I decided to split my year abroad between a study placement in Avignon, and a work placement in Dijon. It was clear that both experiences would assist me in future studies and employment, so by splitting the year, I could get the best of both worlds!
For my study semester, Avignon appealed to me because it was small and easy to get around, while still being in a central location in the South of France (which means it is very warm for most of the semester!). Marseille, Montpellier and Nîmes were all very accessible! Furthermore, Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse offered a range of modules that could build upon my current knowledge of subjects, such as Linguistics and French Literature, and also allow me to embrace new topics, such as Tourism in France. There are also so many sports clubs that take advantage of the new sports facilities, and it's a great opportunity to meet new people with similar interests.
ESN in Avignon also organised several trips to other parts of France, including Lyon, Cannes, Nice and Montpellier. These are unmissable opportunities, and they are affordable. The social activities and trips organised by ESN bring together all the ERASMUS+ students, which brings about a feeling of community amongst the International students.
I would highly recommend Avignon to any prospective ERASMUS+ student! You can benefit from studying new subjects, visiting different regions of France, meeting new friends of different nationalities, building your personal network, and simply being immersed in French culture. Make the most of this experience... I wish I could do it all again!
- Andrew Woods, BA (Hons) French with Business Management
I chose to take part in Erasmus+ as I thought this would be a great way to experience another culture by studying at a university abroad. For my third year, I spent the first semester at Aix-Marseille Université in Marseille, France and I am currently in Heidelberg, at Universität Ruprecht-Karls for the second semester in Germany.
During my time in France, I tried to attend many of the Erasmus trips such as 'Les Gorges du Verdon' organised by the university. Similarly, in Germany I have been on many more excursions which have been absolutely amazing as I had the opportunity to meet new people and view places which I would have never thought of visiting. So far these include: Bavaria, Trier, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Bodensee (Lake Constance) - Meersburg/Konstanz.
I would definitely recommend anyone who is thinking about being a part of Erasmus+ to do so without hesitation. Although the thought of studying at a university abroad may seem overwhelming at first, you will get accustomed to the culture in no time! I was in Marseille for only four months and the time flew by very quickly. Before I knew it, I had to leave and continue my year abroad in Germany. So make the most of your time abroad and try your best to take part in as many activities such as excursions organised by the university!
- Hazel Lopes, BA (Hons) French and German
I choose to split my Year Abroad between France and Spain because I wanted to improve both my French and Spanish skills before coming back for my final year. I spent 4 months in Avignon, South of Spain and 5 months in Salamanca, North of Spain. The Siesta and Spanish food in Spain as well as the French food in Avignon became a huge part of my life!
I took part in various university talks and plays and attended almost all the ESN (Erasmus Social Network) trips! I travelled a lot during my Semester in Spain: Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Seville, Valencia, Madrid, León and Valladolid. I also travelled around Portugal too. In France, I travelled with ESN and also with close friends. I went to small villages around the South of France such as Calanque, Cassis, Roussillon, Gordes, Villeneuve, Ile sur la Sorgue and St. Remy. I also travelled to Montpellier, Marseille and Aix en Provence.
The courses available abroad were different to the ones I take back at QMUL. For example, in Salamanca the Literature Classes focussed more on content than a few books which we study back home and students write as the teacher gives the lecture, rather than being guided by presentations.
I would advise anyone thinking of going on an Erasmus study placement next year to make the most of it because time really flies! Anyone wishing to do their Erasmus in Salamanca will love it! Salamanca is a beautiful city and there is a lot to visit and you will never feel bored! Enhance yourself in the language and challenge yourself by taking part in tough classes which you might not have come across at Queen Mary. I hope your year abroad is as enriching as mine!
- Ayesha Ghulati, BA (Hons) French and Hispanic Studies