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    Hi all! I'm a student on a joint honours Law and French course which means that I need to study in France for a year with Erasmus next year and I was wondering if you could help me narrow my choices down?

    My options are, if it wasn't obvious enough from the title, Paris (Sciences Po & Paris Sud), Toulouse (Toulouse) and Marseille (Aix-Marseille).

    I've never been to France so have no idea what the country, let alone any of these specific cities would be like to live in so I don't know where to start apart from what I've heard:

    Apparently, neither Sciences Po nor Sud are great for Law and Paris is very expensive to live in. Saying that, I can see the attraction in living in one of the most important cities of Europe.

    Marseille is attractive because of it's Mediterranean climate and also that it seems like quite a big city. The only drawback from what I'm aware is the crime- this doesn't neccessarily put me off- I've lived in a "dangerous" city most of my life and know that reputations are not always lived up to

    I know literally nothing about Toulouse except for its aerospace industry but that doesn't mean I'm writing it off!
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    (Original post by scotland369)
    Hi all! I'm a student on a joint honours Law and French course which means that I need to study in France for a year with Erasmus next year and I was wondering if you could help me narrow my choices down?

    My options are, if it wasn't obvious enough from the title, Paris (Sciences Po & Paris Sud), Toulouse (Toulouse) and Marseille (Aix-Marseille).

    I've never been to France so have no idea what the country, let alone any of these specific cities would be like to live in so I don't know where to start apart from what I've heard:

    Apparently, neither Sciences Po nor Sud are great for Law and Paris is very expensive to live in. Saying that, I can see the attraction in living in one of the most important cities of Europe.

    Marseille is attractive because of it's Mediterranean climate and also that it seems like quite a big city. The only drawback from what I'm aware is the crime- this doesn't neccessarily put me off- I've lived in a "dangerous" city most of my life and know that reputations are not always lived up to

    I know literally nothing about Toulouse except for its aerospace industry but that doesn't mean I'm writing it off!
    Hi there! I'm glad that you have decided to go to France for a year abroad!

    Personally, I heard good things about Toulouse, so I think you might want to consider that as an option. I have also heard about the high crime rates in Marseille and I don't think it would be a good idea to go there unless you believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (if you really want to live close to the Mediterranean - I bet it's great!)

    Currently, I am doing my international exchange in Sciences Po and I must say that it is not bad. Like you said, it is not exactly the best French institution for law (in terms of Paris - that would go to Sorbonne or Assas), but it is located in the centre of Paris! It is true that Paris is an expensive city, but if you live frugally, things just work out fine!

    I don't know much about Paris-Sud 11, but I would assume that it is located in the suburbs, so you will be located pretty far away from Paris. This might be advantage, given that it is cheaper living away from Paris yet being only a stone's throw away from it.

    All in all, I think overall, Toulouse would be your best choice, since it is in southern France without the crime rates. However, if you really prefer the nice weather, then undoubtedly Marseille would be your best choice. For a nice lifestyle located in the heart of Paris, Sciences Po would be the ideal choice, and for a university located in the suburbs with close proximity to Paris, Paris-Sud 11 would be the one to go for.

    NB: I just found a list which ranks French universities for law. It's kind of outdated, dating back to 2007, but you can get a general gist of it (if you are concerned about the reputation of the university that you will be going to).

    Here's the link: http://www.devenir-avocat.fr/choisir-fac-avocat.php.

    Hope that helps!
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    I used to go to a place not far from Toulouse for summer holidays. It's a lovely place and I'd recommend going there. If you get the chance try to visit La Cité in Carcassonne


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    (Original post by zero_Gravity91)
    Hi there! I'm glad that you have decided to go to France for a year abroad!

    Personally, I heard good things about Toulouse, so I think you might want to consider that as an option. I have also heard about the high crime rates in Marseille and I don't think it would be a good idea to go there unless you believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (if you really want to live close to the Mediterranean - I bet it's great!)

    Currently, I am doing my international exchange in Sciences Po and I must say that it is not bad. Like you said, it is not exactly the best French institution for law (in terms of Paris - that would go to Sorbonne or Assas), but it is located in the centre of Paris! It is true that Paris is an expensive city, but if you live frugally, things just work out fine!

    I don't know much about Paris-Sud 11, but I would assume that it is located in the suburbs, so you will be located pretty far away from Paris. This might be advantage, given that it is cheaper living away from Paris yet being only a stone's throw away from it.

    All in all, I think overall, Toulouse would be your best choice, since it is in southern France without the crime rates. However, if you really prefer the nice weather, then undoubtedly Marseille would be your best choice. For a nice lifestyle located in the heart of Paris, Sciences Po would be the ideal choice, and for a university located in the suburbs with close proximity to Paris, Paris-Sud 11 would be the one to go for.

    NB: I just found a list which ranks French universities for law. It's kind of outdated, dating back to 2007, but you can get a general gist of it (if you are concerned about the reputation of the university that you will be going to).

    Here's the link: http://www.devenir-avocat.fr/choisir-fac-avocat.php.

    Hope that helps!
    Thanks for your response- it's really helpful! I'm definitely leaning towards Toulouse now, but that doesn't mean I'm abandoning Paris just yet. I know Sorbonne is supposed to be better but the Edinburgh Law School doesn't have a link with the University Since you're at Sciences Po, can I ask about what it's like compared to a UK University in terms of workload, social life, general student experience? Also, does the university make any allowances for students whose native language is not French?
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    (Original post by scotland369)
    Thanks for your response- it's really helpful! I'm definitely leaning towards Toulouse now, but that doesn't mean I'm abandoning Paris just yet. I know Sorbonne is supposed to be better but the Edinburgh Law School doesn't have a link with the University Since you're at Sciences Po, can I ask about what it's like compared to a UK University in terms of workload, social life, general student experience? Also, does the university make any allowances for students whose native language is not French?
    No problem - I'm glad to be of help!

    Hmm, I haven't been to a UK university before, so I can't really compare between the two. However, I've been to a university similar to the UK system, and I must say that the workload is not too heavy compared to what I have back home. Back in my home university, there were a lot of assignments and essays to hand in, so it is pretty much cumulative. In Sciences Po (at least for my program here, which is political science and history), they usually make you do an oral presentation, followed by an assignment (usually a mid-term or short paper) and a final exam (depends on the professor - most prefer to do it on the last class, while some just gives you a research paper to complete). Readings are mandatory here - they expect you to participate in class and would like you to engage in discussions and debates. Since you are in law, I assume that will be a major component of your final grade.

    As for social life, it really depends on how many courses you are taking. I'm currently taking 6 courses and so far I'm handling it pretty well. It is not that intensive, considering the level of depth of subject that they go into. Most of the classes that I'm taking are pretty general, so it is not too hard to follow nor too difficult for me. However, I have had some friends who have taken courses like economics and had a lot of problems understanding the concepts and theories taught in class (due to the fact that the professor doesn't explain too well; their accents don't help either). Despite being spread out from other students, as a commuter city, Paris offers a lot of things to do, and the night scene is good, so I'm sure you will have a great time if you do choose Sciences Po.

    General student experience - I'd say that it varies. I can tell you that the administration here is pretty bad compared to your university back in the UK, so be prepared to go through hell when you are choosing your courses. The ambiance here is welcoming, if you are going to the welcome programme, and I believe you will be hanging out with international students most of the time (since the students here are pretty cliquey and they tend to hang out among themselves). All in all, I made lots of friends here and I have been going out with friends quite a lot throughout the semester. It is a small institution, so it is pretty easy to bump into someone you know. Since it is located in the heart of Paris, you pretty much have access to a lot of tourist destinations, such as the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, and so on. Sciences Po also creates a lot of activities throughout the semester, so there will be a lot of opportunities for you to meet other people. If you like to attend conferences, events, and engage in student life, then Sciences Po has quite a lot to offer.

    With regards to your last question, the university do make allowances for those whose native language is not French. Note that a lot of exchange students who do come to Sciences Po only have a limited knowledge of French. Most of them do not have any knowledge of French at all. This should not be a concern for you at all - there are English courses offered at Sciences Po, albeit limited. This means you might have to choose courses in other disciplines or ones that you might have already taken back home or might not enjoy. At the same time, if you would like to improve your level of French, they offer language courses according to your level and it will be considered as a course credit (if you could transfer it back to your home university in Edinburgh).

    I hope this gives you a good description of Sciences Po. If you have any more questions, feel free to quote me.
 
 
 
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