International Student Exchange Program at France – by Mr. SHARAN R

PGDM One sem in France experience @ ISBR

I started my journey at ISBR on 2015. I developed tremendous expectation about the international exchange (Erasmus) program. I travelled to GROUPE ESC TROYES, FRANCE for my third semester. The 5 months I spent over there was some of the most memorable days. The experience was unparalleled. I was part of Erasmus program among 200 other students who were from around 120 countries around the world. Germans, Spanish, Italians, Arabs, Polish, Russians and many more were part of the diversified crowd. The welcoming that Erasmus students received at the university was unexpected. Parties and programs were organized every day to make the new crowd get used to the new environment. From day one we were provided access to the college intranet through which all the details about the course, career, exams and much more were easily available. I had classes 2 – 3 days a week, starting from morning 8am till 7pm. Such long hours of sessions was little tiring but they have all sorts of recreation activities inside the campus to keep the students energetic till the end of the day. The ambience inside the campus generates lots of positive vibes. You can see students serving in the café, playing pool, table tennis, foosball, lying in bean bags and listening to music. Since the course was 2 days a week, the rest of the week was treated as a holiday. The best thing to do when you are an Erasmus in Europe is travel. I am happy that I have visited over 9 countries and 22 cities in a span of 5 months. Travelling around Europe is quite easy. The transport system is well connected to every nuke and corner of the city. FLIXBUS, OUIBUS, BLA BLA CAR, AIRBNB, these apps will come in handy for any traveller who looks to make the most out of Europe. The cost of living in France is high compared to India. Any accommodation ranging between 280-330euros per month would be a better choice. Restaurants are very expensive. Kebab shops, Pizzerie, Boulangerie are the most common places for eating food at a low price. It’s better to learn cooking. It can cut a lot of expenditure. Supermarkets like Carrefour, ALDI, LIDL, casino, ELeclerc are available where food can be purchased in a less price. A frozen pizza might cost around 60 cents to 1.30 euros. Winter started at France at the end of September. The temperature fell down drastically from 20 to 14degree Celsius in a day. As the month progress the severity of winter increases. The least temperature I experienced there was about -9degree Celsius. Long nights and short days makes people more lazy but irrespective of that we can see students attending the class exactly at 8am. Troyes is 180kms away from Paris, the city of love. Paris can be a weekend destination or even a retreat. If you are a football fan like me, Europe gives you much more joy. Ligue 1, La Liga, champions league match tickets are available throughout the year. I was lucky enough to watch 2 football matches in Parc Des Princes, in Paris and Camp Nou, in Barcelona. The memories are priceless. I was blessed with an opportunity to see The POPE on Christmas giving speech at Vatican City. Police verification and checking are vigorous across all boundaries, so carrying passport with valid visa is mandatory. Brussels, Amsterdam, Prague, Munich, Geneva, Rome, Barcelona, Nice, Paris, Budapest are some of the must visit places in Europe. Travelling teaches a lot. The exposure that an Erasmus student obtains is quite huge than you expect. Knowing and building good contacts with people from different parts of the world is an asset. You have a platform to learn multiple languages, cultures, behaviours and lifestyles. Getting an internship or part time job is easy if you can speak French fluently, else it’s difficult. It would take few days to adapt to the new culture. The culture shock experienced will be different to different people. It depends on how likely are you willing to adapt to European culture.

The 5 months I spent as an Erasmus has taught a lot of valuable lessons. I would recommend every student to take up this program since it is a golden opportunity to study and travel in Europe. I am positive that it will benefit me greatly in the years to come.

Mr. Sharan R

Mr. Sharan R is a student of PGDM ( 2015- 2017).

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