Entrepreneurship major, studied in Lyon, France
How it all started
I first found out about study abroad by walking through the halls of the Bryan building. After meeting with Heidi, she told me that I could go to another country to study and live, I said sign me up. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was not going to let that stop me in any way. I’ve always known that I wanted to live in another country and experience as much as possible. Lyon, France, happened to be one of my choices, and I researched it a bit and decided it would be a good city for me. I knew the language barrier would be a bit difficult; seeing how I haven’t taken French since 8th grade, but I was able to adapt quickly and adjust just fine with some basics and grew from there. It was an out of this world experience, one I’ll never forget.
The city itself
Lyon, France is beautiful and an amazing place to live. It is a city of amazing landscape and architecture. The city is the second biggest in France next to Paris and is the culinary capital of France. The city was full of all different types of cuisine and night life. There was always something to do. There are huge public parks that you can go to, with Zoo’s inside so you can walk around and see all the animals. There are street markets during the week along the Le Rhône and Le Saône rivers where you can get anything from fresh produce to clothing.
School and Classes
I attended Université Jean Moulin – Lyon 3. The school was a five-minute walk from my apartment. Class size was similar to UNCG: your largest class may have 50 people at most and smaller classes, like my French class, had ten-15 people, because they were some many different levels. The teachers were as helpful as they could be. I took all classes taught in English except my French language class, which is was taught completely in French. You only attended each class once a week for 3 hours and you pick your schedule. Class was the best way to meet other students; you will see these people a lot. The school also organizes social functions, and I would recommend you attend these. You will have more independent learning in France, classes are mainly lecture-based. Some classes will have mid-terms and a final, some may just have one final, and some may just have a final paper. I had one of each. You will also get a break during the semester. I used it to travel around to different countries.
Accommodations & Transportation
Through research, I found my flat through the schools website. I lived in a one bedroom flat five minutes from school, which was very convenient. The residence housed other international students from the program. My room was fully furnished, and I had my own bathroom and kitchen. The central station, Part Dieu, was a 15-minute walk and you could go anywhere from there. It was the main metro station and also the TGV (high speed train) station. The walk to the center of the city was 25 minutes and 45 to the old city. Metros and buses run everywhere, and you can get a metro card and ride anytime. I lived around 2 different metro stops and many bus stops.
I traveled as much as possible. I was able to travel to eight different countries and throughout Southern France as well. There is nothing like traveling with new international friends. It’s a time I won’t regret. Traveling around Europe is really easy. There are different ways you can get around depending on cost and availability. Stay in hostels, not hotels. Hostels will have a lot of different types of people traveling around just like you. It was a great way to meet people, and they always have maps and flyers for things to do in the city you are in. Pack lightly whenever you are going for more than a few days. Carrying around weight isn’t fun. Whenever you go to venture out, keep an eye out for landmarks so it is easier to find you way back.
Living in France was the best experience of my life. I went over not knowing what to expect and left with a new way of looking at life. I learned a lot about other people and different cultures. I loved the city and the people I met. The students I went to school with were great, and the people I met in the city were as well. I made some good friends while I was there and have a lot of great memories. I would go back in a heartbeat, and I would love to return to visit soon. The most important thing I learned from being over there was to live life to the fullest, and have fun while you do it. And if you read this far, stop thinking already and sign yourself up. You won’t regret it!