Louvre Shobhan Smyrek

Arriving in France

Upload images of Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Milan, Friends and Annecy

Shobhan – Semester Exchange to Catholic University of Lyon, France

Semester 2, 2016

Eiffel Tower Shobhan SmyrekMy semester abroad is in France – Lyon, to be exact. Arriving to France was a very long (33 hour journey) but very exciting time. This is my first time in Europe. I am exhilarated to learn and live within the rich French culture. However, I am also excited to experience the cultures of other European countries – the food, the architecture and history. This excitement is driven by how easy and cheap it is to travel between countries. My time in Paris was a matter of seeing and admiring all of the notorious sites. Now I can say I have been to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and other amazing places. While in Paris I also tried some cultural dishes, such as the traditional cured meat and cheese board, and even a snail, which was surprisingly pleasant.

I travelled to Italy within my first week, visiting the beautiful Venice and Milan. I spent my time walking around each city and constantly indulging in gelato. During this time I stayed in hostels, which is something that I highly recommend because it is another great way to meet new people and even make friends with people from different parts of the world. As a shy person, putting myself in the hostel environment forced me to introduce myself to strangers and form friendships, which was very beneficial for my first week at my new university. While this travel before arriving in Lyon is not part of my studies, it is one of the amazing advantages of the study abroad program. The fact that you are able to travel to different cities and counties continuing to make new friends is the added bonus for choosing Europe to study in.Milan Shobhan Smyrek

I have spent nearly 3 weeks in Lyon and at the Catholic University of Lyon and my short time here has already been some of the best 3 weeks at university. Lyon is a very beautiful place with 2 large rivers running through the city. It is known as the student city of France – students from around France, other european countries and from all over the world come to study here. Therefore, Lyon is a very young city that provides students with many activities and social gatherings. Funnily enough there are actually two Australian themed venues in Lyon, a bar and boat, called Ayers Rock (listening to how people pronounce it has made me laugh a few times), which are two of the hot spots for students to go to. The importance of this student social scene is that we have the opportunity to meet more people, not only from our course but from all the universities in Lyon.

The Business School of the University (ESDES) endeavours to organise many activities that allow us to meet as many people as possible. So far, I have participated in the site-seeing tour around Lyon, where Friends Shobhan Smyrekwe were broken up in groups and had to explore Lyon to complete activities – really we just walked and talked. I have also been wine tasting in a charming little village North of Lyon called Oingt.

Making friends here has been so easy. I already know that I have formed friendships that will last a lifetime. In our short time together, a group of us hired some cars and travelled to Annecy for a day. Annecy is a town that I highly recommend people visiting if in Europe. This was a crazy but wonderful day. We had a slight car accident…ARGH!! We broke two alloys and burst the tyres literally within 2 minutes of leaving the hire place! Thank god we purchased insurance – a handy tip for anyone thinking of hiring a car. Despite our bumping start to the day we were finally on the road. Once we arrived in Annecy we were all breathtaken by its beauty. We hired a boat and went swimming in the lake, surrounded by picturesque mountains. This day will be a memory that I will never forget.

I look forward to making more wonderful memories in the future.