Joie de Vivre à la Champagne

Penthouse Girls' Exchange Journey in Troyes, France

Setting the Sails

After the short introduction post last time, we decided to write about something we´ve actually done during the journey. So, this is how our application process has been so far.. 🙂

After applying for exchange in Asio, we both got the first confirmation e-mail from the International Office of Groupe ESC Troyes. We received a document which included all the basic facts about the application process on their side, semester schedules as well as some preliminary accommodation and course info.

The first time we actually met, and got some useful info as well, was the pre-departure orientation help in Rajakatu in the beginning of October. We highly recommend this orientation (which is compulsory) since although all the info can be found in Elmo´s Student Intra, the things were clearer when an actual person explained them to you 🙂

The application process has been really simple, although we had heard some horror stories about it. We got loads of help from both JAMK´s and ESC´s International Offices, especially the contact person in France replied our e-mails fast, and gave us useful tips in several stages.  Another thing that made it so simple was the modern application platform which ESC provided us exchange students. All documents needed are added there in electronic form and the site is easy to access and to use, for us blondes as well 😀

platform

The documents and files we added to the platform:

  • Online application form (signed by all three parties)
  • Transcript of Records
  • Copies of passport, passport pictures and European Health card
  • Courses selection form
  • Accommodation selections (more info below 🙂 )
  • Arrival info and a French test
  • Birth certificate translated into French with official stamp, no more than 2 months before arrival ((NOTE! This had to be ordered from Helsinki Local Register Office (Maistraatti) since they do not have a French translator in Jyväskylä office))

Some traditional paperwork had to be done also, including the Learning Agreement, Grant Application and Kela´s documents. These papers required some signatures, which were rather easy to get.

Then there came the time to think how we would get to our destination, to Troyes. University advised us to first fly to Paris and then take a train from Paris to Troyes.  They also informed us that there would be a pick-up service from Troyes’ bus or rail station on certain dates, the 3rd and 4th of February.  We started to look for flights on 3rd of February to Paris. Soon we noticed that most of the flights’ depart-time was not until afternoon! And we would gladly have a morning flight, so we still had the whole day time to spend in Troyes.

There were two choices. Straight flight with Finnair from Helsinki to Paris, with one-way ticket costing more than 1000 euros or flight from Helsinki to Paris with one stop-over in Riga operated by AirBaltic. Latter alternative cost fewer than 100 euros per person and took just a bit longer in time wise than the straight flight. Guess which one we chose? Of course, the latter 😀

Next big challenge, essential one, was to find an apartment for us. Luckily again, university was very helpful! They had gathered together apartment alternatives from private market into our exchange intra website. In Troyes, school doesn’t provide any lodgement or there aren’t student accommodation houses, like KOAS in Jyväskylä. From student intra, we glanced trough different alternatives which varied a lot in terms of location or utilities. We had to choice three alternatives which we wanted to apply and getting the apartment was on a ’1st come – 1st served’ basis.

Luck was on our side, so we got the one we selected for our first opinion. Newly renovated penthouse with two bedrooms, combined kitchen and living room and a stylish bathroom is waiting for us! Our new home is located 200 meters from the university and under kilometre away from the city centre. Rent includes all the utilities, water, electricity and internet. So, easy choice for us!

penthouse2

(All pictures from the Student Platform of Groupe ESC Troyes)

Now that all the official part is done (still waiting for the birth certificate, though 😀 ) we still need to fix some pre-departure things, such as insurances, phone subscriptions, mail delivery and of course packing, yikes! 🙂

Bisous

– Lilli & Sofia –

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