University Admin in France

So far organising university has been an absolute nightmare. Never before have I been so grateful for the UK system, which normally involves one form, and potentially a couple of e-mails between you and your tutor if there is a timetable clash.


I chose all of my modules before I arrived in France only to realise once I actually got here that they hadn’t been registered, so I had to redo the process. I then faced a room of folders, and stressed out Erasmus students, where I had to find each individual module and check that it didn’t clash with any of my other choices, thereby putting together my own timetable. Added to this was the issue that the most popular courses had been filled earlier in the day, and so I couldn’t do many of my original choices. Luckily, I now have a grace period of two weeks to try out my classes and register any changes I would like to make. That being said, I’ll probably just stick it out as I’m terrified of undertaking any more paperwork and negotiations.


ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System, which is the system whereby EU students can obtain the appropriate number of credits whilst studying abroad. Each semester I have to obtain 30 ECTS. When I was navigating the aforementioned room of folders I was generally confused as to the number of credits each course was worth, so I just signed up for what I thought was an appropriate amount, and decided to research the courses properly afterwards. This stupid logic has left me with a timetable of around 40 credits so I need to sit down and decide what I’m actually turning up to (before tomorrow morning).


No one seemed to know how each course was assessed and I’ve been advised to ask my lecturers when I get to class. I am just praying that I haven’t got ten modules worth of exams after christmas.

On the bright side, all Erasmus students are in the same position, and everyone else seems to be as confused by the system as I am. I had also been warned about the differences between UK and French university systems by my home university, so this hasn’t come as too much of a shock. At the moment the language barrier is adding to the lack of transparency, so I’m hoping that as I become more confident with speaking French I will begin to find these situations easier to navigate.


7 thoughts on “University Admin in France”

  1. The joys of being an Erasmus student! But I have to admit, it’s comforting reading blog posts about others in similar situations, it’s like together we’ll get through this :D. I hope everything goes well!

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