Katherine - Université Catholique de Lille

Bachelor of Arts/ International Hotel and Tourism Management
Semester 1, 2018
I have learnt a lot about intercultural communication and networking by interacting and working with many people from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds.

Academic experience

I took some french classes at FLSH and some marketing/communication classes at IESEG. The full-time study equates to 10 or more subjects per semester in France so the work load is definitely something to get used to. The classes are fast-paced and quite strictly mandatory and you may find that you will be at uni 5 days a week because the timetable has little to no personalisation. Most of the courses I attended only lasted roughly 6 weeks, sometimes even less, which was great because it meant I had heaps of time to travel between end of class and exams. Course enrolments took place on the first few days of orientation and it can be quite stressful trying to fit all the courses with only one time slot together, especially working between two different universities as I was.

Personal experience

I made so many friends on exchange that I will remain close with for a long time. It was great having a lot of the same classes with your friends and living within walking distance to everyone and everything. My french has definitely improved, however not as much as I would've hoped, because all my friends spoke better english than they did french. It was difficult getting to know french students because they stuck closely with their friendship groups (made up of other french people).

Accommodation

I lived in a small apartment in between centre-Lille and vieux-Lille, definitely the best place to get an apartment (I wouldn't look anywhere else). I was lucky enough to share my apartment with 4 amazing roommates after finding just a room on appartager.com. I had a few friends that lived in the residences near the universities but the rooms were quite small (sometimes prone to theft) and each building shared a kitchen and laundry, something you don't have to worry about with your own apartment. IESEG provided a few residences around the universities as well as a long list of websites of where you can find your own accomodation.

Costs

I spent roughly $12,000-14,000 total for the 7 months I away. This included 500 euro monthly rent, roughly 400 euros a month for food, drink & social outings. I travelled mostly by bus because that was cheaper than train & flight and stayed in hostels for almost all of my travel.

Professional Development

I have learnt a lot about intercultural communication and networking by interacting and working with many people from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Exchange also takes a lot of organisation and planning in regards to accommodation, course selection, travel and just general living in a foreign country.

Highlight

My highlight was when the sun finally came out at the beginning of May and absolutely everyone in Lille would sit and drink and eat in the main park (called the citadel).

Top tips

Apply early! Make sure you have thoroughly looked through the courses to find all the classes that you could get credit for. Make sure you apply with more courses than what you need for the approval process took me months (I had enough subjects for a reduced load approved a month before I left because it was so hard for me to find subjects). All the organising and planning will get hard and may seem like too much effort but DON'T GIVE UP it is so so worth it.