The Journey To France: Cultural Shocks, Artistic Passion, And Budget-Friendly Education

The Journey To France: Cultural Shocks, Artistic Passion, And Budget-Friendly Education

From India to France: a journey of cultural shocks, budget-friendly education, and artistic allure. Language barriers challenged but kind locals eased transition. Rouen offers vibrant life, NEOMA Business School hosts networking events. Homesickness, food struggles, and housing hurdles tackled with resilience.

Pragya SanchetiUpdated: Sunday, April 28, 2024, 06:53 PM IST
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Pragya Sancheti |

Initially, there were a lot of cultural shocks during my journey from India to France. I was a beginner in French and learning the language has been quite challenging. Upon arrival, I faced language as the primary cultural shock, but people were kind; if they knew English, they would converse in it, understanding the language barrier.

Why France?

I chose France for its budget-friendly education system and rich artistic heritage. Opting for a two-year course granting two degrees was financially sensible compared to other countries. Moreover, as a passionate artist, France has a lot of museums and historical significance that appealed to me.

I've been residing in Rouen, an hour away from Paris by train. The vibe here has allowed me to observe people and engage in various activities, including museum visits. Additionally, my school, NEOMA Business School, organises numerous networking events and parties that I attend to expand my connections. Making new friends is crucial in France, as surviving alone is not an option.

Upon arriving in France, I expected a comprehensive international curriculum but found a strong focus on local business practices. 

France offers many opportunities, though securing employment without fluency in French remains challenging. Nevertheless, I know we will all get the job we waited for one day! 

Dealing with homesickness and challenges

Homesickness is common among international students, regardless of their country of origin. I miss my family here. Still, I am coping with the situation, thanks to video calls.

As for food, Indian meals are scarce in France. As a vegetarian, it’s challenging for me to get the taste of familiar food.

Finding accommodation was also challenging, leading to three relocations in the last eight months. However, the French government assists students through CAF, whereby you get an amount from the rent you pay for residence, depending on your records.

Managing expenses

My living expenses amount to approximately €700–800 per month, including rent, groceries and miscellaneous expenses. Managing finances involves part-time work, such as working in restaurants or freelancing. They helped me a lot. I worked as a freelance content manager at an art gallery for two months. Additionally, the government organises free groceries for students on weekends, which helps a lot in reducing monthly expenses.

The author is pursuing a Master in Management (MIM) at NEOMA Business School in France

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