Paris, France - Hilary W.

Name: Hilary W.
Age: 21
Home town: Victoria, B.C.
Diploma program before the BBA: Marketing Management
Exchange Partner: Leonardo De Vinci Pole Universitaire (Paris, France)
Duration: 2 semesters (Sept - May)

What was a typical school day was like?
I had two or three classes a day with the local French students and the other international students, who were mainly European. Classes were in English and I tried to go to the school gym every other day. Eating at the school cafeteria was very cheap. I laughed a lot and socialized with friends.

What is the campus like?
The campus is pretty small and private like IZUNA. It is nice and new though, with very good food and a gym. The school also has a student organization specifically for the international students that organizes trips, tours, and parties.

What did you do to have fun? 
I traveled around Europe a lot on weekends because flights are so cheap in Europe, went sightseeing around Paris, went for bike rides, and partied a lot with other international students, mainly at clubs. I made friends with some locals and spent a lot of my time at a Canadian pub called “The Moose”.

Why you would recommend exchange to others?
It is incredible to experience another culture. It opens your eyes to the world and makes you appreciate your own culture. I have met individuals of so many different nationalities and made some lifelong friends that I will never forget. Getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing and spending a year abroad for sure does that.

What is your favourite memory or story involving your exchange?
There are too many and my year is only half over. My weekend in Amsterdam was something else, so many stories in just those three days. I guess I would have to say my weekend in Amsterdam.

What one tip would you give to students preparing for exchange?
Prepare far ahead for your student visa. The first few days are going to be overwhelming and lonely, but as soon as you start school and meet your fellow international students, the amazing experience is about to begin.