Lara Karaca, bachelor student at the Faculty of Economics, explains her experience at Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne

A view of Paris
A view of Paris

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15 Aprile 2014

Hi Lara, please tell us something about yourself.

"Hello. I am an Economics student, third year of Bachelor. During the 2013-14 fall semester I studied at Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne."

Why you did you decide to go on Erasmus?

"I would like not to miss out on anything that the student life has to offer; the Erasmus program allows to travel, to study in a different environment and to get acquainted with new cultures and new people. I am glad I decided to do it, and I highly recommend this experience to anyone else."

Why did you choose to go to Paris and to Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne?

"Truth to be told, at first I wanted to go to an university in the United Kingdom; the problem was that at the time there were no exchanges programs possible with that area (they opened a spot about a week before the end of the program admission period); therefore, I decided to go to France because I wanted to improve my French skills. I chose Paris 1, after some changes of mind, for two main reasons: it is one of the oldest and most acknowledged schools in Europe, and it is the "academic home" of many people who left a mark in the history of mankind."

Could you tell us which are the main differences that you have found between the French education system and the Swiss one?

"The Sorbonne is a much bigger school than USI is, so from time to time it lacks in organization, which could be a bit overwhelming at the beginning. There are so many other students there, it is not possible to be an entity separated from the others. Often there is a general lack of support material for the lessons, and attendance is more advised then it is at USI. Difficulty wise, the classes I took were similar at the one offered at USI in the required study level, although they were a bit more theoretical."

What was the best thing about living in Paris?

"Paris is a city full of both multiculturalism and art, and often the two get intertwined. The constant inflow of tourists, the musicians in the metro, the marvellous buildings, the free access to almost all museums and a lot more make it a city peculiar and magical. Quoting Ernest Hemingway: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

What do you remember the most about this experience?

"The great friends I met there and the heavenly taste of a egg-cheese-mushrooms crêpe."

What would you say to the other USI students wishing to experience a semester abroad?

"Enjoy every tiny bit of it! The opportunity to participate to an exchange program is something that happens once in a lifetime; you will be able to meet amazing people from all around Europe/World and hopefully make some unforgettable memories. Good luck to you!"

Describe your experience in 3 keywords.

"Intense, fun, memorable."