Carmen Ximena Pacheco Diaz
Nov 30, 2022

From Mexico to France

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2 min read


My name is Ximena. I’m about to finish my semester as an exchange student.

One of my purposes in life is to share and encourage people to follow their dreams, that’s why I love being here writing this and never doubted about participating.

When I first considered to have an experience as a foreign student, I would never imagined how it could look like.

In life and in general, I prefer not to have any expectations. The only thing that was for sure was that when people come back to their country after having an experience overseas they are not the same anymore.

Choosing “the best” option:

My home university in Mexico is Tecnológico de Monterrey. My bachelor’s studies are focused on connecting people as well as their products and services. It’s called: International business (the best out there, I’m sure about that).

I would have love to say that I checked every single opportunity my university had worked on, but the truth is that I just opened google maps and saw where was the most centric place to travel around Europe. After thinking about what could be the best for me, I decided that Lille had everything I could asked for an exchange experience.

Traveling during the semester:

What I adore about Lille is that it was a bit of everything. They have events like “Braderie de Lille” and an incredible Christmas market starting in November. Lille has always something new to do. You will never get bored here. Every time I walked by Rue Solferino at night or make a Picnic at “La Citadelle” I feel like I’m just living my best life here.

On the other hand, if what you really want to do is travel, Lille is in a very strategic geographic location. You can take any bus to Paris, or be in 30 minutes by train in Belgium or spend the day at Disneyland at the same time as you use the student’s discounts by ISIC.

I would always recommend to:

  • Check in advance what is needed to get your passport / student visa
  • Use platforms like livin-france to check out different types of accommodations (preferably, don’t let this step at the end).
  • Read every condition, follow the online procedures and look for a place that is not faraway from your daily activities

I live in an apartment with 3 more roomies. (It’s unbelievable how in a very short period of time, they become your family).

  • Don’t ever hesitate to ask someone else about their experience (It help’s a lot).
  • Watch YouTube video vlogs about the cities you are interested in (Btw, you can follow mine here)

And last but not least,

  • Enjoy, the process is also part of the entire experience.

Seriously, don’t think twice if you want to be an exchange student. It will help you grow a lot in every professional and personal way.

If you know someone that is about to take a decision to travel or do a semester abroad, sent them this article.

Thank you for being here.

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