"My experience of a lifetime"
It is Impossible for me to convey the extent of gratitude I have for the French Embassy in Pretoria for its support during my studies at the Pantheon Sorbonne University, Paris 1. It is a privilege and to have been part of such an efficient system that has afforded me the opportunity to further my academic studies at an international level. It is clear that scholarship programs such as this offer incredible opportunities for mutual learning, exchange and strengthening of the bilateral relationships between South Africa and France.
2011 - 2012
I certainly relished my first year in France and more particularly the Parisian life style. The city of lights is quite simply magnificent. In September 2011, I began my Masters 1 in Economics at the Pantheon Sorbonne. The experience was demanding yet extremely rewarding. Outside of the classroom however with so much to take in, it seemed that there was just never enough time to experience all there was on offer. I was also exceptionally fortunate to reside at the Cite Universitaire during this period. This was a truly international student hub allowing for a multitude of inter-cultural exchanges and providing an essential support system for all of its residents.
2012 - 2013
In September 2012 I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto a professional Masters 2 program specializing in International Commerce also at the Pantheon Sorbonne. As part of any professional course in France one is required to complete an internship with the aim of preparing students for the French work environment. This is Ideal for those like myself looking to gain practical work experience abroad.
The French experience and particularly the Parisian one is truly the experience of a lifetime. Coming from South Africa in particular there was certainly much to absorb. The French culture, language and culinary specialties are completely unique. I would like to conclude with a quote I wanted to share with those who are undecided about embarking on such a journey:
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast” – Ernest Hemmingway.