A year in Paris

Written by Maria Hristova

Erasmus is a great programme because it gives students the opportunity to study or work in another country, experience different cultures and learn new things. I had the chance to study in ESSEC Business School in Paris, France for a year. It is an experience of a lifetime and I am so glad I decided to do it!

Visiting a place is one thing but living there is completely different. I chose Paris because it is my favourite place, the university I went is one of the best for my programme and I also wanted to improve my French.

When I got there, I had no problem in getting used to the life there. However, when I went to the university, in the beginning I felt a little insecure because it was a new place, new people (mostly French) and it was strange. On the first day, they gathered all Erasmus students for a welcome presentation. I was surprised how many students we were from all around the world (USA, Canada, Tokyo, Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands and etc.) We all became friends really quickly and had the best time ever! We went out in Paris a lot – sightseeing, partying, picnics, wine tourism and etc. or as we called it ‘Living the French life”. We really experienced the French culture at its finest. We also travelled a lot – the university organized trips to different places in France and other European countries (Belgium, Netherlands and etc.)  I played in the basketball team and went to competitions with them.

Studying there was completely different from England. I had 16 modules for both semesters. The lectures consisted of max 50 people and everyone was engaged in class. Attendance was compulsory and we could miss class only once or twice. The lectures were 3 hours, but we didn’t have tutorials. Participation in class was at least 20% of the final grade in each module so it was important. We had a lot of group project – making a movie, marketing a new product, making a full business plan for a firm + defining strategies and etc. There were a lot of practical things we did that made studying easier. I took modules that were interesting and different and helped me gain more knowledge on many topics.

I am thankful that I had the chance to go abroad as I made a lot of new friends from all around the world, I still keep in touch with. Studying there helped me improve my French, communication, leadership, organizational and other skills. I had the opportunity to live my dream – experience the French life.

I highly recommend doing a year abroad to everyone as it will enhance your knowledge, open your mind and give you an unforgettable experience!


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