Tag Archives: France

Postcard from France

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Greetings from the sunny French Riviera! I have been living and studying now for three months in southern France, Nice. Saying it feels  strange because the time really has flown so fast and my arrival in January feels like a yesterday. Luckily, I still have more than a month left here, there is so much things to do and see. Nice is a cozy and beautiful city and it’s a perfect match of the French and the Mediterranean cultures. All in all I’m very pleased that I chose to do my exhange here.

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I’m studying at IPAG Business School. The campus is quite small and it’s located in the heart of the city, close to the downtown area and in just about 20 minutes walking distance from the beach. The university offers a broad variety of course options and there are something for everyone. I’m studying International marketing and Strategic HRM and in addition to those I have been studying French language and culture. All courses aimed at the exchange students are in English, so you don’t have to be worried about the language things. And generally speaking if I think daily life here, it is not a problem if you don’t speak French. Many people, even young people, don’t speak English at all here but still running daily errands is easy without using French.  So if you ponder doing your exchange in France and especially in Nice, don’t be scared to do it just because you might have some difficulties with the language. However, I recommend to study even the basics of French before arriving here and to choose the French course in IPAG. And I can assure you that living in France will be a effective “language immersion”. You will notice that seeing French every day, everywhere will be the best way to learn it.

IPAG is really different than TAMK in many ways but overall it is a good place to do the exhange. The teaching staff is for the most part professional and lectures are interesting. In almost every course we have lectures and tutorials. Lectures are, naturally, for learning new topics and in tutorials we’re doing some group projects etc. With my four courses I have school about three to four days per week and the schedule changes every week. Lectures and tutorials are one and a half hours longs. We have a lot of group projects etc. but still studying here is quite pleasant.

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I’m sharing my exchange experience with my friend from Finland, so I’m spending my spare time usually with her. Mostly we’re just chilling and seeing other exhange students. At the same time with us, three other Finns came for the Spring semester in Nice. So we have an amazing Finnish group here and also other exhange students have been really nice. There are students from all over the world and the diversity of cultures is really wide. I recommend to participate in many events and be active right from the start. That way it is easier to get to know with many people.

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Thanks to the location of Nice, it is very easy to travel to many places. Especially, I recommend to visit in cities and villages near to Nice (Antibes, Cannes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Menton, Eze Village, Monaco…). You can take a bus or a train depenging where you’re going. The prices of the public transport are incredible low, the bus ticket for a 75 min journey costs only 1,50€! Also, it is really easy to take a train or a flight to other European countries or for example to Paris. We had two week-long holiday breaks, so there is time to travel around.

Last thing that I want to say is that if you are even a little bit interested in studying abroad, just do it. You will not regret it! Exhange studying is an unique opportunity to see the world, learn new languages and meet new people from new cultures. Also, being abroad will help you to see the good things of your home country and appreciate them more.

– Elisa

Bonjour de Bordeaux!

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

Salutations de Paris

Greetings all fellow students from the heart of Europa, France Paris! All is good in the land of pastries, baguettes, love and fashion.

I arrived to Paris almost exactly a month ago and have been loving in ever since. This is my second time in both Paris and France so there wasn’t much that I knew about the place to begin with. Luckily, this has turned out being as war welcoming, vibrant and inspiring city as I thought it would be. Paris was my number one choice when applying for exchange so in a sense this is a dream come true for me.

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While here I am studying at a local business school called PSB (=Paris School of Business). I had heard a little bit about it before coming here, since a friend of mine did her exchange there as well. Overall the school, courses and people there have met my expectations. There are all in all 125 exchange students in our school an only one Finn besides me (and even he officially came here trough a school in Sweden), but I don’t mind! This gives me the opportunity to develop my language skills and challenge myself since there is no-one to speak Finnish with.

I chose five courses to meet the amount of credits needed for a certificate you get from PSB that states all the courses and the study track you chose curing the stay here. There are many tracks to choose from and the one I chose was Luxury. It involves three courses handling different parts of the luxury industry varying from merchandising to the basic fundamentals of the industry. This to me is very interesting since I aim to work in the business side of the fashion industry in the future.

On my spare time I’ve been exploring the city with my exchange buddies from school as well friends back home that have been visiting me quite frequently. The city itself is so huge that there is always something going on and new to see, so it ain’t hard to find things to do after classes and on weekend. Here are some pics from my adventures…

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When comparing studying here in Paris to the way we do it in Finland, there are some differences. First of all when in comes to planning an punctuality, he French aren’t as on time and organized as we are. This is something you cannot change and just have to suck up and live with.

Group works are common which is something I am very much used to back in Finland so nothing new there and the quality of the teaching is good. But one thing I noticed from the start is that the teachers and lecturers here are a lot stricter here, especially when it comes to lap tops and phones. If they see you browsing Facebook and that you have you’re attention elsewhere you gonna hear it, and so it the rest of the class.

Thats all for now. Hope this gives some perspective to people concerning Paris or PSB as an exchange location. I wish you all a great day and enjoy the crisp Fall weather outside!

Bisouxx Milla

The beautiful French Riviera

These months in the French Riviera have been more challenging and rewarding than I ever would have thought. I have learned so much about other cultures, the French language and the customs of local during this time in Nice. The city is big, and there is always something happening whether it be winter festivals, jazz music events or city marathons. The security of France has declined after several terrorist attacks, and it has effected the atmosphere in Southern France too, but after a while this feels like any other Southern European city.

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Eze Village

I have been studying international marketing, global trade and French history in addition to French, and these courses have really added to my knowledge about these subjects. Studying things from an international view helps to understand both domestic and global aspects when talking for example about marketing. The tutorials and lectures have been educational and I really like the business school I am attending.

During free time I have explored other towns and villages close to Nice and my favorites so far are Eze, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Cap ferrat. These places have outstanding views to the sea and beautiful old fortresses and ruins from the Middle Ages. I have to say I’ve come to realize why so many artists have settled in the French Riviera for centuries already.

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Saint-Paul-de-Vence

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Rothschild Palace, Cap Ferrat

I have met people from all over the world and never stop wondering how great it is to form a connection with a person from so far away. I am not the only Finnish exchange student here but I am definitely in minority, since all you can hear on the corridors of the school are Spanish and Irish English. The lecturers are not that demanding, so we get a lot of free time. I have had friends and family over both from Finland and Italy, and had had the opportunity to show them all of my favorite places.

The return to home is closer and closer, but I still have a few moments in Nice that I will enjoy from the bottom of my heart!

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-Sara Suokko

Paris is always a good idea

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I’ve now spent over 3 months in one of the world’s most beautiful cities and soon it’s time for me to leave.  I’ve seen many incredible and beautiful places and eaten a lot of good food, a lot.. So basically Paris has been everything i expected.

 

 

I’ve done my studies in ESCE International Business School, and it’s been more work than i thought it would be. Even though in most of the weeks i have been just 3 days in school, there’s still much work you got to do at home, like presentations and group works. Now i’m almost done with school, only 3 exams and 1 presentation, it’s crazy how fast the time goes. All in all ESCE has been quite ok school, i’ve had some very good teachers and some not that good. IMG_0093 (2)It’s not all school work, luckily we’ve had enough spare time too. I’ve been so lucky that i’ve found many good friends from my student residence, who also does some same classes as me. On our spare time i’ve just tried to experience Paris as much as i can. Days i’ve spend in museums, tourist places and in the beautiful streets of Paris, just breathing the city, eating baguette and some sweet desserts. Nights we’ve gathered together to some nice and cheap bar to IMG_0327have drinks and have fun. I’m going to miss the never ending places you can find and things you can do in this city of light.

Paris, i love you.

– Mira

Paris? Oui!

Greetings from Paris,

It’s been two and a half months since I arrived in the city of love. I’ve already fell in love with it as well as got really frustrated. Although life in Paris is hectic and people tend to be in a hurry wherever they are going, I, as an exchange student, have had a real pleasure to follow the Parisian lifestyle grabbing a baguette for lunch and staying up late.13062168_10209151010789208_1274756071008973594_n

I’ve got seven courses at my school ESCE. It is a business school and studying there is quite similar to Finnish universities of applied sciences. In addition to lectures, there’s a lot of teamwork included in my courses. Working with international students has been instructive: I’ve learned a whole lot of different cultures.

As I already knew, dealing with stuff in France is much harder than in Finland. The electronic devices only work from time to time. If you have to print something, you’d better be prepared a few days earlier because there’s a high chance that the printers don’t work when you’re supposed to use them.13055383_10209150994028789_4007648237741871333_n

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I always spend at school studying but the rest of the week is left for walking around, discovering all the arrondissements of Paris, visiting cultural attractions and having dinner or a couple of cocktails with friends.13062492_10209151008669155_4731905398757168092_n

It’s very expensive to live in Paris. Luckily I can afford to attend to activities after the rent and grocery shopping. Fortunately many activities, like museums and cultural sites, are free for students.

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By far, the most pleasant thing during the exchange has been all the new people I’ve met. Together we have picnics and soirées and explore Paris, as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for each of us.

Love, Lotta

Salut à tous!

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Greetings from Lyon, the third largest city of France. After 2 months I’m in love with this place. The city is beautiful with two rivers crossing it, people are friendly and food is delicious. At first it was a bit confusing there can still be young people who don’t speak English at all – not one word.  But when in France, body language helps a lot when words end and at least when you start the conversation in French. People try even to teach me their language in grocery stores and in bakeries. And btw, croissants and baguettes are the best ones ever…

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Korean dinner party 

I’m staying in a family, and they are just amazing, welcoming, warm and open-minded. So because of them I’ve been able to, for example, taste the traditional cuisine of Lyon, barbecue on sunny days and take riding classes in French. And of course, experiencing the authentic French family living.

Studying at INSEEC is not so different than at TAMK, but the standard of teachers and their teaching methods is really really high. Most of them teach with a large amount of experience and that is something to motivate and inspire.

I’ve been traveling around. Maybe the best moments have been this far skiing in the Alps, the tasting of Beaujolais wine in Pommiers and going on Easter holidays to Nice and renting a car to see the coast from St. Tropez to Portofino.

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If there has to be something to criticize, I’d say the bureaucracy is sometimes driving me crazy. There is a saying among Erasmus students, when something really takes time and is difficult to handle – it’s “the French style”. No hard feelings though. On the other hand it’s just a way of thinking – feels like the French are used to wait and it’s not a big deal if something doesn’t happen right away.  So it has kind of taught me to be more relaxed. Like one Italian guy said, when we tried hurry him to walk faster, that he is just enjoying the life. I loved that comment.

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It has been wonderful to meet people all over the world and learn from them. Something so valuable that it’s hard to understand without experiencing it, you know. 🙂

One more month left!

Ciao!

Bonjour ! A blog-postcard from Paris.

Hello from Paris.

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The view over Paris

I’m already in the middle of my study exchange and I can’t believe how fast it has gone. Even though at the same time I feel like I have already settled to Paris and living here feels like being at home. Wouldn’t mind staying longer…

With the final presentations and exams approaching, it feels funny that not so long ago (a little over two months) I was just getting used to the French teaching style, the new courses and to a different way of studying. Which is actually quite a lot different than in Finland. Here people actually talk a lot during class and the biggest difference I noticed, is the theoretical approach towards learning. In Finland we focus more on the practical side of things and because of that, it was interesting to notice how different it is to study here in France.

There is exchange students from many countries also doing an Erasmus study exchange here in Paris and it was nice to get new friends from all over the world: Germany, Norway, Taiwan, Canada… The school I’m in is called Paris School of Business (PSB) and it’s located 13th district.

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First day at school

 

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Musee d’Orsay

As I have visited Paris before my exchange studies, the city was kind of familiar and it didn’t take a long time to learn my way in my new home city.

Still it took some time to get to know this city, but the best part of my stay has
been the everyday adventures you can have in a city like this. Weather you go on a walk to Jardin des Tuileries, explore the little streets, boutiques and coffee shops in Le Marais or wander in the museums (where under 25-year old EU-residents get in for free!!), everyday in Paris is an adventure. And you easily end up walking 10-20km a day..

 

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One of my favorite coffee shops Ob-La-Di

A few things I’ve been very happy about during my stay: my new friends (mostly other exchange students but luckily also a few locals), learning a little bit more French and having time to travel and explore Europe. So far I’ve been to Milan and Amsterdam…

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Weekend trip to Milan

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I would definitely recommend coming to Paris wether just for a holiday or even for a study exchange. It’s been lovely to be here and luckily I have some time left still!

Bisous !

Maria Dejanova

 

(c) Maria Dejanova, do not copy the pictures without permission.

Paris

Paris is a lively! There is so much to do, only problem is the limited student budget. The town itself has many places to see and visit. I walked a lot once I arrived and saw many nice neighbourhoods and parks that are not advertised, which is also good cause they were quiet and neat. Best things about the city are buildings, parks, atmosphere and language since I like French. My least favourite things are: how disorganized gorgery stores are, some parts of town where it’s not safe to walk alone and absolutely everything has to be done by mail.

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The school building is really nice and has  a great location (in my neighbourhood.) On the other hand it doesn’t provide group work places, there is only ONE computer room for students and many of those computers are constantly not in use and also there is no proper food in the cantine. Only paninis, muffinis etc. Good things are the level of teaching in many classes and the class rooms are not bad. The international office is quite helpful but the school’s management is really bad. Schedules change all the time and during the first three weeks there was no way of knowing whether I actually had class or not.

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Besides school I’ve been getting to know the city and hosting visitors from home. Versailles and Disneyland are for example really nice places to visit. There are also cheap bus routes to neighbouring countries and cities. I e.g. went to Amsterdam and Marseille.

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The mood changed a bit after the attacks but the increased officers and soldiers are making everyone feel better.

Nice life in Nice

Bonjour à tous! I have been living in South of France in French Riviera in Nice now three months so there’s a lot of experiences I have gained and things I have done. What I want to say first of all is that I love this place! At first being here felt like vacation – sunbathing, swimming, exploring cute little towns nearby. Now, after this time, it is not only vacation but living here and I like this place as a country and I like the French culture.

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I have spent a lot of time exploring the places around Nice and also little more far away like Paris and Milano (in Italy).

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Monaco is only 20 minutes By train so of course I have been there too and I’m looking forward going to Christmas market there.

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Oh, and I study here too! Courses have been interesting, especially the course International management where I have learnt a lot about cultural differences and difficulties they may cause at work. Most useful has been studying French. I studied it three ears in high school and here I have improved my French a lot and got more courage to speak it in everyday situations. Always when I handle some situation without any English I feel so good!

I really, really have loved this place and would like to spend also next semester here but it also nice to go back home. But one thing is for sure, I will return this beautiful city! 🙂