Academic experiences:
All full-time students from Australian institutions need to complete at least 24 ECTs (equal to about 4 courses) at ESSCA.  ESSCA allows undergraduate students to take graduate courses. However, the time-table may be clashed so you had better discuss with your ESSCA advisor before you officially register for those courses. I used all the elective quotas towards my UQ programme so I didn’t really need to worry about the course approval before I went to ESSCA. It is always a wise choice to use your electives. I took four courses this semester including French Language course, Wine Marketing, Intercultural Dynamics and European History and Politics.

  • French Language course: Almost all the exchange students took this one. There are different levels for you to choose (beginning and intermediate). If you don’t know anything about French, take the beginning one. If you have already learned the basic daily conversations, take the intermediate one.
  • Intercultural dynamics: A wonderful course! You have to experience this!
  • European History and Politics: The professor of this course is very nice. But if you do not know a lot about the period of post-second war, it may be quite tough for you as there are a lot in-depth discussions and paper work.
  • Wine Marketing: Em…Honestly I did not learn much from this course. Probably they are going to change?

Personal experiences/What I got out of it:
ESSCA is a small school compared to UQ. There are about 60-100 exchange students each semester. It is really easy to make friends with all the other international students as it is only a small group and you ALWAYS (literally) hand out together, live together, eat together, travel together and have courses together. So after the exchange experience, I have a bunch of good friends from different countries and still we are keeping in touch.

Angers is about 1.5 hours away from Paris by high speed train. So if you would like to travel to other big cities or nations, you probably have to go pass Paris first.

Accommodation:
The best thing for studying at ESSCA as an exchange student is that you can live in student apartment. It is cheap and all the international students will stay together. All you have to do is to fill in the accommodation application before you go.

Expenses:
Angers is a small town but you can still find everything here. How small is it? Em.. You can walk to almost everywhere you will need to go. If Brisbane is your home, you can find almost everything is cheaper in Angers. However, if you travel a lot, the cost can be very expensive.


5 TOP TIPS:

  • Renting bike is free in Angers if you are a student. However, you have to keep it in a safe place as there may be thieves around. If you lose your bike, the cost for compensation is around 300 euros!
  • If you plan to travel a lot in France, go get a SNCF Carte Jeune as soon as you arrive in Paris. The card itself is 50 euros but you will get huge discount each time you travel.
  • If you are going during the first semester of the academic year (Jan-May), you don’t really have to bring too many short shirts. This year the weather has been cold for the first five months which cover the whole semester… If you would like to experience the warm weather, do it at the second semester.
  • Use sky scanner for cheap flights!! Really cheap!
  • Don’t forget to explore Angers itself! Many exchange students don’t even take a good time to see this little but really beautiful time.

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