If you’re a language student like me and you are going to embark on your year abroad this September, I’ve tried to put together a sort of list of things that I think would be helpful to know. Continue reading “Things I didn’t know [before my year abroad] – Abbie Stratford”
As a joint honours modern language student (French and Spanish) I had no choice about doing a year abroad. I knew from the beginning of my degree that it would be the year that I properly learnt to speak my languages (I hoped!) and truly got to know the cultures that I had been studying for so long. That said, I had a lot of options for where I could go – including working abroad, which I swiftly decided against because I wanted to have some lie ins – and so my decision was a difficult one. I ended up spending my year split between France and Mexico, with my Autumn semester at the Université Lumière Lyon II in Lyon, and my Spring semester at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. Continue reading “Part 1: Université Lumière Lyon II – Rachel Griffiths”
The ENS is a very prestigious place to be at in France academically, being one of the few grandes écoles that exist. I was inspired to apply here because famous theorists such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Raymond Aron studied here at some point in their careers. If you get to go as an exchange student, you are extremely fortunate in that you do not have to pass the notoriously difficult French entrance exams. There is also an important difference in the type of student you will meet at ENS: an elève is accepted via the concours and is remunerated by the state (i.e. paid monthly), whilst an étudiant applies via dossier and is not remunerated. Regardless, because it is so hard to get in,you will meet highly intelligent and intellectually stimulating people who all have something to say in a conversation; they are especially receptive to international students, perhaps because the university itself is has only a fraction of the students in comparison to King’s.
Finding accommodation was one of the hardest parts of living in Paris. Firstly, even as a study abroad student, you are not guaranteed housing. I was not allocated a spot in the university accommodation. The ones associated with Parisian universities are not located in the best areas of Paris. However, they are convenient and most likely cheaper than anything else you will find. I believe that it’s worth applying in May just to see if university housing is an option for you.
What do you study at King’s?
French and History BA
Describe your teaching and learning experience
I was working in three collèges (11-15) in a small city in the southwest of France. I taught a variety of classes across all the ages, however I mostly taught quatrième and troisième — the oldest year groups of the collège. I really enjoyed teaching these lessons and I was given a lot of freedom in what I could teach to which students. Unless the teacher told me beforehand that he/she wanted me to tackle a certain subject, I was able to design my lessons with total autonomy.