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Studies > France > Toulouse > Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales > Review by anonymous 
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Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales (UT1)

103 reviews
4.01 / 5 based on 103 reviews
Useful  |  0
anonymous
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Business Studies, Undergraduate, Independent
Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales
5.0/5
Languages
Language of instruction: French
Was learning French a key decision factor?
Yes, I wanted to improve my French
How much did you improve your French?
My level before: Basic phrases
My level after: No problems in any areas (including slang)
Language difficulties
Social
Educational
Administrative / Institutional
Overall
Personal comments
In a way, learning French in France is easy - you have no other choice! That said, don't expect to be fluent in one semester, because that's just not going to happen unless you had a really good basis before you left. In my case, it took 3 months (including a 4-week intensive French course) before I understood everything that was being said, and almost a year before I felt truly comfortable talking. And even now, after a total of 4 years in France, I still retain that charming Norwegian accent ;-) So don't expect miracles, either.
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anonymous
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Business Studies, Undergraduate, Independent
Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales
5.0/5
Expenses
Main source of funding:
Government assistance
Other sources of funding:
none
Work opportunities:
I didn't want/need to work
Personal spending habits
Norway is very expensive, so living in France was a breeze in comparison. Also, the French have a lot of students discounts (e.g. airlines, SNCF, cinema, hairdresser's,...) which makes it pretty affordable to study there.
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Telephone:
was the same price as at home.
Housing, Overall, Food, Nightlife, Travel:
was less expensive than at home.
Accessibility of student needs
Second-hand text books
Second-hand household items
Computers / Internet
Administrative
Money from home
Personal comments
People hang up fliers around university looking for flatmates or selling scooters, books, laptops,... Have a look around, you never know where you might find a bargain! Also, try the CRIJ (Centre régional d'information de jeunesse) where you'll find all sorts of useful information.
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Useful  |  3
anonymous
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Business Studies, Undergraduate, Independent
Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales
3.8/5
Academic
Course recommendations
Be aware that in France, at least in public universities like this one, the teaching methods are based on students taking notes in class and then learning them by heart, only to regurgitate as much as they remember for exams... Over the course of my 3-year bachelor, I only bought a handful of books, and these weren't even required reading but only books that I bought on my own initiative. This means that it's exceedingly cheap to study here, but also that you (a) can't skip any classes (or you won't have anything to study for exams!) and (b) if you didn't understand things during class, you have no books to consult... On a more positive note, UT1 has a university library that was completely refurbished in 2002 or so, so it's pretty up to date and has a decently sized collection. Therefore, you can usually get by simply by borrowing books, saving you a lot of money. And if you do end up buying books, then you'll be happy to note that books in France are exceedingly cheap compared to just about any other Western society I can think of. This only goes for French books, though!
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My academic experiences
Quality of courses
Variety of courses
Access to resources
Interaction with teachers
Interaction with international students
Interaction with local students
Personal comments
Every class has a final exam that counts for 95 to 100% of your final grade, so make sure you're not having a bad day during exams, or your grades will suffer regardless of your efforts throughout the semester! Personally I also got fed up with having to learn everything by heart and not having any books to deepen my knowledge in (you're basically at the complete mercy of your teachers as regards what you learn etc. Hence the personal opinion of the teacher can have a big impact on what you end up knowing about a particular topic!) Also, since France can be pretty elitist, there is a huge "power distance" between professors and students. Hence, the only chance you have to ask individual questions to your teacher is directly after a lecture, and even then you shouldn't expect much help... Because of this, working in groups with friends becomes more important than ever.
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My opinion of the university assessment
Exams at end of course
Exams throughout the course
Essays and/or projects at the end of course
Essays and/or projects throughout the course
Overall
Useful  |  2
anonymous
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Business Studies, Undergraduate, Independent
Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales
4.7/5
Overall
I wish I had known...
The school system is based entirely on learning by heart, e.g. if you're like me and you like to make your own critical analysis, this might not be the university (or country!) for you.
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In my opinion:
I loved it but I'm not sure everybody would.
Important factors in my choice
(1) Unimportant – (4) Very important
Academic reasons
3
Culture
4
Costs
2
Activities
2
Campus life
1
Party / people
3
Weather / location
4
Personal recommendation
The university is among the best public universities in France because of its strong analytical/math focus. That said, it's still very much based on learning by heart in a number of courses, which can get annoying if you are used to engaging in critical thinking of your own.
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During my experience abroad, I ...
(1) Never – (4) A lot
Became familiar with another culture
4
Traveled
4
Improved language skills
4
Met people from other countries
4
Became more independent
4
Partied a lot
4
Experienced a change in life
4
Advanced my studies & career
4
Final comments
Toulouse is a beautiful city with very warm, friendly people - i.e. not at all like the arrogant, cold Parisans! The climate is nice and warm, and the location is absolutely perfect: Toulouse is situated at a cross section between the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Pyrenees, giving you access to everything you could possibly dream of!
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Useful  |  0
anonymous
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Business Studies, Undergraduate, Independent
Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales
3.8/5
Student life
Describe host city:
Students equally interact with the local and student community
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Travel: Takes place mostly outside the university/student environment
Activities, Nightlife: Takes place both within and outside of the university/student environment
Personal social experience
Activities
Nightlife
Travel
Overall
Personal comments
Walk around in the centre (Place du Capitole, Place St Georges), find a nice café and enjoy a pastis in the sun! Or try one of the bars located near the river, La Garonne.
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Useful  |  1
anonymous
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Business Studies, Undergraduate, Independent
Université Toulouse 1 Sciences Sociales
3.8/5
Housing
Type of housing: Apartment/House
Arranged by: Host university
If returning, I would choose: Apartment/House
Why?
I shared an apartment with friends - it was an inexpensive and fun experience that I'd recommend to anyone! Toulouse is not overly difficult as house hunting goes, so you shouldn't have any major problems.
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Personal assessment
Cost
Facilities
Location
Cleanliness
Space
Personal comments
French housing agencies require you to have someone guarantee for your apartment ("la caution"), and this should preferably be someone living in France, which can create problems for foreigners. We solved the problem by having our parents guarantee "la caution" to the Norwegian consulate, which then guaranteed for us at the housing agency. Very bureaucratic! When I first came to Toulouse though, I didn't have this problem as the housing was arranged through the university, meaning that they made an exception for us and accepted a statement from our parents in Norway.
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