I am writing this blog post from my french apartment with the sun shining through the window and a glass of wine at hand. My year here in Toulouse, France is soon to come to a close and it is fair to say that the decision to come here has been the best one I have ever made.
This year I have been studying business at Toulouse Business School (TBS) as part of my International Marketing Course. My experience at TBS has been great and I have met so many people from all over the world that I am sure I will keep in contact with in the future! The only thing I certainly won’t miss will be the 3 hour lectures (after coming from a world where 1 hour 30 minutes were sac-religious you can imagine my horror)and the commute every day on the bus where you often felt you might one day get squished to death from the volume of people on it.
Overall life in Toulouse is amazing – the city, the food, the culture and the people have all made my experience here unforgettable. With the added funding from the Erasmus grant this year I have certainly taken full advantage of the various restaurants around the city, not forgetting the beautiful shops (girls, if you love shopping and food, live in France for a year, you won’t be disappointed!)
There are definitely a few things that I will not miss when I leave France, for example..
- French Admin – never before have I experienced such unnecessary paperwork as I have since moving to France. A simple trip to the bank can turn into an awful headache.
- The dreaded ‘beep’ as the doors close on the metro – My best friend learnt this the hard way when her head was caught between the doors on the metro as they shut (not going to lie, hilarious moment).
- French opening hours – Hungry at 9pm at night? Good luck finding anywhere open. Oh it’s lunch time I will pop the bank.. Banks close for 2 hours at lunchtime duuuh.
To pick a few, some highlights of my year here so far –
- Exploring a new city – I have truly enjoyed exploring Toulouse and its surroundings, it makes such a refreshing change to Southampton and England in general.
- The nightlife – I have had some unforgettable nights since arriving here in September, from Mexican themed Erasmus nights to pre-drinking at sunset by the Garonne River. Toulouse is has the second largest student population in France so you never get short of new people to meet.
- Visiting Paris – Me and my best friend visited the city of love for a weekend, it was great to be a tourist visiting the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.
- Visiting Barcelonaaa (twice!) – This was the first time visiting Barca and it is an amazing city! City, shops, clubs and a beach – what’s not to love.
- Skiing for the first time in Andorra – I am so so glad I did this finally – even-though my legs hurt for days afterwards I absolutely loved skiing in the adorable little country of Andorra.
My French language is pretty basic and due to my laziness it hasn’t improved great amounts but I can get by which is the main thing. However I have to say, living in another country has taught me much more than just language and if you are reading this because you are considering a year abroad then all I can say is DO IT. You won’t regret it!
Thanks for Reading!