Hello from Bordeaux, southwestern France.
I have been living here for almost three months now, and have really fallen in love with the city. The historical buildings, kind people, nice weather as well as the great (and cheap) wine!
I have also seen a bit of the surrounding area and visited other cities close by such as La Rochelle and Toulouse. I couldn’t be happier that I chose to come to France for my exchange, all the places I’ve visited have been absolutely beautiful.
I study at Kedge Business school, and my studies have been quite a bit easier than at TAMK, the courses do not have nearly as much content here. The school is also quite strict with attendance, if you miss more two lectures you are not allowed to participate in the final exam. If you are sick you need to have a note from a doctor proving it, and that needs to be delivered to the school administrative staff within a couple of days of you absence. Luckily I haven’t been sick!
I have my final exams in two weeks, but I am not really nervous. I already finished my French course, which was a lot of fun. My teacher had lived in Finland for a few years and spoke nearly fluent Finnish, and seemed to know more about Finnish grammar than I do. We also had a wine tasting in one the lessons and learned a bit about the famous Bordeaux wine and how to recognize good wine in a store.
So far I haven’t had any negative experiences here, apart from the fact that the housing situation in Bordeaux is really bad and I ended up staying in an Airbnb this whole time. It is not that easy for a foreigner to get an apartment in France, especially for only a few months. Bordeaux is also growing at a rapid rate, and therefore it was hard for even some of the French students to find housing this semester.
The time sure has flown by, and I am sad to be leaving the beautiful France so soon. Luckily, I will spend a few days in Paris with my friends before going back home, which should be a lot of fun!