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Skema Business School, France

Upon arriving in Lille, France I was filled with anticipation and didn’t really know what to expect. Having spent the month prior to my arrival in England and Spain, I was used to being away from home and more than ready to settle into my new life in Lille. Arriving at my accommodation was a great feeling as it was a difficult process to find something in the first place. This was my first real interaction with the French culture and how it differed from my own. For example, when applying for housing you must put a minimum of 12 months as the duration of your stay if you want your application to be considered! Thankfully my host university offered advice on this and when I arrived, checking into my accommodation was a quick and easy process.

My first weekend I was lucky to experience the Braderie festival which sees the majority of the city streets closed down, transformed into a flea market and brings up to 2 million visitors to the city. As I arrived knowing no one else in the city, there was definitely no shortage of company and provided a great insight to the culture of the city. What did strike me more than I thought it would was what a strange feeling it is living in a city where you don’t understand most of what is being said around you. This has only increased my desire to take advantage of my time here to learn more of the French language.

Seeing Skema Business School for the first time was like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. After all the studying, research and work I had finally made it! My first day was an orientation with all the other international students coming for the semester. We received multiple lectures about life in Lille as well as a tour of the campus – which is much smaller than what I am used to at UTS! The campus is located above a shopping centre in the heart of the Lille so it is an excellent base for exploring and understanding the city. As Skema is an international business school it has a culture all its own, with students from 125 countries all coming together.

Although it has only been a week, I am already falling in love with the city of Lille. I am looking forward to starting my classes and meeting more people that are on the same adventure as me!

Christeena Smyth
Master of Project Management
Skema Business School

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit:

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