Ever since 1st year of Secondary School I’ve known I wanted to study business in College. I always had a passion for the subject, and honestly I’ve always been motivated by money, which may explain my love of, and desire to get into business. In 4th year I started looking into college courses: it was at this point the idea of going away for a year to study in another country started to gain traction in my mind.
Living away from home is something I’m used to by now, having lived on my own last year for 2nd year. However living abroad is something that, honestly, terrified me. I was used to being alone but knowing my parents and family were never more than a 20 minute drive away from me.Now my closest relative is about 1000Km away from me!!
Our first day on campus was a bit bizarre! Being used to a relatively large campus back in DCU at home, when we arrived at Sup de Co we were a little bit underwhelmed by what we were greeted by. The reason being: it’s not TECHNICALLY a college or a university. It’s a “Business School”. Literally a 3rd level education institution that ONLY does Business and French courses. They’re extremely common in France but we didn’t know that before arriving, hence why we were a bit surprised.
Settling in here in Montpellier has been a tough but very rewarding challenge over the past 8 weeks. While I’m loving every second of being here, France is endlessly different to Ireland!! Life both in and outside of college is a massive change from home. Firstly, college life: The college is a little bit stricter than we’re used to at home. We’re required to use our student cards to sign in and out of each lecture...making attendance almost 100% mandatory for the majority of courses; something I haven’t had to worry about since 6th year.
There’ve been a fair few surprises since being here in Montpellier that I actually wasn’t expecting to encounter at all. Simple things like food, to more drastic things like college work and the French language! Not all the surprises have been bad...food for example has been more of a revelation than a surprise actually. Being an immense lover of milk and knowing that in main-land Europe they tend to not put milk in fridges; I thought I was going to have to go an entire year with no milk at all!
So...13 weeks ago today I arrived in the south of France to begin this incredible journey of Erasmus. Now here I am writing my last blog of this year and only 3 weeks away from going home for Christmas (which will only be my 2nd time leaving Montpellier)!! To say it’s been insane and gone far too quick would be serious understatements. Everything’s changed since week one! For one I was completely on my own for the first few days and now I’ve met and made friends with about 100 new people from all over the Planet...everywhere from France, to Germany, to Thailand, to Chile!!!
So, as I said in my previous blog, this one will be an overview of how the summer of living and working in France, not as an Erasmus student, has been and how different it may or may not have been to being a student on Erasmus. Firstly, and most importantly, I’ve had SO MUCH free time I nearly don’t know what to do with myself. Not that I haven’t been working (I’ve actually been working more) but I had never realised just how much time the college work took up during a normal week until all of a sudden I’m not a student any more.