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Universite Catholique de Lille, France: Sophie's Study Experience

Sophie is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Law at Université Catholique de Lille, in France. We asked Sophie about her experience of studying abroad. 

What are your name and age? Where are you from?

I am Sophie S., 22 years old and I come from Germany.

What is the name of your university, study programme, which discipline? When did you start studying?

I started my European Law studies at Faculté Libre de Droit - Université Catholique de Lille in September 2016 and I stayed there until June 2017 via the program Erasmus+.

What made you choose this programme? How did you decide?

My home university gave me the opportunity to apply for Erasmus+ mobility. The French university is a partner university of my home university. We could apply for 5 different cities in France and I was placed in Lille, my first choice. I choose Lille because of the positive experiences of previous students and because it is a private university.

Lille is also placed in the heart of Europe (good transport connection to great European capitals). It was a dream of mine to live a certain time in France because I have been learning French for more than 10 years and I felt like improving it.

What were the main challenges you had to face before being accepted to your university?

Erasmus application was a bit complicated. It was necessary to provide some documents (e.g. language certificate, CV, motivation letter).

What are three things you like most about the university? Why?

The university has European International Profile when talking about the teachers and classes. There is a wide choice of courses and a possibility to choose courses both in Bachelor and Master Studies. I liked the readiness from university to help the students along with the helpful Erasmus coordinator.

What are three things you like the most about the city?

Lille has a very nice old part of the city with many restaurants and cafés. It also offers good shopping possibilities (many outlets) and it is a student city so there are lots of young people.

Name one thing you would have liked to be different about the city? Why?

Besides metro, there were not enough buses in the city that connected all parts. Also during the night, there was every hour a bus line that connected only the city center with the Campus. Therefore, students like me who lived in the rented flats couldn’t use the public transport during the night at all.

How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 - It was a total disaster, 10 - I had the time of my life)? Why?   

9, for sure. The atmosphere at the university was good, my guest family was very nice. I also made lots of international friends and I had the opportunity to travel and discover other European cities.

Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?

The French are famous for their delicious desserts. Everything was so delicious that I couldn’t resist. So, if I come again in Lille, I would eat fewer cookies, bakery stuff, and cakes.

What are your plans after graduating?

Perhaps I will do a Master in Law, State exam or Referendariat (German internship program after the first state exam to get the second one).

Did you find your studies in Lille via Studyportals?

No, but perhaps I will use it when deciding where to do my Master's.

Were the studies difficult?

No, but they were different compared to my studies in Germany. The exams were oral and it was very important to speak good French. Therefore, many international students found the exams challenging, but the professors were kind and helpful.

I also noticed that the Erasmus students were treated differently as those who were studying regularly there. All in all, for me it was not very hard and the exams were fair.

Would you come back to Lille as a student in the future? 

Yes, perhaps. The universities in Lille offer good Master programs. If in this wide range of choice, I find a Master suitable for my plans, I'd come back to Lille but this time as a regular student.

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