Resources for foreign exchange students in Toulouse

My life in Toulouse is different from Dickinson in many ways, but I was stunned by the resources for foreign students. At my university, the Institute for Political Studies (IEP), I am in the process of completing the CEP- the Certificate of Political Studies. With this program, the French courses- those of language but also of culture- are impeccable! The professors understand that the content, and the methods even more so, are different than the norm for their students. In fact, they are very nice and understanding. Also, at the library, you can find the Center for Language Resources for scholarly materials and help.

MCCROCKLIN article 1 photo

Entrance to the Institut des Etudes Politiques (IEP)

The Dickinson Center is full of tools as well, such as computers with Antidote software, a program for correcting documents in French. This program is incredibly practical, because it tells the writer the reason behind the corrections. Also, the Dickinson Center recruits French students to facilitate a tutoring program. It comes in handy when it is time for final exams and papers! Dickinson also provides university visits with students that currently attend each institution. Personally, I was much more comfortable the first day of classes, because I knew the layout of the IEP and where my classrooms were. Even better, if I can’t understand the professor and there are holes in my notes, I can ask my tour guide for help- she kept her notes from her first and second years!

 
If you want to go out at night, there are a lot of “conversation clubs” to improve your comprehension of the language and your accent. One of these clubs, the Cactus Bar which is very close to my university, is really great! Last week, I met a guy from Belgium, a girl from New Zealand, and even a guy from the Czech Republic. Everybody shows up with a strong desire to assimilate into French culture.

 
It’s true, the Toulouse program can be a bit difficult at first. But for me, all the tools at the Dickinson Center, at my university, and in the city itself have really helped me to avoid cultural misunderstandings.

Grace McCrocklin

 

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