Charlotte's Year Abroad Preparation

Charlotte's Year Abroad Preparation Eurostar by Mike Knell

This article was written by Charlotte Evans, published on 6th July 2011 and has been read 22505 times.

Charlotte Evans is about to set off on her year abroad in Lyon and Córdoba. Here, she gives us an account of how her year abroad preparation is going...
Well hello there. I’m Charlotte, I’m clumsy, excitable and a coffee addict but the reason I’m really here is because I’m  a student of French and Hispanic studies who is gearing up to go on her year abroad this September. I’m off to Lyon and Córdoba to study abroad for about 6 months in each country.

My whole French application is done and dusted and I’ve had my letter of acceptance and all that jazz. All I’m waiting to hear about now is my accommodation. I’ve applied for the CROUS accommodation which is the French equivalent of halls, but it’s more of a national system rather than a uni specific one, as in England. Admittedly, I’ve mostly only heard bad things about them, but I think it very much depends on what type of room you get etc, as  it’s a bit pot luck really. I’ve decided to go for it though, just to take the stress out of arriving abroad to live there for the first time. It would be amazing to arrive there and just have housing sorted. However, I may rethink this for Spain after I’ve experienced the delights of what CROUS has to offer.

My next step is booking my Eurostar tickets as, even though I’m not going to Paris, it is going to make life a lot easier. Plane tickets may seem cheaper at first but after you think of the baggage you’re going to want to take, it starts to become ridiculously expensive, whereas Eurostar don’t charge you at all for luggage and you can take two HUGE suitcases AND your handbag! I am intending to pack fairly sensibly and am hoping I won’t need two enormous suitcases but we shall see. It feels very strange thinking about booking a one-way ticket but this is really going to be the final and most definite step to the start of my Year Abroad. At the moment I’m a tangled mixture of huge excitement, some apprehension and a smidge of desperation to quickly grab hold of everything England has to offer. I’ve been zooming round London seeing friends and also frequenting the theatre. I am going to miss London and its culture so much but can’t wait to discover what Lyon and Córdoba have in store for me. After I book my tickets sometime this week, my next step will be writing a huge what-to-pack list...Doing the actual packing…Then saying a final goodbye to all my friends and family scattered across the country…Then it will be time to leave. I will update you again either just before I’m about to leave or when I have finally arrived in France.

To all those considering applying for a year abroad, I’d say it has been a relatively pain-free experience and the troubles of which you will already be used to if you’ve applied for uni etc in the first place. I suppose I have been helped a lot by the fact that obviously everybody on my course has had to apply for it, so therefore I have had a lot of people to confer with and all the staff in my department pretty much knew what was going on. You will probably encounter a lot of people who have no idea what’s going on and on many occasions during the application process,  I’ve just had to go “Uhh…..argh…ok, I’m sure it’ll all work out eventually”. There have been many questions to which nobody seems to know the answer, but then all you lucky people have discovered which should be able to help you greatly in your hour of need! If in doubt, I’d say go for it, I haven’t even arrived abroad yet and already I can see how it’s going to change my life. I’ve spoken to so many people recently who have finished uni who say they wish they’d had an opportunity like this when they were younger, who’ve all advised me to grab it with both hands and go out there and enjoy myself. What’s a little paperwork and some effort in order to be able to live abroad for A WHOLE YEAR? So there we are, 2 months until lift off, see you there!

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