Ashley Best

Academic exchange | Dijon, France

4th year Accounting

Where did you live when you studied abroad? Student Residence – Dijon Eiffel

What was the hardest thing when you arrived in France? Deciding which French pastry to eat first...

What was the easiest thing when you arrived in France? Having a basic knowledge of French and being able to communicate with others was easier than I expected… however, they would mostly speak back to me in English.

What did you find different about studying in a French University? They have a completely different timetable structure, and a very interesting variety of courses available – so many courses that are not offered here at UNBSJ. I took three wine courses, very interesting to say the least!

Best things about France? The food, the wine and being able to conveniently visit the rest of the country and/or nearby countries!

What do you find most interesting about Dijon, France? How often it rains! Also they got 10cm of snow and the whole city pretty much shut down.

Most memorable experience in France? Traveling all over France for a week with the friends I made at BSB. We stumbled upon the carnival in Nice, it was an amazing experience! Probably my favorite night of my semester abroad.

What surprised you most about France? That nearly everything is closed on Sundays, a lot of places close for lunch and they eat dinner pretty late compared to what I am used to. Oh, and their keyboards are different? I had no idea!

Food you missed the most and could not get in France? Peanut Butter!! (Not food, but I also could not find dryer sheets anywhere)!

What did you miss about Canada when you studied abroad? Besides family, I missed being able to drive. On the plus side, the transportation in France was fairly cheap and easy to use.

What do you like most about studying abroad? I loved everything about studying abroad; the freedom and independence, meeting new people from literally all over the world and just being immersed into a whole new culture.

How many other countries did you visit when you were studying abroad? I visited 4 countries; France, Greece, Spain and Switzerland, and technically Monaco.

What are your future plans, and has studying abroad made you change your future plans? Studying abroad confirmed my passion for travelling. Moving abroad permanently is an idea in the back of my head that I visit often.

Do you have any advice to future students, who may wish to study abroad? My biggest piece of advice would be to engage as much as possible. At times you may feel homesick, nervous or outside of your comfort zone, but this experience is about building relationships with others from outside of your own world and getting to experience a new culture. Be confident, open-minded and optimistic, and embrace every moment; it will be over before you know it!

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