Sophie Thomas

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas Studying abroad in Barcelona

BSc Economics 2015

United Kingdom

Which University did you study abroad? What was it like?

I studied at ESC Pau in the south of France. This business school was small like Pau itself but there always were numerous events taking place so it was never boring.  

How did it compare to Leeds?

It is smaller town and institution than Leeds which gave it a more intimate atmosphere and made it particularly easy to get know lots of students there.

Why did you choose to study abroad? 

I wanted to discover what it was like to live in a foreign country and go beyond the tourist experience.  

How did you find the host city as a place to live? 

It was very pretty, clean and always had lots of different events taking place throughout the year, including rally racing, numerous different food markets and a Christmas animal farm.  

How did you find accommodation? Did you share with other students? 

I shared a private flat with another Leeds student. The quality of the flat was a lot better than any you could get in Leeds for the same price and there was even a CAF allowance which reduced the rent by a quarter making it cheaper than any student house or halls I have ever lived in.

How did the experience help to develop your language skills? 

I had done A level French but by the time I arrived in France I remembered very little of it. The experience in particular developed my business vocabulary and colloquial terms. By the end of the year I could easily converse in French. 

How did the cost of living compare to Leeds?

It was much cheaper on whole. Food and alcohol were cheaper in the shops and the restaurants. Transport is probably a bit more expensive but everybody car shares which is very cheap!

What were the most memorable parts of your year abroad?

The weekends away with the school, I went to Barcelona, Madrid, to a campsite and on a ski weekend. All of which cost me about 80 euros each for transport and accommodation and they were just really great weekends! Also the fancy dress parties and themed nights were a lot of fun.

Would you recommend it to someone else?

100 per cent but you need to know some French to start you off.

Sum up your experience in one sentence

The best year of my life so far.

Are there any other experiences or achievements from your time at University that you would like to tell us about?

Studying abroad gave me the experience needed to apply for numerous positions back at Leeds. I am now an Erasmus+ Ambassador for the British Council, Treasurer for the International Erasmus Society and work as an International Intern for Leeds University Business School.

Find out more about the Study Year Abroad option.

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