Business Administration, studied one semester each in Lyon, France and in Sydney Australia, where he completed an internship
I had never thought about studying abroad until the fall of my sophomore year. I was very shy, and I didn’t really want to travel outside of my “comfort zone.” It wasn’t until some of my friends and family talked me into researching the process that I really got interested in studying abroad. I knew I had always wanted to visit France, so that was an ideal choice for me. I expected it to be hard, but at the same time I felt that a whole new environment would be good for my self-confidence. Knowing no French whatsoever scared me at first, but I knew I would only increase my skills in time. Living and learning how to go about life in totally different way showed me that I can achieve more than I thought, and I returned to realize I had grown tremendously, both professionally and personally.
The University and Classes
The Université Jean Moulin – Lyon 3 was within walking distance of my apartment, and located centrally to everything Lyon has to offer. Lyon has a very extensive public transportation system, including busses, trams and metro lines. All of my classes were taught in English, with the exception of my French language class. I took beginning French, and the class sizes were small, which gave me the chance to get to know my teachers as well as fellow exchange students. Typically, you only have each class once a week, and your grade is made up of large projects, presentations or the final exam. Lyon 3 also gave us a week-long break during November, which allowed me to take the time and travel around Europe.
I lived in a studio apartment within three minutes of walking to the university. Many of my friends lived all around Lyon, but with such an efficient metro system, you could get anywhere in the city within 20-30 minutes. Although a studio apartment wasn’t my first choice, as I didn’t have a foreign roommate that way, I had the chance to meet fellow exchange students in my apartment building. The school does a good job with helping you find a place to live, if you choose to use that service.
Living in southeast France gave me a great opportunity to travel throughout Europe, as Lyon is very central to many popular destinations. I was fortunate enough to travel on the weekends and fall break to places such as Geneva, Switzerland; Barcelona, Spain, and Marseille, Normandy and Paris in France. Getting around Europe is relatively cheap (approx. €40-80 a ticket) and there are many low-budget bus and plane companies to choose from. France is also unique in the fact that it has the second fastest passenger train in the world called the TGV.
Overall, I am so glad that I took a chance and studied abroad, and to anyone who is even remotely thinking about it, DO IT! Through studying in France, I have allowed myself to grow tremendously personally and professionally. I have gained confidence, and even my friends notice I’m a lot more outgoing now. Not speaking any French, but meeting people along the way that were just like me helped me throughout my time in France, and I will never forget them. I know the knowledge I gained and the people I met will also help me stand out on a résumé in the future, and it allows me to see the world through a lot of different points of view, instead of just one. So to summarize, studying abroad will be the most life changing and FUN experience you could ever do during your college years!