liking it! I will leave the rest for next time.
Next post will include: Le Chateau de Vizelle where, ‘La Musee de la revolution francaises’ is. It was so good it deserves a post all by itself!