University is a great thing. Not only does it allow us to challenge our intellectual intelligence, but it can also give us the ability to forge unforgettable memories, like studying in France at the Université de Versailles. I did exactly that earlier this year, thanks to Global Programs at the Australian National University.
I chose France because I am studying a double degree in a Bachelor of International Relations and a Bachelor of Languages, majoring in French. I felt like this would be the perfect opportunity to improve a skill that I consider to be one of my most important assets when searching for a job post-university and also to be in Europe, one of the most important arenas of world politics.
Arriving in France during the winter is a shock. It is cold, becomes dark early and no shops, not even the supermarket is open on Sundays, so plan ahead!
Over time, as the days became longer and the weather warmed up, and my French speaking, writing and listening improved exponentially. In adding to this thrill, I made lifelong friends from Canada, Belgium, Brazil and the United States. Such a diverse group of people helps you appreciate the love for France and the French language shared by so many from all over the world.
Outside of study, which was a success, my free time was spent in Paris. Just a short train ride away I enjoyed picnics with friends, being really appreciative of the beauty of Paris as a city, and the incredible cheese, bread and wine that France has to offer.
Studying in France gave me a new sense of purpose in studying the French language. It gave me the desire and passion to continue to learn French in the hope of one day returning to France to live there for more than a semester.
France, and in particular Paris, made my heart melt, and as Ernest Hemingway once said “There never is any ending to Paris.” Hemingway is right, I will be back, I know it.