Hello from the land of Santa Claus (also known as Finland! Santa is Finnish and he lives in Korvatunturi… just so you know). After a crazy, hectic, fun, adventure- and baguette-filled(!?!?) first semester in Paris, I am now back in my small hometown in Finland and will be spending Christmas here, before heading back to good old Glasgow for the New Years.
My last two months in Paris have been super busy: I had two exams and five papers to write (word count for each ranging from 2000 to 5000). Makes me miss the lot-less-stressful, much more balanced Glasgow system of three exams + three essays per semester. I have also been busy doing more fun stuff, such as singing karaoke (in French, of course), visiting Christmas markets and going to Disneyland (if you go in November, you never have to wait in the queue). I also managed to arrange myself a little job that includes dancing, singing and drawing (that’s right, I will be teaching English in a local school and my students are four year olds).
I have had some time to travel as well: last weekend I went to Utrecht (NL) to see my Portuguese friend who I haven’t seen in THREE YEARS. She was also doing her Erasmus this semester and it was interesting to compare our experiences. She felt like she had almost nothing to do university-wise and that the course was pretty easy – and that is so not the experience I have had in Paris… It reminded me that every study abroad experience is different and unique – and a real learning experience!
Even though it’s good to be on holidays, relax and see my family and old friends, I cannot wait to start my second semester in Paris! Next semester I really want to focus more on improving my kind of poor French (I’ve even bought some kids’ books, such as Charlie and the chocolate factory in French to do this!) and wish to do some more touristy stuff as well – I still haven’t even been to the Musée d’Orsay and it’s basically right next to our school!!! What I want to say for those who are considering studying abroad is this: if possible, consider going abroad for one year instead of just one semester. On exchange time goes by SOOOO quickly and especially in a big city like Paris one semester just isn’t enough to do everything.
That’s all for now, so Joyeux Noël, Merry Christmas, Hyvää Joulua!