Period on Exchange: Semester 2, 2012 and Semester 1, 2013
What courses did you study?
Mostly international and European law subjects and a few specific French law courses as well.
Why did you choose that university?
I wanted to travel around Europe and experience the French culture in particular, and improve my level of French.
How does studying law overseas compare to studying at UNSW?
Studying law overseas gave a new perspective that complemented what I was learning at UNSW. Being in the heart of Europe also provided something real and tangible to all the theory I had been learning. Having said that, at Lyon 3, the style of teaching was much less analytical than it is at UNSW. UNSW has a great approach to teaching and development of courses.
What was the cost of living compared to Australia?
The cost of living was generally lower than in Sydney. Australia is just incredibly expensive, especially in relation to housing. What was your accommodation arrangement? I was living in a studio apartment on my own in a student residence block. I basically felt like I was living in an apartment building in France, except that all my neighbours were students. It was excellent.
What was your accommodation arrangement?
I was living in a studio apartment on my own in a student residence block. I basically felt like I was living in an apartment building in France, except that all my neighbours were students. It was excellent.
What were the highlights of your experience?
There were so many highlights to the experience – it seemed as if incredible things happened every week. It was my first time in Europe so travelling to so many diverse countries that are only a short one or two hour flight away was amazing. From the mountains around Grenoble to the bleak communist structures in Hungary to the beautiful beaches of Croatia, every destination had something unique to offer. Understanding more about the French people beneath all the stereotypes we have of them in Australia was definitely a welcome eye-opener. And of course, the great friends you make from all over the world.
What were the main challenges you faced, if any?
Dealing with administrative issues in France, notorious for its red tape and lazy service (for good reason), was quite a struggle, especially since it had to be conducted in a language I was not fluent in. But even that is part of the real French experience and there was no challenge that was too difficult to overcome.