Caitlin studied International Business Management (with French), and was fortunate enough to get out on study abroad for a year before the Covid-19 pandemic. Read below about her experiences living and studying overseas.
If you are interested in completing a placement or study abroad year between Stage 2 and Stage 3, you can find out more in the Business School UG Stage 2 Community 2021-22 on Canvas, or contact the NUBS Student Experience team at email@example.com.
Choosing the location
My mobility experience was based at Toulouse Business School, situated in the sunny student city of Toulouse in the South of France. I was passionate about spending a year in France as part of my degree; it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I also knew that I wanted to spend my year abroad in Toulouse from before starting university; my A-Level French Teacher completed his degree there and spoke so highly of his experience that I was sold on Toulouse before I even got started.
TBS had its own Welcome Team made up of final year students that would organise trips, events, and nights out for incoming first year and international students. They were based in the centre of campus, and so it was easy to keep informed and get involved with all aspects of student life and meet lots of new people from across the globe. They also had a strong social media presence that we followed, which was useful to find out about different events and parties if we weren’t physically on campus. I joined a sports team that would train a couple of times a week, and that was really fun as I learnt a new sport (Gaelic football), was able to discover several leisure complexes across the city, and make new international and French friends.
As an incoming international student (who was studying French as part of an IBM degree), we studied compulsory exchange student modules during the year; these comprised of Français langue étrangère (focused at improving our level of French), and Culture française et pratiques d’entreprise. For the rest of our modules/classes, we were integrated into classes with final year French students at TBS.
During Semester 1 we all had to study a core track subject (Compétence Fonctionnelle), of which I chose Développement International, that was subdivided into two modules. We also had to choose a specialisation path to study, which lasted the entirety of the academic year, and I chose Digital Business. This was subdivided into seven modules throughout the year, and included lots of practical-based coursework such as renovating websites for existing companies, creating e-commerce websites, virtual reality applications, and managing online communities and social networks
Home away from home
What really made my study year abroad special was the people I got to share these experiences with. Toulouse is a home away from home for me now, in the same way that I would describe Newcastle. I couldn’t have asked for better people to spend my year abroad with than those I got to meet from all over the World. You will make friends for life, friends who you can visit in their home towns/countries after Erasmus ends, and they will have such a positive impact on your development as a person. I’m also learning Spanish outside of my degree now, and so would love to move and work in a Spanish-speaking country, too. Erasmus has inspired me to pursue opportunities outside of the UK, and I’m passionate to spend more time living abroad and gaining professional experience in a vast range of cultures.