My name is Sofía, and during the past 4 months I have had the chance to live an Erasmus+ experience in Paris, at Université Paris Nanterre. Thanks to this program I have dived into the culture of this country and learnt much about French customs and traditions.
At the beginning we all have trouble leaving our comfort zone, traveling far from home, where we don’t know anyone. We no longer have our people surrounding us every day. What is more, we have to get used to a new language and to another educational system. You need to get used to a whole new environment.
An unforgettable experience filled with unforgettable memories
But all these fears disappeared from the moment I arrived in Paris. It’s a magical city and I never could have imagined that I would end up living there. I have been living in a truly vibrant city: architecturally, culturally, gastronomically… A city where every day there was a different plan, new places to discover, museums to visit, friends to meet.
One of the things that struck me the most was the country’s multiculturalism. France is a country where your intimate friends can be from anywhere in the world, regardless of the color of your skin or your cultural background. In addition, being located in the center of Europe, living in paris has allowed me to travel a lot and get to know other countries.
Undoubtedly, if there is anything I will be taking home from Paris are the friends I have met here. Something I’m sure will last forever, even though every one of my new friends comes from a different country. They have become those who are with me in my daily life, with whom I share everything. We have become inseparable. Erasmus+ is an experience that gives you a lot, as it allows you to start from scratch and be yourself. When you arrive in your destination, nobody knows who you are.
“It is an experience that has given me a lot, both personally and professionally”
Academically, I have experienced a big improvement in my level of French, as I have studied my subjects in that language. At first this was a great challenge for me, but I couldn’t be happier to have done it that way!
I have also had the opportunity to experience a different educational system, Université Paris Nanterre is a great public university, where classes are taught in amphitheatres with over 500 students. This has helped me to “find my way”, that is, to have more initiative and be more proactive, something that I believe is essential for our professional future.
I was also impressed with the university campus, a campus à la American, huge, full of greenery and buildings of all kinds, with the best sports facilities. Thanks to this, the atmosphere was incredible, many of the students lived there, in a dorm within the same campus, which means a ongoing party.
We continually attended soirées, that is, parties to get to know each other better, as well as trips to other parts of the country, organized by the Erasmus+ association of the university itself. As for the activities offered on campus, the list is too long to include here, but there was everything from football or hockey, to chess and a drama club. I decided to join the football team of the university, an experience that I loved, as I was able to create a very close bond with my teammates, with whom I trained every week, to then play a game every two weekends against teams from other universities.
On the other hand, I have been able to discover incredible places. Paris has wonderful places full of charm. The weather does not always accompany, but even on cloudy days you can enjoy this picturesque city. And if things get complicated… you can always take refuge in a bar in the Marais and enjoy some live music.