Founded in 1991, University of Versailles is a collegiate university, compared to other French universities focusing on one discipline. The school has separate colleges for each department, for instance, the colleges of Liberal Arts, Administration, Science, Medicine and so on. In addition, as it is divided into several campuses, the college of Liberal Arts, where I studied, is situated in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near the Versailles Palace. I can surely say that everything in the University of Versailles is well organized, full of exciting things. The only one negative element of University of Versailles is the location, which is in Zone 5 of Paris. As to the college dormitory, all students who go study at a French university can not only apply for “residence universitaire de CROUS”, but also receive benefit from CAF. As a student, we receive each month certain amount of a housing allowance monthly, which is such a great relief!
I was stayed at a dormitory in Saint-Cloud, a great and safe village and received about more than 150 euros each month. College life was also splendid. At the beginning of the semester, the school organizes a get-together for exchange students. There, we had opportunities to meet various people from different countries. It is a real asset to have foreign friends who keep in touch even after studies. Meanwhile, it can be a bit tough to catch up with classes, because we have to hand in assignments, take test and make presentations as French students do.
At the same time, there is nothing to worry about! All the professors are great, so they care about foreign students. For me, it was really hard because I had to read about seven to nine French books per semester, but my French improved thanks to these works.
Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines has all kinds of things that one can imagine. On campus, there is a huge university library, a cafeteria where students can have a meal at only three to four euros including “entree+plat+dessert,” which is much cheaper than outside of the campus and other facilities for shopping and eating. Moreover, if students have some problems regarding our exchange students’ program, students can easily visit the Foreign Students Office and get some help they need right away. Students can also make inquiries for all we want to know from friendly employees.
There is also plenty of excitement regarding daily life. As the university is located in the zone 5 of Paris, or in the zone 3 like my case, it is easy to access anywhere in Paris. Therefore, I could have a lot of opportunities to visit various places in Paris that I have always dreamed of. Furthermore, as an advantage of Europe, it is also easy to have great ‘vacances’ in other countries or other cities during short holidays.
During one year of life in France, I have experienced so many wonderful moments that I would never change with anything else, so I strongly recommend you to seize the opportunity and visit new places that you have never visited before!
*Cheon Ka-hyeon (French, 4) studied at University of Versailles as an exchange students.