Tag Archives: France

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.

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.


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!


-Sara Suokko

Paris is always a good idea



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.


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!


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!


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.

First day at school


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..


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…

Weekend trip to Milan


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 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! 🙂


Life is sweet in France

Bonjour and greetings from Caen!

First about my studies:

We have 12 courses in one semester and little time to carry out them all. Most of the courses last only one week and they are very intensive. We have days from 9am to 6pm with the same subject. We also have courses that last for the entire semester and they include lots of group works and presentations. Attendance is mandatory and it is closely monitored. This leaves little time for traveling and exploring France. Fortunately we had one week vacation and there are also sometimes some random days off during the week without any lessons.

We have a very international class with over 60 students all over Europe, Asia and America. This makes our group works very interesting. I also think the professors are very nice and competent and so far we have had professors from the US, Turkey, Romania and France.

Leisure time:

My days have been pretty hectic ever since I began my exchange-period abroad. There are lots of student events and parties during the week where we can get to know each other and meet local students as well. Usually during the weekends the ‘Global Village’ (student organisation for international students) organises trips for us exchange students to see the most beautiful attractions and also to learn about the culture of Normandy.

EM Normandie Caen tour Laser tag Le Mont-Saint Michel Omaha beach


Paris, la ville très magnifique !

Paris is awesome!
Time in here has passed so fast in here, too fast actually. Now it’s almost time to go home and good opportunity for me to inform how my life here has passed by so far.



Like I said in my title, Paris is so beautiful! Especially now with all the beautiful colors in the trees. This spring has been really good in here. Temperature has been in some weeks over 20 degrees, almost 26 degrees in some days. I have had an opportunity to spend an early summer here few weeks ago. Of course this semester has been filled with bad days too. Paris has shown it’s worst side also, with lot of rain and cloudy days. But even in those rainy days the city has been great.

This city has been full of possibilities. There is something new to see everyday. I feel that this time has been too short for explore all these possibilities that this city has to offer. I wish that my exchange would’ve last the whole year, not just a one short semester. But on the other hand it will be nice to come back in here and still have something new to see.

So even though this city is full of things to see and explore, I have traveled little bit around Paris and France. I’ve been glad to had this chance to go and visit all kind of new cities so easily.


This next picture is from Italy, where we visited beautiful lakes in the north. In this trip I totally fell in love to Italy also! Outlook was breathtaking and I will definitely go to visit these lakes again.


Belgia_11.4._8We also visited in Belgium, in Brussels and Bruges. These two cities were totally different but both really nice. I really liked Bruges, because it was an old looking city with nice buildings and canals. Belgium offered awesome waffles and great beer, surprisingly.


This picture is from Bordeaux where my friend is doing her exchange.  I was really surprised about Bordeaux and the fact how nice this city really is. It was full of nice and old buildings, and the atmosphere in there was great. Even though I spent only one short weekend over there, the city started to feel really homelike. This city seemed an excellent choice to do exchange semester in.

After little wine tasting in Bordeaux I went to have some Champagne tasting. This was an organized day trip from Paris to a small city called Epernay to visit some Champagne caves. This whole area near Paris was nice countryside with a lot of different champange manufacturer.

Next weekend I am about to go visit Normandy, which is also near Paris. I hope this trip is going to be as great as all my previous ones.


Life in here has surprised me totally. Paris has felt like home this entire time and I’ve started to feel need to live here later in my life, after my studies. But even though I see France, especially Paris with my love glasses, there is lot of things which could be as easy as it is in Finland. For example all applying or all official duties are made in old-fashion way. I mean made by paperwork. Some things are managed way more difficult than in Finland, and that makes me confused time to time. It feels like every company are as difficult to function with as KELA in Finland is.

School in here has been quite normal compared to TAMK. All lessons has been provided in English, which is good thing for me. My French is not in so good level to understand lessons. Most of my classes are international classes, so there is no french people participating. But still I have few classes with french people also, and those aren’t the nicest ones. In these classes the teacher can in some point start to speak French for the native speakers, and then I get all lost. But luckily this rarely happens.

But still I’m really happy of my choice to apply to Paris. It’s been the best decision so far!

Greetings from the French Riviera!

Greeting from Nice, France!

I hope that you have had a good spring so far. In Nice, life is good. The sun is out almost every day, and the temperature has started to be very summery. I walk about 15-20 minutes to school, and our each class lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. During freetime, in addition to spending time in Nice, there are a lot of very nice places  to visit nearby. For example Cannes and its islands, Antibes, Monaco and Èze are worth visiting.20150402_141925Here is the view from Castle Hill overlooking Nice and its Promenade des Anglais and the old town. The airport is at the West end of the promenade, about 7,5 kilometres from the city center. The beach promenade is the best place for walks or running. There is a nice park area and good viewing points on the castle hill. There used to be a castle up on the hill, but there are only ruins left nowadays. In my course of French Culture and Civilization at IPAG Business School I have learned about the history of France and Nice. I study French language, French Culture and Civilization, Tourism Marketing and Business Strategy. 20150212_183115Above is a photo of socca, a local specialty. It is a savory crêpe made using chickpea flower, and it’s very delicious. One good place for socca is Chez Pipo near the port of Nice.

2015-02-16 09.31.51 2In Nice there’s a pebble stone beach. It isn’t very comfortable for laying on it, but it’ll do! It is lovely to sit or walk on the beach in the evenings. The water’s still very cold. There are great sand beaches in other towns nearby, and also in Nice there’s a small patch of sand beach.

2015-04-19 09.35.15 1In Nice, in addition to walking, we use the tram and buses. The tram goes around a circle, and in the picture you can see two trams going to different directions at Massena Square, which is a square in the heart of the town. Nice is one of the biggest cities in France. The old town is very different compared to the new town. In the old town the streets are more narrow. The streets were built narrow, because people wanted shade to their homes so they wouldn’t get too hot, and also it felt more safe to have narrow streets. The tourist season has started after the weather has begun to warm up. There is a daily flower and fresh produce market in Cours Saleya, which is on the edge of the old town near the sea. On Mondays there are also antique items being sold.

I also got to experience French hospital when I has an appendicitis and had the surgery here. Luckily I went to the hospital at an early state of the disease, and received very good medical care. I was happy to receive such great care in France. So anything can happen while you’re studying abroad, and make sure to have a comprehensive travel insurance.

I am very happy about my friends here! Now I will continue my day here in Nice. Have a nice day! 😉

Best wishes, Leila