Tag: Universite de Perpignan

Welcome to our Erasmus Students!

Not all the French and Francophone exchange students who come to Stirling from our network of partners take modules run by the French at Stirling team but we’re always really pleased to welcome them to Stirling and will be inviting them along to a range of events over the course of the semester.

This year, at last count, we have 24 exchange students coming from 11 different French Universities, business schools and grandes écoles with whom we have long-standing partnerships: the Universités de Limoges, Aix-Marseille, Clermont Auvergne, Lorraine and Perpignan, the IUT de Sceaux (Paris Sud), Sciences Po, the Ecoles de Management of Strasbourg and Normandie, ESSEC in the outskirts of Paris and the Université Catholique de l’Ouest. We’re looking forward to getting to know these students over the course of their time at Stirling and, this year, we’re particularly pleased to be giving some of them a chance to led informal conversation sessions with our Stirling-based students.

Who knows? We may even be able to convince a few of them to write blog posts about their time in Scotland…

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New Semester Just Around the Corner…

In just under a fortnight, our new semester kicks off and we’re looking forward to welcoming back our continuing students and to welcoming to Stirling our new first year intake (currently enjoying our online Bridging Materials to help them prepare…) and all those visiting from our wide range of exchange partners from Strasbourg to Perpignan.

Following on from the success of our schools’ events in June and the fantastic presentations given by finalists and graduates, we’re continuing to develop our focus on the employability of Languages graduates. To help embed this even more firmly within our degree programmes, we’re launching a new Languages and Employability module that our students (of French and/or Spanish) will take throughout Year 3.

The module offers sessions on presentation skills (in English and French), decoding job adverts, producing a tailored CV and cover letter in French, and careers/employer workshops, as well as generic skills in personality profiling, and use of social media. It’ll be taught by colleagues from French and Spanish with input from Stirling’s Careers Development Centre with classes and workshops in Stirling in the Autumn semester and online content delivered during the Spring Semester Abroad.

We’re hoping that this new module will give our students a chance to build on the skills they’ve already gained – not least via the English Language Assistantships that many of them undertake between Year 2 and Year 3 – and that it’ll encourage them further to think about career opportunities for Languages graduates, whether in the UK or beyond.

More news of the semester ahead to follow…

Erasmus Sun and Snow

Following on from Julian’s account of life at Sciences Po last Spring, another Erasmus-related post here, this time from Rebecca Wilson, currently in her final semester studying French and Spanish, and who spent Spring 2015 on Study Abroad in Perpignan:

‘During my third year at Stirling I was fortunate enough to undertake a semester abroad as part of my studies. I was sent to Perpignan, a small city in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. With Perpignan being only two hours away from the ski resorts and a mere fifteen minute bus ride away from the beach I couldn’t wait to get to Perpignan and I was even slightly excited about trying to speak French and study at the University of Perpignan via Domitia.

2016 Wilson Perpignan Ski March

On arrival in Perpignan, I was immersed immediately into the language and to be honest I was shocked at how the majority of people there didn’t speak or understand English. To say the first few weeks of life in Perpignan were hard would be an understatement, aside from getting lost in a city which on arrival I had thought humongous but in reality was rather small, to sitting in classes surrounded by French students who neither understood me nor I them, this was the definition of a learning experience! Every day after university both me and my flatmate Megan would return home feeling rather sorry for ourselves faced with the difficulty of being constantly surrounded by French. However, it did get easier and about six weeks in, we began to enjoy this experience of studying in France. Although the university we were at was very different to the University of Stirling, it was good in different respects. For example, we had more classes which might sound daunting but for someone wanting to learn another language, having more face time with speakers of said language is actually really useful. The campus itself obviously was nothing like our campus here in Stirling, the buildings were very run down and there was no student union. It only had one café, however in comparison to Stirling you could get coffee for 50 cents which is still something I miss about the university.

Aside from the university, Perpignan itself is a different kind of city. It’s pretty small, and there really isn’t any shopping on offer aside from a Galerie Lafayette and a small shopping centre outside the city which we would visit every week for the sole purpose of getting a McDonalds. However, what Perpignan lacks in shops it makes up for in its cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs. The nightlife in Perpignan is pretty interesting, there are so many bars and the clubs are a lot better than the clubs here, especially in the lead up to the summer months when Canet Plage reopens as it is full of open air clubs and beach bars.

2016 Wilson Perpignan March

Living in Perpignan I met a good mix of people, of course like every other ERASMUS student I quickly fell into a group with all the other foreign students in Perpignan and we would all hang out together before nights out or at weekends, though we did have a few French students in the group too which helped mix things up as we would have the option to speak both French and English! During the winter months I spent my weekends in the mountains, in the ski resorts of Les Angles and Font Romeu. The proximity of Perpignan to the Pyrenees was my main reason I chose it and it only cost 1€ to get a bus from Perpignan to the ski resort! When I think back to Perpignan this is basically what I miss, yes you can ski in Scotland but it’s not skiing in the sun in the Pyrenees. Closer to the summer, my friends and I would spend our weekends at the beach or on weekends away in other cities such as Montpellier or Barcelona.

To say I miss this experience would be an understatement, I’m not saying it was all smooth sailing, it was certainly an experience and a lot happened which I was not prepared for. However, if I was given the option to go back and do it all again, I would. I miss seeing the peak of Canigou every day and having all that freedom to just travel and explore. I learnt just as much in university in France as I did on my adventures, given the amount of times we would get lost. Living in France taught me so much and it is thanks to Perpignan and ERASMUS I got to have this fantastic experience living and studying abroad.’

Thanks to Rebecca for sending this article and for the pictures!

 

 

Erasmus Impressions of Stirling

As well as an international group of Stirling-based students, we also have a wide range of Study Abroad partnerships which mean, firstly, that the vast majority of our students spend their Semester 6 on Study Abroad and, secondly, that we also welcome students from many of our partner institutions to Stirling, either for a semester or, in many cases, for a full academic year. These partnerships are with a wide range of institutions across France (from Aix-Marseille to Tours via Sciences-Po, Perpignan, EMS in Strasbourg, ESSEC in Cergy, Nancy, Limoges, Clermont-Ferrand and Caen), Switzerland (Geneva), Quebec (Laval) and Morocco (Rabat) and we add new partnerships to our network as often as possible.

Not all students visiting from our partner institutions necessarily end up taking classes within French at Stirling – they often take advantage of modules in areas specifically related to aspects of Scottish life, culture and history – but this semester, we happen to have a relatively large group of Erasmus students taking our final semester core language module. We thought it’d be good to get their perspective on life at Stirling so thanks to Audrey Aliphat for the following:

“My name is Audrey, I’m French and come from Limoges. I study English back home at the Université de Limoges and, thanks to my university, I’ve been able to take part in the Erasmus programme. A year ago, I chose to study abroad for a semester so I looked at all the destinations on offer. I wanted to discover a new country in the UK so I chose to go to Scotland. I went to Stirling’s website to learn more about it and I was fascinated by the environment around the university and all the courses that were available. My choice was approved and I started to plan my travel to Stirling.

2016 Aliphat campus loch Mar

When I left France it was hard because it was the first time that I was leaving for so long and so far away from home. But when I arrived in Scotland I had a (pleasant) surprise: the people were smiling, kind and welcoming. The landscape around is magnificent with those mountains around. When I arrived in Stirling it was snowing and it was really beautiful.

2016 Aliphat snowy Scotland Mar

Classes in this big university started in January and I discovered a brand new way to study. Fewer hours than back home but many resources to work with, a library and tutors and even online resources via the University website. There is a lot of work to do but teachers and tutors are always here to help, and especially for international students which is really comforting. In the university itself, we can also find everything we need, from groceries to books. A lot of associations and a big sports complex are available on campus too.

I’m staying off campus in the Union Street residence and at first I thought it could be annoying to not be on campus. But ultimately I’m five minutes from the city centre and close to shops and the train station. In my flat we are all international students and I’m lucky to have them because I learn about their countries but also as a non-native English speaker I learn new things like vocabulary or traditions.

I’ve been here since January and I haven’t done half of what the university offers. But I really think that this is a perfect place to study abroad for foreign students.”

We hope Audrey continues to enjoy her semester with us and we look forward to welcoming more students from our partner institutions over the years ahead.