Who am I? Jo, a 21 year old undergraduate in Environmental Sciences at UEA. Next academic year I will be studying at the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, in the Geographie department. Apparently I am the only student from UEA Env going to France this year.
Why this blog? Partly as a record for me of the Erasmus Experience, partly as a means of keeping in touch with family and friends while I'm over there, as I'm not sure how reliable my internet access will be, and even with broadband right in my room I'm not exactly brilliant at keeping in touch, and partly because I'm sure this time next year there will be students in my position thinking "help, what have I let myself in for, what am I supposed to be doing" - so I thought I'd keep a record as I go along so they can see what it's like.
I would imagine updates will be fairly sparse until I actually get there, but since I seem to be in the thick of preparing for it at the minute, it seemed like as good a time as any to start.
I just finished filling in all the forms in the green Socrates-Erasmus pack today (still not completely sure what Socrates is ...). I did them all in pencil first to make sure I'd done them right - which turned out to just involve a lot of erasing and no actual noticeable benefit. On the other hand, if I'd done them in ink, they probably would have turned out a lot worse. I had to choose my units already for next year - I don't actually understand half the unit titles, but never mind, I'm sure once I do the class I'll figure out what it's about. We apparently have to do 60 ECTS (an ECTS is a European Learning Credit ). I'm slightly worried, because I appear to have signed up for 13 different units - units are either worth 3 or 6 ECTS. Typical at UEA is 5 or 6 units a year. In fact, when I went to see Duncan (the Env Erasmus co-ordinator), he looked slightly worried too. This did not make me less worried. However, all I have to do is pass the year (funny, I told myself that all the way through the first year too!) (and technically I don't have to pass this year either, I just have to show that I put some effort in and made some progress - but I'd quite like to pass it really).
I also had to fill in a grant application form. It wants to know if I'll be doing a pre-sessional language course - yes, I hope I will be! I've been doing post A-level French this year, which has improved my confidence a lot (and hopefully also my language), but would like a bit more of a booster. Although apparently Grenoble does language support courses during the year. This is with the other 13 modules they expect us to do. Great. BUT on the grant form, there is a place for the dates of this course. We apparently don't get enrolled on the courses until about May (so I should stop worrying about them, says Duncan). The grant application form has to be in by the end of March. Ooh.