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"A very good atmosphere and respectful people"

Published on July 1, 2013 Updated on January 13, 2015


Home country : Spain (Córdoba and Jaén)
Training :
ERASMUS student in 3rd year of LLCE
Hobbies :
traveling, languages, electronic music
French, English, Spanish, a little Italian

"Hates siesta"

What are the main differences you observed between UPEC and your university?

In France, teachers seem to be more focused on practice, whereas in my university in Jaém, Spain, it’s more about theory. When I arrived at UPEC, 8 months ago, I really didn’t know what to expect, except for wine, cheese and baguette. But what I found was a very good atmosphere and respectful people.

I wanted to stay as long as possible, and UPEC made it possible for me to stay 9 months. Other universities proposed me to stay 5 months maximum. Studying at UPEC allowed me to enjoy my time here, and eventually to find a summer job and prolong my stay in Paris.

A funny story about your stay?
I once missed the last metro, on a Saturday night. Back then, I hardly spoke French, and there I was, alone in the streets of Paris, searching for a night bus. It was very scary, but a nice couple helped me and accompanied me home. More generally, I liked the bantering between UPEC students: French students would make fun of my accent, and I would make fun of theirs accents in English. It was really good-humored.

Did you enjoy your spare time in Paris?
There is always something to do, whether it’s going out at the club, or visiting. I had a lot of spare time, so it was no problem for me to work and have fun. The thing is you can’t be lazy, otherwise you end up doing nothing. Fortunately, I hate siesta. Plus, EIAP [Echanges Internationaux A Paris] makes it very easy for foreigner to fit in, so it saves you a lot of time and inconveniences, for example when you have to open a bank account, or get a metro pass. They also set up parties and international meals.

What did you gain from your stay?
Self-confidence. It’s not easy being on your own in this whole new city, so you have to affirm yourself and be cheeky. I also gained many friends, from all over the world. It’s always interesting to observe differences, since I plan on creating my own language academy later.

A tip for foreign students?
Don’t be lazy!