By Jennifer Ward
- At the beginning of 2012, I was thinking about the impending end of my undergraduate degree in English literature and Education Studies at Bath Spa University. I already knew that I wasn’t ready to leave education behind and move into the world of work, so I started looking into Postgraduate study. Without too much searching I came across a course that involved spending the spring term studying in Paris, and as an added benefit the university was very close to my home town. Without a second thought, but after three or four drafts of a personal statement, I applied to study for a Masters in Comparative Literature at The University of Kent (Paris option).
The first term was based in Canterbury. I chose my modules, the core module and an exciting option about Literature and Medicine, and quickly got back into studying. Over the term I met all the other students going to Paris; what is so unique about Kent at Paris is that there are many different courses, from History to Media to Comparative Literature, so there was quite a range of us. I also got involved in some extra-curricular activities at Kent, such as completing The Global Skills Award. One of the best parts about this term was meeting my soon-to-be housemates; within a few months of knowing each other we were looking for an apartment together in Paris.
January came around and it was time to move, the only downside being completing the essays from the previous term just as we moved to Paris. It seems strange now just how quickly we fitted in, even my minimal knowledge of the language didn’t seem like too big an obstacle. Every week we had around four hours of class in a very central location called Reid Hall, leaving plenty of time to explore. As we were such a small group (there were 16 of us altogether), we were able to choose a module from any subject we liked on top of our course module; I decided to do History. A personal touch was that all modules were about Paris or France in some way, in my Literature module we studied texts about Paris or by someone French, my history module was about Anglo French relations between 1500 and 1700.
We decided to live a little way out of Paris, although still only a 40 minute metro ride into the centre. One of the benefits of this was space and our apartment overlooked the Seine. The University of Kent organised many interesting trips, such as to the Rodin Museum and to see some works by Francis Bacon at the Centre Pompidou. On top of this, my housemates and I regularly trawled many museums and sights, an easy thing to do as many are free to under 26 year olds if from an EU country. Another activity regularly partaken in – eating, from falafel in the Marais to three course extravaganza meals at a steal of a price at Chartier (a must visit if you ever go to Paris).
The University of Kent made it possible to stay in Paris for the summer whilst writing your dissertation, something which many of my course mates did, however, I decided to stay an extra three weeks after the term ended before packing my bags and moving home. This would be the only negative of studying abroad, having to leave when your time is up.
The whole experience was fantastic. Paris is a student friendly, exciting and educational city, one which I highly recommend visiting, or, if the opportunity arises, as a place to study. The University of Kent made this possible, and helped make my final year of education a truly great one.
More information on study in the European Union.