How to begin to describe my year in Lyon? Lyon has my heart, I fell in love within weeks of arriving in the city, and I’ve never been able to forget the place since.
I was twenty years old and it was the first time I had been asked to adapt to another culture, and live in a country far from my comfortable home in Scotland. But if you embrace it’s challenging administration and interesting student accommodation, Lyon will embrace you with open arms and it will become your city to love. There is constantly something to see or do in Lyon, whether it’s just grabbing your veloV and taking in the beautiful sights surrounding it’s two rivers, or discovering some of it’s underground techno/electro nightlife. The first time I visited one of its famous ‘Bouchons’ my meal was left mostly untouched after discovering that an ‘andouilette’ is far from your traditional British sausage, but by the end of my stay there I was proudly introducing visitors to ‘quenelles’ and all of the other gastronomic delights on offer.
As for university life at Jean Moulin, well there’s a reason that I’m talking about that after discussing the city itself. Studying law in French at a French university is not one of the easiest things I have taken on so far. I was shocked and horrified when I discovered that I would have to sit through three hour lectures where the teacher would simply talk at the fastest pace possible, unaided by any lecture slides or back up online incase you happened to miss a word (or all words). If I’m honest, the first semesters content whooshed over my head as if I hadn’t been sitting in those classes at all. Consequently, upon boarding the plane on January the second to sit six examinations it’s safe to say I felt slightly sick to the stomach, not solely due to too much festive indulgence. But after scraping through, my French improved dramatically and by the end of the second semester I was even enjoying some elements of my studies!
All in all I can honestly say that my Erasmus year in Lyon was the best, most life changing, character building year of my life and most importantly I left it with friends for life from all around the world. We called ourselves ‘faire le java’ and thats what we did, and no time will ever be as unknown and exciting as all the discoveries about myself, other people and places I made that year. I am now living in Sydney with a girl I met in Lyon from my own university city who I would never have known otherwise. We came here to stay with two girls from the ‘faire le java’ group having promised them in Lyon that we would jet off straight to Australia as soon as we finished our studies back home. Being in Lyon for an Erasmus year helps to spark ideas and plans for the future that you would never have thought possible had you stayed at home, and that’s why the city is so magical.