France, You Can’t Get Rid of Me That Easy!

You know how I moved to France for a year to learn some French before sallying forth to greener pastures? Yea, well, I can’t say I’m very good at the sallying part. It’s been a year and I’m still in France.

Yup, I decided I kinda like it here so there’s no getting rid of me just yet! But since I’m a New Zealand citizen, staying in Europe is a little tricky. Compromises needed to be made. The main one being that I’m now on a student visa, yes you heard right, after graduating almost four years ago, I’ve gone back to uni. Oops!

I’ve started studying French full-time at the Université Jean Jaurès (or le mirail for those more familiar with the university’s occitane name). This involves three full days a week of classes as well as homework and tests. I should be fluent in no time! I’ve even become friends with a Hungarian girl with next to no English so I’m on a strict diet of French (something last year was sorely lacking).

And I reckoned that, since I was given this second chance, I should do the uni thing properly this time. I can’t say my old uni self was much of a joiner. I made two real pals over three years (as opposed to those useless plastic ones), joined the film club for about 15% of my student life and spent the rest of my time watching strange movies on various couches. But not this time, oh no! The new and improved student me is grabbing the bull by the horns… or something not quite so dangerous… the cat by the whiskers? Aww, poor thing.

Anyway, for €12.50 (per year) I’ve joined the rock climbing club, I also take part in a local indoor hockey club, give voluntary English conversation classes, attend a youth group, and even go out to student events on the weekends. All while working part time to keep myself off the streets. I barely recognize myself!

So that’s where I’m at now: studying, working, and sticking around for a little longer. I’ll try to post some updates on how the French uni system is. But I’ll tell you one thing for free: It’s soooo cheap! Like ridiculously cheap! €12.50 for a year’s worth of rock climbing? Try €380 for a year’s worth of full-time classes.

Oh, and did I mention hot meals at the canteen for €2.50? Hello student living, I might never leave!


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