Why France? Why Grenoble?
The way I've written these pages is by giving as much useful information as I can think of; and hopefully you'll get an idea of my experience. As I mentioned before, I did French and Spanish A-levels and having Mexican and African cousins, lots of Spanish friends and two French Grandmothers; so languages sort of run in the family for me. I first set my sights on going to Spain, having only known of Grenoble from Championship Manager 2001/2 (this is a classic football game for those who don’t know). However, I had a friend who was there for the year 2009-10 and when he mentioned the skiing possibilities; well Madrid just didn’t exist anymore!
From an academic point of view, all French Universities have a very good reputation, especially for maths, so I knew it would be challenging experience that would benefit me for my last year at Warwick and again would look good for future reference. Someone told me that people who go on Erasmus do between 5-10% better in their final year than in their first and second years due to the exposure to different teaching and thinking methods and just generally having that extra year’s experience of university maths. There is more on the maths at UJF a little later.
Grenoble is a town surrounded by three mountain ranges in the Alps and has a student population of over 60,000 students (16,000 foreign students) and is, from my unbiased point of view, the best place to take an Erasmus year. In fact 10% of the city's population are students so there's a great atmosphere around the place and always something to do. Its called the "Capital of the Alpes" and its really close to the French borders with Italy, Switzerland and the Mediterranean. Just have a search on Wiki, but it’s the endless skiing and mountains activites that most people come for. Obviously theres a lot more things than just skiing as I mention later on. Otherwise searching on google can help you stumble across interesting things: www.etu.grenoble-univ.fr