- elegant, vibrant, cultural, friendly, bustlingIt took time to make friends, but the more you improve in the language, the more people want to be your friend - they find it’s not a strain anymore to have a conversation, and they find you interesting because you have a different take on things. People tended to be friendly, there are lots of museums, concert halls, cinemas, clubs, bars, and the beach is not far either! The atmosphere was quite lively, but the clubs aren't as good! While I was there I visited Paris
, Tours, Bergerac, St. Emilion (beautiful little town), Arcachon (seaside town near a huge sand dune, Dune du Pilaf, and boat trips around the bay are very worthwhile.) Think very carefully about where you want to go, and plan ahead. Then just get stuck in, meet up with anglophone friends while you're there, but make sure your main friends are native speakers! Do as much culturally as you can: studying leaves you more time to do this, although if you do study, don't expect the universities to be of the same standard as British ones! I'd recommend Bordeaux
as it's quite a student-friendly town.
Useful local words: It’s 'chocolatine' in Bordeaux - not pain au chocolat, 'gavé' is slang used to exaggerate things i.e. 'gavé bon' - really good/well good, 'nickel' is slang, meaning cool/wicked!
What not to pack: I probably could've taken fewer clothes... France has clothes shops!!!
What to pack: A musical instrument.
Couldn't have done without: A French phone and Internet access.
Word of advice: Find accommodation before you get there, because I found that it helped me a lot; it was one less thing to worry about. Try websites like appartager.com for France.
EG, French and Music, University of Bristol
Visit our Bordeaux homepage for more information about the city.
Have you 'been there, done that'? Let us know what you thought!