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BSc (Hons) Marketing student Iulia Iordanescu completed a study exchange semester at EDHEC Business School in Lille, France during the 2020-2021 academic year. She shares her experience of studying in France during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The French educational system is very different from ours. After French high school students take their Baccalaureate and have two options: they can either directly enrol in a public university, or they can take “classes préparatoires” (Higher School Preparatory Classes), a two-year programme designated to train students for passing another set of national competitive exams, necessary for getting enrolled in a “grande école”. EDHEC Business School is a grand école, being the second most-desired business school in France, with highly demanding admission requirements.”

“I think the most important thing to reflect on after an exchange experience is the friends you’ve made and, at the same time, the memories you are sharing with them. I was never lonely at all, I now have friends from Germany, Russia, China, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Austria, Hungary and, of course, France. We explored the city of Lille together; we enjoyed our free time having lots of picnics (as much as the weather permitted us) and we partied every weekend!”

“I even got to see Paris in a way in which will never be possible to see again: with no tourists at all! I have visited Paris before, but never actually felt its veritableness and grandeur, because it was overfilled with tourists and agitation. Now I found a calm and quiet Paris, as true and “French” as never before.”

“The only thing I couldn’t enjoy as I wished due to the impact of the pandemic was a proper session of shopping at the mall. In France, only the grocery stores were open during my mobility. But I got used to the covid-related restrictions and the 7pm to 6am curfew.”

“If you like to travel, but your friends won’t join you and you’re afraid to do it alone, apply for an exchange! Wherever you decide to do it, you will be integrated very easily, and you will make friends of different nationalities who have the same objective as you: to explore the world!”

You can read more about Iulia’s experiences on her blog.

If you are interested in applying to take part in a BU study exchange during the 2023/24 academic year, the second call for applications is open from 15 May 2023. You can find out more about the programme and the different funding options on the BU website.

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