Salut, Bonjour et bonne journée!

You might remember being in high school, doing your HSC exams and the small eternities that stretch between the teacher calling “one minute left!” and the timer going off. That’s what exchange feels like; a weird mix of stress and excitement, and having no time and too much time all at once. Or maybe that’s just me, and I ascribe too much sentimentalism to the HSC exams that led me here to Nantes, France. Continue reading “Salut, Bonjour et bonne journée!”

Exchange in Reims, France

The thing about France is that it throws you into the deep end. In Amsterdam they speak perfect English, in Berlin all university students are close to fluent English speakers, in Dublin there is no language barrier at all but in France… in France they can say “yes.” While a lot of the students in this country speak English amongst the older generations English speaking is certainly not so common. I know what you’re thinking, “Olivia…what did you expect?” and to answer you: I certainly did not expect to spontaneously combust after trying to pay my rent for the 1st month entirely in French, but that just about happened.
Continue reading “Exchange in Reims, France”

7 Days Until Nantes – France

One week to go and two random emotional breakdown later I now recognise the fact that I am leaving for exchange. When I started planning my exchange a year ago, the day I leave seemed to be a 100 years away. Now the day is approaching, now I actually have to pack my bags and now I actually have to open up that French dictionary I purchased months ago! It feels liberating but equally terrifying to be moving out from the familiarity of home. I will definitely miss enjoying a home-cooked food with my inseparable family. I can’t stress how hard this is for me emotionally, physically and financially. Fortunately I am a thrill seeker and chaser of dreams and just thinking about the culture, the people, the food and the history I am about to experience makes all my hard work worth it. Continue reading “7 Days Until Nantes – France”


Unfortunately I haven’t started my exchange just yet, nevertheless, there’s still things I’ve taken notice of being here for almost a week.

Paris is a really wonderful city, and if you can ignore the all too common dog turd on the ground (picking up your dog’s poop doesn’t seem to be thing here), it really does look like what’s shown in the movies.   I’ve been to Paris before in 2009, and yet I was still in awe when I arrived, realising that I’m going to be living here for the next four months. Continue reading “In the city of LURRVVVEEEEE – PARIS”

Reims – France

Bonjour from Reims

After 36 hours in transit, I eventually arrived at my final destination. Although I will be studying at the Paris School of Business, I will be living with my girlfriend in Reims (which is a city in the Champagne Region, 45 mins from Paris). During the semester, I will commute between cities via the TGV, which can reach 300KM per hour. Continue reading “Reims – France”

Ici, c’est Paris

It is best to expect the worst in exchange; because in the end you will never be disappointed!

If you are reading this and any other blogs you know that doing an exchange is something you will do!

Paris is a magical city. There is something about the people that gets you. The city is full of character and something is always happening every day and night! Paris-Dauphine hosts monthly bar nights where you could mingle with the French and other exchange students.


Not only are classes are fun and enjoyable, so are making friends as there are classes in English and for exchange students.

These students come from all other the world and are in the same situation. There will be French bureaucracy which is unavoidable. However, it is typical of the French and every student bears the same experience (At least you could use that as an icebreaker!).


Paris is a great location for travelling to other places in Europe. It has three airports (which allows you to easily get anywhere in Europe). Bus trips to Belgium, England and other French cities are extremely cheap. Skyscanner and Comparabus are essential to find the best time and prices. One time I had bought a return bus ticket to Lyon for 13 euros and Lille for 2 euros!

Australians have a great reputation amongst Europeans; especially French people! They perceive Australia to be exotic country with plenty of beaches and wildlife. In fact, there is a small town near Amiens called Villers-Bretonneux where many things Australian were present thanks to the diggers’ effort in the First World War. Flags, pictures of Australian wildlife and even a few street names were Australian.

Villers-Bretonneux Town Hall.

It has been almost four months since arriving in Europe on January. Time has gone by so fast, yet there’s still many things to see and experience.


Gemini Sanaphay