Wednesday, Feb. 07, 2007, 22:38,

four things not to worry about

Thought I'd do a quick update on things that worried me this time last year and now don't.

1. Language support. This is not "in addition to", this counts for credits. You do 60 ECTS a year here, which is equivalent to 120 credits at UEA. The Francais Langue Etrangere course counts as 3, and there is one each semester, so 6 in total. In other words a tenth of your credits are in French. You're set for this, so it's French at the right level. Very difficult to do badly in.

2. Timetable load. Lectures start at 8. This is a bit yucky. However, the rumours you hear about French universities having 40 hours of class a week and then expecting you to do all your reading around, coursework etc on top of that are *not* true! Don't panic! This semester I have 24,5 hours of class. I am not a hermit (as I had expected to be!). I find the time to go out, go swimming, mess around on the internet (now I'm finally connected), read books, do what I want.

3. My room. Has a kitchen corner with a fridge, two hotplates, a sink, two cupboards, and an extractor fan. Also has a bathroom, with a sink, a toilet, a bath and a shower over the bath. And a shower curtain. It's nice. Sometimes it's even clean (we do our own cleaning). There is a radiator and it doesn't get too cold. There is a bed, and you won't need a mattress protector because the mattress already has a plastic cover. I also have a wardrobe, a small cupboard with the electricity meter in it (we pay for our own electricity; heating and water are included), and three shelves over my desk. The chair is not luxurious, but it's a chair!

4. Getting around. The tram goes everywhere, and where the tram doesn't go, the buses do. Irene has a tram map, or you can find it online here. When you arrive, the bus from the airport will drop you at the Gares. If you're in the Condillac residence, as I was, you take the B line from there to Condillac UniversitÚs. I now live near Chavant on the A line, and the geography department (F7 on the map) is easily accessible from La Bruyere or Arlequin, also on the A line, or the 26 bus, which goes to campus as well. The C line goes from Chavant to campus, and the A goes into town in the other direction to the geography department. Tickets are cheap - 1.30 for a single journey, or 23.50 for a month card. You can also rent a bike from the bike shop on campus; it's 20 euros a month. I haven't tried this yet as I'm a bit of a scaredy cat about cycling (I fall off!) but Grenoble is amazingly flat and has quite a lot of cycle paths. Or you could buy a bike.

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- - Monday, Jul. 30, 2007
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