Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts

At UQ I am enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in French and English Lit.), with a Diploma of Italian. I went on exchange in my third year of study. Lumière Lyon 2 was a fantastic university to do an exchange with. What is very helpful is the office in the university which aims to facilitate and help exchange students. This group of people is called the DRI (Direction des Relations Internationales). Choosing subjects at the uni can be quite tricky, but you are given a lot of freedom with what you are allowed to study. Essentialy,  the university allows you to study anything you would like to. The difficult part is finding the enrolment code and time/day of the classes. This is something which often surprised the students, as it can be quite hard to navigate the two campuses and the Lyon 2  website - the only advice I can give for this is to do lots of research and to talk to other exchange students. Students will find that it is important to help each other in the process. It is also important to keep in mind that it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the courses they choose meet the requirements of their program at UQ - as far as I know there are no staff at the uni who can help with this.

I studied a combination of History, Language and Linguistics, and Literature Courses in Italian, English and French. The English Literature program and basic language learning they run at the University is excellent - despite the fact that I was studying with students whose second language was English (like mine was French!), I still felt challenged and engaged in the course. I really loved it. A lot of students applying for Lyon are curious about the SLM course, Stage de suivi linguistique et méthodologique  (http://cief.univ-lyon2.fr/spip.php?article30), offered by the university to exchange students. I think that this course is a really good option for students on exchange. While for a normal student in Lyon, the course is one they actually have to pay for, whereas for foreign  students it is free ! why not? I also found that the course works quite slowly through course materiel (a book, a film, other miscellaneous topics). For some students this can be quite boring but for others it is a good option, because it gives them more time to enjoy  the exchange experience. I found it a relatively good option for exchange students because it did not leave us too stressed out. Before taking the course you are also sorted into your level of proficiency in French, so you are in a class with students at the same level  as you. My main recommendation for choosing subjects is to choose things which are not too hard for you. Choose subjects which you are interested in but that still allow you to enjoy every other aspect of la vie lyonnaise.

For me, a large part  of the exchange experience was making friends. I cannot place enough value on this aspect of the exchange. It is a typical thing to say, but after the exchange I now have friends for life all across the world. I have learnt to love and connect with people from different  cultures and of different tastes. Traveling regionally while you are on exchange is also an excellent experience. Half way through the semester there is one week of holidays (Vacances de Toussaint) - this is clearly an excellent opportunity to go on a trip somewhere, however you should plan and book fast because prices rise a lot if you leave it too late! At Lyon 2 you are left to organise your timetable by yourself. This means that you are able to alter your timetable and choose courses that allow you to have longer  weekends in order to travel.

Accommodation in Lyon is not too hard to find, there are a number of student residences which are associated with the university and independent from the university. I stayed in an independent student residence which was really excellent - central, close to Lyon  2, close to transport, really clean, spacious, and has great services (see here http:// www.suitetudes.com/fr/location-appartement-oxygene). It is worth searching for others however, as I understand it they are all really great! Lyon 2 often offers small rooms with  shared kitchens and bathrooms. I had a friend staying in one of these residences and it was very good because half of her housemates she became very close with. However the other half of those she lived with she didn’t get along with so well - pot luck. The house was small and there were difficulties with cleaning etcetera, however as a short term option it is very (very) cheap and an excellent idea. It depends on your own personality and what you prefer when it comes to sharing a house. Collocation (house sharing) is a really good option. If I were to do another exchange (I probably will do something similar ...) then this is what I would do. I think that it is great because you get to have your own house and living arrangements but you get to meet people and live with them. House sharing is another great way to get to know people really well!

France in general is very cheap. Paying for an okay bottle of wine is between 2 and 8euros. Groceries are very inexpensive compared to Australia. If you decide to get your fruit and vegetables at the markets then you will be looking at even more reduced prices and even fresher produce !! (In Lyon, I would definitely check out the fresh fruit and veggie markets - they are by Le Rhône et La Sâone every weekend). In a collocation situation, you should expect to find a reasonable apartment for around 400 euros a month. If you are in a student residence, you could be spending anywhere between 450 and 600 euros, depending on the quality, location, and facilities of the residence. If Lyon 2 offers you a residence themselves, you can expect much much lower rent. This is a clear advantage, however keep in mind that all living quarters in these residences are shared (bathrooms, and kitchen - no lounge room), and you have a 9m2 bedroom to yourself.
 

Top Tips …

  • Be open to everything, don’t limit yourself. Try your best to experience everything in the city that you can, whether it is touristy or not.
  • Learn about the city and explore it. The history of the town is fantastic and worth learning about. Lyon is often considered as great as Paris. See here http://lyon.citycrunch.fr/10-choses-que-lyon-a-eu-avant-paris/2014/01/16/ ).
  • The bars and clubs are really great (I loved the Bec de Jazz, on Croix Rousse https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bec-de-Jazz/172872959399980).
  • The art scene is very cool, try wandering the streets and checking out galleries as well as the city’s museums. Culturally fantastic - art, markets (food and clothing events pop up all the time), people, nightlife.
  • Overall, expect to be extremely uplifted and inspired by your exchange experience ! Lyon is a fantastic place !

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