This week’s post comes from ACCENT’s newest London staff member, Assistant Programs Coordinator Jennifer Taylor. Jennifer, a graduate of Swansea University, studied abroad for ten months in Lyon, France, where she developed a strong appreciation for French history, culture, and life.
Having grown up in a small town in North Somerset, moving to a metropolitan city was a big change. But after childhood trips across the channel, I fell in love with France, its culture and customs, and so when the opportunity arose to study and live there for ten months as part of my degree, I jumped at the chance! In Lyon I could combine my major study of physical geography with my love of European history, social geographies, and French culture.
Before moving to Lyon, my only knowledge of the city was that their football team was decent and that it was near the alps, so I could try to learn how to ski (and fail miserably). Little did I know that this city was so rich in culture and history, and would soon become my favourite place.
Lyon has been an international hub for industry and culture in Europe since the Romans, but is often overshadowed by urban behemoths like Paris and Marseille. The ”old town” of the city (Vieux Lyon) is a UNESCO world heritage site, and has impeccably preserved traditional “Lyonnais” customs. I soon realized that you will not meet people who are more proud to be French than the Lyonnaises.
My experience of studying in Lyon was amazing; the university was in the heart of the city, and was situated in the historical and cultural hub, with plenty of museums, galleries and an opera house where you could while away the afternoons and evenings – when not studying, of course. It was also very close to the Swiss and Italian borders, so trips across Europe and skiing in the alps were hard to turn down! Academically, I took many classes in European history, and enjoyed learning about major historical events from other points of view. I also took French culture classes where we learnt in depth about the history and customs of the city.
The study abroad experience for me was incredible, and I would encourage people to experience new cultures in this way. I got to fully immerse myself in the culture and language of France and that of the Lyonnaises, and made life-long friends from all over the world along the way. ~Jennifer Taylor, ACCENT London
Did this post inspire you to study abroad? Use the ACCENT Program Finder to discover your next great adventure: http://accentintl.com/find-a-program/.