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The international student exchange period at Aix-Marseille University - A memorable experience for a student from the University of Economics and Business - VNU (UEB)

Credit exchange programs at international universities have always been a highlight for students of the University of Economics and Business - Vietnam National University (UEB). Trần Thị Thanh Huyền, a second-year student of UEB in the Bachelor of Business Administration program accredited by St. Francis University, USA, had a memorable journey at Aix-Marseille University, France, during a recent exchange program.

"Hello everyone, I'm Huyền, a second-year student in the Bachelor of Business Administration program accredited by St. Francis University. I was fortunate to participate in the international student exchange program at Aix-Marseille University organized by UEB. Reflecting back, the time seems to have flown by, and I would like to share my experiences and memories from the 5 months I spent there.

Overcoming Initial Challenges

Being the only student from UEB in this year's exchange program with Aix-Marseille University and participating in UEB Exchange for the first time, I encountered some difficulties with visa procedures and university enrollment. Despite these initial worries, I managed to overcome them with the support of faculty, experienced seniors, and peers. This not only gave me a wealth of experience but also boosted my confidence and independence. Though I flew alone, I never felt lonely thanks to my friends and family who bid me farewell at the airport.

My family and friends see me off before departure

Arrival in Aix-en-Provence

Upon landing, I was warmly welcomed by a Vietnamese member of the Vietnamese Student Association at Aix Marseille, who guided me to my accommodation. The members of the student association were very helpful throughout my academic journey. Aix-en-Provence is a peaceful and charming city, clean with ample amenities, and known for its ancient architecture. It's often referred to as the “Vietnamese Street” by the Vietnamese living in France due to its numerous Vietnamese restaurants, which made me feel closer to home.

The peaceful Aix-en-Provence through my camera

Studying at Aix-Marseille University

My first impression of the university was its beautiful and extensive campus, spread across Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, with separate buildings for each faculty. The facilities were excellent.

Aix-Marseille University Campus

The lecturers were friendly, allowing us time to get acquainted and introduce ourselves. Despite the national preference for the French language, the courses were conducted in English. They were not only academically enriching but also provided insights into French culture, economics, and society. The exams, though challenging, were interesting and involved oral responses to various scenarios.

Some lessons in Aix-Marseille University

Additionally, the university welcomed us with a tour of a famous and historic museum in Marseille. I made friends from all over the world, which made my exchange even more meaningful and memorable. We worked together on group projects, presentations, and supported each other during exam preparations. We also cooked together, went to movies, dined out, and visited museums and exhibitions. These activities not only improved my English communication skills but also introduced me to other languages and cultures.

 Museum tour organized by Aix-Marseille University
Group projects with other students

Fortunately, Aix-Marseille University arranged for my accommodation at the Crous dormitory, which was convenient and safe, with all necessary amenities.

My room and the kitchen in Crous dormitory

New Experiences and Friendships

Besides studying, I had the opportunity to explore cities like Paris, Lyon, and Marseille, experiencing their historic landmarks and ancient architecture. I also traveled to Switzerland, Italy, and the Vatican City within Rome, Italy.

My trip to other countries

French cuisine, known for its croissants, macaroons, baguettes, and Italian pizzas and pasta, was a remarkable experience. Though some dishes were not to my Asian taste, I valued the opportunity to explore global cuisines.

Some dishes I try in France

In addition to cultural and culinary experiences, I made new international friends and received valuable advice and memories from Vietnamese students at Aix-Marseille University. These friendships are what I cherish and miss the most.

Participating in the UEB Exchange program was one of the best and most correct decisions of my life. It allowed me to try new things, make new friends, visit places I'd dreamed of, and experience education and culture previously unfamiliar to me. These invaluable experiences are encapsulated in one exchange semester, which I consider priceless. Witnessing my own growth through these experiences, I feel very fortunate and grateful for having studied at the University of Economics and Business - VNU (UEB), and for the fantastic opportunity it provided. If you are interested, I encourage you to explore this journey, as it surely won't disappoint!"

Click here to see the news in Vietnamese.

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