This week, two University of Limerick students will be awarded prizes from the French Embassy for the highest results at a French university while on Erasmus. Second prize winner, Rachel McCourt studied at Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand.
I was baffled to hear I was getting the award to be honest! But of course I’m very grateful, it’s always nice to have your efforts recognised. My time on Erasmus was probably the best year of my life so far, without trying to sound dramatic. I couldn’t have met better people over in France, who came from all corners of the world. It was a year full of opportunity, new friends, new experiences and a load of fun! I’d go back a year and do it all again in a heartbeat.
This is the Gaelic football team I joined in Clermont-Ferrand – the Clermont Gaels. It was taken on the day of our final tournament in June, in Clermont. I prolonged my Erasmus in Clermont and stayed the full year, joining the team for my second semester. It was the best decision ever! – I met loads of amazing French people, improved my French, travelled to other French cities for tournaments and even learned a bit of Gaelic football, which I’d actually never played at home!
This picture was taken on top of the puy-de-Dome, a volcano situated just on the outskirts of Clermont-Ferrand, in the ring of volcanoes which surrounds the city. I visited it with a group of Erasmus friends in first semester.
This is myself and my best friend from my year abroad, who is Sardinian. It was taken when a group of us spent the evening in a hilltop park in the city called Montjuzet, where there are beautiful views over the city and the surrounding volcanoes.
Rachel is a 4th year Applied Languages student at UL who spent her Erasmus placement in Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand for the academic year 2015/16.