Written by Maja Kušćer
When the faculty staff notified me that my application to study in Lille was successful, I was confused. I wanted this so much that when my dream finally came true, I couldn’t believe it. At the same moment, all my emotions mixed: happiness, because of my success; excitement, because of the new challenges; sadness, because I will be separated from my family; and fear, because I will go alone to France.
After all my emotions settled down, I finally realised that I made it! I reached my main objective: I became an international student.
When I arrived in Lille, I realised that, from now on, nothing would be the same. As much as I tried to prepare myself, as good as possible, for my new student life before I came in France when I reached my new studying destination, I still faced new challenges and opportunities.
Adapting to a new way of life
I had to adapt to a different lifestyle and I met many international students. France is a multicultural country and you can find here people of different nationalities. The fun thing is that you feel like it is a new start for you. You are alone here and you have to make new friends on your own.
In Croatia, the situation is totally opposite, and I am glad that I had the opportunity to embrace other cultures in France.
Dealing with the French administration
My biggest nightmare was the French bureaucracy. Everything was so complicated!
Opening a bank account, making an insurance contract, even faculty administration was very difficult. Good thing is that now when I deal with Croatian administration, I don’t find it so complicated as before.
Traveling whenever you want
When you are somewhere abroad, everything is new for you. I never visited Western Europe before, so I finally visited places that I was dreaming about. The great thing was that my friends from Lille were also excited about travelling, and, together we visited many new destinations.
Appreciating your country more
After a year abroad, I started to appreciate my country more. Before I thought that Croatia is far behind in development, compared to France, and now I see that some things function better in my homeland, especially banks that offer more innovative services.
Also, the choice in supermarkets is wider.
Every experience is worth it. Some days may be good, some days may be difficult, but you’ll never know how to be an international student is, if you don’t try it. We, as Student Ambassadors, motivate the students to make this leap in their life, but it is your decision if you want to follow our steps and make a change in your life.