On September 4th, 2017, fourth-year Mount BA (Communication) student Julie Hatfield set off for Lille, France where she’s spending the fall semester studying at Université Catholique de Lille as part of the Mount’s Study Abroad program. Julie’s promised to keep us updated on her adventures. Here’s her first check-in.
In the days leading up to leaving little old Halifax, I was so nervous I couldn’t even think about the exchange. To the point where people would ask if I was excited and I would say “I’m still not sure if I’m leaving.” I said this half because I didn’t want to jinx anything and also because my visa hadn’t arrived yet (heads up to anyone trying to go on exchange, apply for your visa early…it will save you from a great deal of stress). I received some great advice before leaving (thank you Amy Brae in the Mount’s International Education Centre!) that has helped me immensely in the first week and a half abroad:
1. Let things go.
2. Do your research
3. Be open!
4. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s wrong
And my favourite piece of advice…
WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS DO, people from France know how to have a good time, so I’m trying to keep up. Buttttttttt, I also make sure to take care of myself, study and do all the things I’m supposed to. Don’t worry Mom.
So if you’re contemplating going on exchange, abroad in general, or maybe you already are on exchange…”let your freak flag fly” as my mother would say and enjoy every moment and experience. Because realistically, you don’t just go on exchange abroad to study.