Mollie - Université Catholique de Lille

B. Arts / Laws
Semester 2, 2016

Academic experience

I'm studying a double degree in Arts and Law, but whilst on exchange, I only did my Arts subjects, which were in the areas of International Relations and Economics. In Lille, I took subjects in three different faculties to get my full course load, and it was interesting to see how each faculty approached learning quite differently. Although it was frustrating at times that the University didn't have as much coordination between faculties, it did mean that I had a range of different experiences across all my courses. The biggest challenge I had to overcome was coordinating my timetable, but eventually, I overcame this and got to attend some really interesting subjects, such as a subject on Energy in the European Union.

Personal experience

One of the major highlights of my exchange was the friendships that I built throughout the semester. Everyone is in the same boat as you, so making friends is really easy, and thanks to social media I'm still able to stay in contact with them all. Everyone was also really excited to travel, so we were able to organise a lot of trips around Europe. Over the semester I visited 9 different countries and had a lot of amazing experiences. Studying in France also meant that my French speaking skills increased dramatically, as English is rarely spoken, although this meant that I had to do a lot of difficult tasks in French, like opening a bank account and booking a doctor's appointment. Overall, the exchange made me grow as a person, and although I faced a lot of challenges along the way, it was definitely worth it in the end.


I lived in a student residence, Foyer International, which was convenient because it was a 5-minute walk to my classes. The rent was also really low, but living in a building where you share the kitchen and bathrooms with 200 other students does have its downsides. My residence was also robbed twice whilst I was staying there, so next time I would probably choose a more private residence if I could do it again. However, the residence I lived in is one that a lot of other exchange students choose, so making friends was really easy.


Colosseum, Rome

I was recommended to budget $15,000 for exchange, and this was essentially a perfect amount to get me through without having to miss out on any experiences that I wanted to do. The biggest expenses were flights and accommodation whilst taking weekend trips, so we were constantly looking online for cheap deals. It was important to budget for the weekly costs, like rent and food, so that I could spend more money on the weekends for travelling.

Professional development and employability

I have definitely become more resilient and independent, as I had to deal with a lot of challenging situations during my exchange.


The biggest highlight was definitely having the opportunity to travel around Europe so easily. Having a base in France meant that taking weekend trips was much easier and more affordable.

Top tips

I would definitely advise students wanting to go on exchange to save as much as possible before going, and then making a budget and following it. It means that you don't miss out on any exciting trips or events, and can really make the most of your exchange.

Mollie - Université Catholique de Lille