I feel very special as an Australian to have been able to call the city of lights/art/culture/cooking/ fashion/moustaches/croissants/walks/baguettes/ dog poo on the footpath/(and most importantly) love my home for 6 months.
Going to E.S.S.E.C and the entire 8 month adventure I went on is the most memorable period of my life. Whether it was standing on top of the Eiffel Tower, seeing the Wallabies lose to the French in Paris, waking up early to get baguette from the markets or singing French songs without knowing what the words meant, all seems a bit a surreal. Now that I’m back that memory seems even weirder to me, but I hope I can lend you some knowledge for your up and coming exchange.
I soon also felt very special to be attending E.S.S.E.C, one of France’s and Europe’s most esteemed business schools. The competition for domestic students to enrol in this school is very high because this school is considered a ticket to work in the European finance sector. This is a testament to the strong connections UQAbroad and its staff have developed for exchange participants. This prestigious business school is now on my resume and will provide me with many opportunities for work in Europe, and international businesses operating in Australia
My 5 top tips

  • Start Early!! Starting early = more fun time. Get your visa or passport sorted now, if that means you need to have accommodation get your accommodation sorted now. Just do it now. Seriously now! Stop reading. If you get it done early you won’t be caught in Brisbane in June trying to fly to Sydney for a visa, sit four exams and book a flight for the next week.
  • Now that you have started early, start organising your subjects even earlier so you can start becoming best friends with your Education Officer. Get your subjects sorted, keep a few up your sleeve because I guarantee you will not be completing all the subjects you intended to. The education officers will approve more than the required courses you need, I had 12 approved and I only needed 7 and this isn’t because I have lots of electives, they can be very nice and accommodating. Also this means you can make your timetable suit you.
  • Join a team/club. Don’t hide amongst your new exchange student friends, branch out, become friends with the domestic students. They are the ones who know about the cooler parties and they also have the skiing chalets in the French Alps. I think E.S.S.E.C. and I think about the rugby team I joined. If you’re bad at sport, go along to one training session, meet the people then fake an injury and just hang out for the rest of the season.
  • Don’t stop moving. I know you just moved in, you want to recover from your 68 hour flight next to the man who should have purchased two seats and your new friends want to go check out that cool bar in your city. Trust me you will go to that same bar 400 times over the coming semester, instead convince your new friends to grab that Ryan Air flight for 30€ to Finland. I’m sure you’ll find a bar that’s just as good there. If your goal is to do some travelling over there, don’t wait too long otherwise you’ll be on the flight home before you know it.
  • For E.S.S.E.C. specifically go for a year, live at college at the University for 6 months, make friends, then for the other 6 months live in Paris with your new friends. I lived in Paris and all my class mates by the end of it wished they did as well. Paris is a beautiful place to visit and an even better place to live, so make sure you live there. Lots of students are always looking for room-mates as well so just watch the E.S.S.E.C noticeboards
    Finalement Bon chance!

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