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Exchange Ambassador - Lara B.

Profile for Lara on exchange in France - plain text to follow

Lara Belton

 

Exchange destination: Université Jean Moulin (Lyon 3) (Lyon, France)

Duration: Winter 2017

Program: French Studies

High school: One in Montreal, one in Burlington and one in Hamilton

One word to describe your exchange?
Unimaginable

What is the best thing that happened while you were on exchange?
Rediscovering my life goals and finding ways to pursue them. Going on exchange gives you the opportunity to see things through a different lens because it distances you from what you are accustomed to. Getting a new perspective on old things allowed me to reevaluate what I wanted to pursue as a future career.

What was the biggest cultural shock you experienced?
I had already been to Europe and didn’t feel any real culture shock going there; however, the biggest culture shock was the one that I got when I came back home: reverse culture shock.

Where was the coolest place you traveled to during your exchange?
Lisbon, during an unplanned trip to Portugal. This beautiful and lively city really caught me off guard, especially since I never planned on going there. Then, I found myself booking a trip to Porto later that semester because I couldn’t stay away!

What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you went on exchange?
No one can or will ever be able to explain what an unbelievable feeling it is to make it somewhere on your own and be able to explore and see so much of the world, all in such a short period of time.

Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that?
It wasn't a person, but rather a group of people, that slowly became my family away from home. They were a group of exchange students, and some French locals. We did everything together, including traveling, studying, extra-curricular activities, going out, and making dinners. We were all great friends and looked after one another. I still keep in contact with them and hope to see them again soon!

If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
Don't miss out on an opportunity that will unravel much more than you could ever imagine. It will show you things you never thought you’d see and teach you things about others and yourself that you never considered before. It is an amazing experience that you shouldn’t live without!

 

A sample of the classes taken and credits received:

  • Received French credits such as: 29-260, two 3rd year credits, and one 4th year credit

  • Took 1 History course and received a history credit for it