Highlights from a student's testimonial within AMU - OSU Pytheas
"I'm an Italian student at the University of Milan-Bicocca. I lived in Marseille from the end of August 2016 until mid-January 2017.
I chose Marseille because I wanted to go to France and, among the universities currently having an agreement with the University of Milan-Bicocca, AMU was the one with the most suitable offer for my studies and the largest choice of courses to choose from. If you want to go to Erasmus, don't forget to find out about the training offer of the university where you want to study!
Before you leave I recommend you to look on Facebook for contacts in the city where you will go. I have registered on the ESN Marseille page and on the Master's page, so if I needed I could send messages to ask for information about the city and the university before my arrival.
During my stay I lived in a student residence and had my small studio apartment overlooking the Canebière river, opposite the girafes. It was the first time I lived alone and I enjoyed the experience.
Every day, in the early morning, the main street under my window was cleaned of the dirt accumulated during the day: I was happy that the street was clean when I went out, but I confess I didn't like the noise that woke me up.
I really liked the area where I lived: the metro station was very close, I could walk to the Vieux Port to buy fish on Saturday morning or go to the Panier or to the Alcazar (the big library) to study. The light and colours of Marseille are beautiful and the weather is so pleasant!
I would advise you not to wait until the last moment to look for accommodation and to find out about the city to find the best solution for you!
The integration week at AMU (at the end of August) was very interesting and fun. I enjoyed the French courses and the outings in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. These moments were also an opportunity to get to know the other Erasmus students I went out with during my stay, so don't miss it.
The International Relations Department was one of the reference points. The people in charge of mobility have always been kind and helpful, so if you need anything (even if you have a personal problem), don't hesitate to contact them.
When I started the classes, I also met my French classmates and I'm really thankful for all the help they gave me. They were very patient and there for me, even though at the beginning I was not yet familiar with the French language and it was very hard for me. I started to study French a year before I left and I fell in love with the language: I was very happy with the progress I made during my time in Marseille! Taking the courses in French and doing the four hours a week language course (which is organized by the university) was really helpful.
I did various Master's courses at AMU and they were all very informative. They allowed me to experience a different teaching method from the one in my country and therefore to go outside my comfort zone. The teachers were very understanding with me: I advise you not to be afraid to ask a question! They were a bit surprised when I asked if I could record their lesson (in case I have to listen to it again to understand what I didn't understand during the lesson), but don't hesitate to do so if you find it useful.
It hasn't been easy at all, as I said at the beginning, it has even been very hard. Preparing for the exams was very stressful too, but I was there to study so it had to be done. Don't worry and never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. In any case, effort and consistency while taking the courses was essential (I copied all the notes I took in class and wrote them down in French without fail).
I also did a volunteer day at a cat shelter with one of my French teachers and was happy to give a little help for this cause!
Ah and don't forget the Calanques! They are a jewel of the Marseille coast and a paradise if you like climbing!
Below you can find some pictures I took during my Erasmus stay 😊"
Francesca, Master SET 2 - Sciences de l'Environnement Terrestre - Pytheas Institute