What was your educational experience before ISIT?
I graduated with an undergraduate honours degree in French and German from the University of Aberdeen in July 2014.
How did you hear about ISIT?
I attended a careers talk given by an EU translator. She talked about the EMT network, which I then researched. ISIT is one of a number of French universities in this network.
Why did you choose to study in France and more specifically at ISIT?
I wanted to come to France in order to further improve my level of French. I chose ISIT for two reasons: firstly, because of its reputation and the excellent standard of education that it offers; and secondly, because of the possibility to study with English as my first language. Very few of the other French universities in the EMT network give foreign students the opportunity to study in their native language. I decided in favour of the CIT programme because of its mix of translation and business/ communication courses.
What career do you want to pursue?
When I first arrived at ISIT, I was sure that I wanted to be a translator. However, after more than a semester here, I am not as certain any longer, as I have really enjoyed the communication courses. I am still intent on pursuing a career in translation, but I am more open to other paths.
What advice would you give future exchange students?
I would recommend that you do plenty of research in advance of coming to Paris. Don’t hesitate to contact the university as staff are always more than happy to answer emails and give yourself enough time to organise the more practical aspects of your exchange, for example finding somewhere to live.
How does the educational environment here differ from your country’s?
The number of contact hours is greater than at my home university. While I usually had about 10 hours of class a week, I now have nearer 20 hours a week. The lectures themselves are also longer: many of them last 3 hours, which contrasts with my home university, where classes were generally only 1 or 2 hours long.
What struck you when you arrived in France?
Paris is such a large city, especially when you come from a village! You’ll never tire of things to do in your free time. It always amazes me that there are still so many places to visit. Parisians aren’t nearly as unfriendly as stereotypes suggest – I’ve found almost everyone to be friendly.