Elfried Z
Oct 31, 2022

My graduate studies in Lyon

Burkina Faso
a picture of a red ball on a stick
5 min read

Hello! My name is Elfried and I’m 17. I am from Burkina Faso and I did my 3 years of high school in Guinea. So I graduated from Albert Camus High School in Conakry.

I decided to join the EM Lyon Business School: I already wanted to join a business school from the college and I knew that Lyon was a student city. So I thought it would be a good idea to join this school. It is well placed and some aspects of the program have attracted me: the international side especially because I would like to have an international career. I lived in 3 countries and traveled a lot during my school curriculum, so I wanted to continue this momentum. So, the exchanges planned at the end of the 3rd year and the internships throughout the curriculum have pleased me very much.

The visa process being long, I arrived late in Lyon (the day before the return) with my father. I took a 6-hour Air France flight to Paris. Then after a stopover just as long at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport as the flight I had just taken, I took another Air France flight of just over an hour to arrive in Lyon. On the first flight, I did not sleep because I was no longer used to long flights so I mostly slept on the next.

I was recommended the Livinfrance platform, which allowed me to take stock of what I needed to do when I arrived, such as health insurance or student visa validation. So I wasn’t completely lost.

On the first day

When I arrived in Lyon, we went directly to the apartment that my father and I had booked to drop off our luggage and we went to the Westfield La Part-Dieu shopping centre, which has 4 levels.

We didn’t have French mobile chips yet so no 4G. So we’ve had a little bit of difficulty to arrive at our destination, but fortunately we have. We quickly went around and bought a few things for the weather (I didn’t have a lot of fall/winter clothes) and a chip for me. I still had to wait a few days for the 4g to work.

Then we came back quite late, around 8 pm. We only had time for dinner and then went to bed.

That day, I took over 15,000 steps, which was a first for me and one that was not used to walking.

On the second day

The next day, the first day of school, I still didn’t have a 4G, so I took a picture of the route proposed by Google Maps when I was still at the apartment (where I had internet). I still got lost, but it didn’t last long! Indeed, I am usually quite shy, but I quickly understood that my shyness would not help me to get by. I then asked a passerby for directions on the path to take and I was able to reach my destination. It took me almost an hour to get here! The bus was packed and emptied when we arrived at the Pontet Crases stop (the one near my school). I realized then that there were many students who followed the same route as me. It was a long day, but I met a lot of different people from all over: Lyon, Paris, Togo, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Cambodia, China… It was quite a long day as we finished around 5pm. When I got home, we went back to the mall with my dad to buy some food. So I didn't get a lot of sleep again since we returned around 9 pm.

On the third day

The next day, I remembered the route so it was easier to get to the destination. We were assigned to groups for workshops. September 21 was a rally to discover the city. After more than 20 minutes of searching for our group members, we finally left for our first destination: the Museum of Fine Arts.

We took some photos of the surroundings, had a coffee on the terrace and then went to our 2nd destination: the museum of puppetry arts in Old Lyon!

Then we went to see the fresco of the Lyonnais which is a fresco with many historical figures painted like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Tony Garnier, Abbé Pierre, Paul Bocuse and Edouard Herriot.

Our last destination was the Traboules de la Croix-Rousse and its famous marches. That day too, I walked a lot and almost lost myself. I was not walking at the same pace as my classmates, so I lost sight of them… Fortunately, they found me a few moments later! So it was a day in the skin of a tourist. I was able to kill two birds with one stone: visit the city and complete our work.

That day, we had a conference until 8:00, so I was, again, going home late. I went to the bus stop like every other night while waiting for the latter to arrive. That’s when the problems started.

The first bus that went by was full, so it didn’t stop. The second, approximately 10/20 minutes later, was marked as “end of service”. At that time, I was wondering what choices I had made in my life to get to that moment. In a final burst of hope, I turn to the digital chart that shows the times to wait for the next buses when I see written next to the bus I was supposed to take: «No bus scheduled within the hour».

Without the Internet and not being able to call my father who had no French number, I was left to my own devices. I didn’t get the idea of getting closer to school to connect to the Internet because I was under stress. I asked people at another stop what route to take and took another bus. Miraculously, on the bus, I met a friend with whom I had befriended the same day, a few hours before! She then sent me a detailed itinerary and we went half the way together. My father, who had called me in the meantime to find out why I had not yet returned, was waiting for me in front of our street. I was relieved to be back, almost an hour and a half after the conference was over.

The next day, we had an art seminar during which each group had to present an artistic creation.

I unfortunately could not participate to the end because I had to visit an apartment (which is also the one from where I write this article!).

That’s how my first 3 days in Lyon went: they were eventful, but rewarding! Today, I’ve been living in Lyon for 1 month and I still have a lot to discover!

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Feel free to like it and share it. I will also try to answer your questions as a comment.

Thank you and see you soon!

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