Ben - Sciences Po

B Pharmacy (Honours)/ D Languages
Winter 2023
I am proud of myself for pushing myself beyond my comfort zone to embrace life as an international student.


I chose to participate in a global experience for the enrichment of my studies and personal development. The choice of electives that remained for my Dip Lang program did not entice me and I had promised myself that I would look at completing a global experience during my undergraduate studies.

Personal Development

I gained a holistic personal development from my time in France. Reflecting on the friendships I made and the experiences I had both in school and with my housemate at home I can confidently say that travelling alone built my independence, resilience, world knowledge and appreciation for one's own time sitting amongst the culture of a foreign country. I am proud of myself for pushing myself beyond my comfort zone to embrace life as an international student.

Academic Development

I enjoyed that the classes I took were centred around participation and engagement, seeking to build holistically on the four key language competencies of speaking, reading, writing and listening. The set school hours of 9-5, 5 days a week was a shock to the system as I haven't had to stick to a strict schedule like this since high school 4 years ago.

Professional Development

My independence and self-reliance were a key area of growth during my time in France. I was forced to make decisions for myself, my studies and my finances alone and efficiently so that I could continue living and learning without being impacted by the choices I had to make. As an example, unexpected costs in Paris and the general cost of living where not things I had initially factored into my budgeting. I had to overcome this by triaging what was of most importance in the face of potential monetary losses. In doing so I ensured that the quality of my trip was not gravely impacted by unexpected costs.


I didn't have a set technique but my primary savings are not accessible to me so I had to rely solely on what I sectioned off for myself as travel funds. I would say I spent ~$5K out of pocket on this trip. I received funding from UQ and the Commonwealth which would have put my trip costs closer to $15K - Tuition = $5K - Flights = $3.8K - Accommodation = $1.2K - Transport = $200- Groceries = $150 per week - Dining out = $200 per week My advice would be to overbudget for transport and food costs to allow yourself breathing room with unexpected costs.


I used the funding I received to pay for my tuition and majority of my flights. I would have seriously considered not going if I hadn't received the funding that was provided.


I was very lucky with my accommodation as a family friend's niece was on holiday so I paid to stay in her room and live with her housemate in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. I had a bedroom, bathroom (with laundry amenities), kitchen and living room. The only con of my accommodation was commute times but even that was minimal considering it was a 25min commute to uni inclusive of walking to and from the station.


The highlight of my experience was the ability to live in a culture that was strikingly different from my own without feeling like a tourist. I was able to live in the grey area between Parisian and international student, something not many foreigners have the fortune to say.

Advice/Top Tips

Make sure you plan what you want to do around your studies. In the moment you will be tired from uni and not sure what is on and where it will be so make sure to have a list of places you want to go before you arrive.