As part of my BA in French and Linguistics at Queen Mary University I was required to complete at least 6 months at a French speaking university; and for me there was only one option, Paris.
The university of the Sorbonne represented French culture to me, and to get the chance to study here was a childhood dream come true. As I come to the end of my time here, I am still astounded by the opportunity I have been given, and how it has benefited me both personally and academically.
Over the last 7 months I have grappled with a new university system, admittedly not the most efficient, and in the process have continually improved my French and my confidence. I have taken classes that not only I would never have taken in England, but I would never have felt capable of last year. The French university system is famously difficult, and the pressure to succeed has pushed me to realise my capabilities; one of the most valuable lessons I will take away from this year.
Beyond university studies the experience of living abroad is endlessly enriching, as I know time here is limited, I have tried to enjoy as much of Paris as possible, and I love it more than ever.
The opportunity to live in a new country can never be underestimated, all the experiences of the last few months, academic and social, have not only improved my French massively, but broadened my horizons.
Before I left for this year, I didn’t understand the value of living independently in a new country, being thrown into a completely new environment has widened my outlook for future careers and given me the confidence to pursue it.
The John Speak Trust bursary is a brilliant way of investing in people and their future careers.
An experience abroad cannot be under estimated and financial worries should not hinder anyone from making that decision. My bursary this year has allowed me to fully benefit from Paris without taking on part time work. The bursary alleviated money worries but the trust’s conditions also pushed me to benefit fully, living with French speakers was initially daunting for me, but I have ended up in a beautiful home with the chance to speak French every day and am so glad!