Bachelor of Languages
Exchange @ L'Université de Toulouse Le-Mirail, Toulouse, France
"Arriving here 5 September, we have spent the last two weeks organising our new lives, including applying for our cartes de sejour, buying a car and placing two out of three children in schools.
We are living about 45 minutes drive from the university which may seem far to Townsvillites, but I have lived and worked in Sydney, so it’s not so bad. We decided to live here for two reasons. Firstly, it was extremely difficult to find suitable accommodation before we left Australia. We managed to locate this place on a website for holiday rentals and as such it is fully furnished down to the teaspoons and towels. Because we are taking a long lease we have negotiated a lower rental. It is a gite attached to a farmhouse owned by an English couple who were here for the first week but have now gone back to London until Christmas.
Whilst it is in a beautiful location, spacious, has 5 acres for the children to explore and has been recently fitted out with most conveniences, it is lacking in a few areas. Unfortunately, there is no phone nor internet and there are plumbing issues. I am now on good terms with M. Charouleau, the local plumber. We are within ten minutes drive of easily a dozen little villages and two larger centres: Pamiers to the north-east and Foix to the south-east. It is less than an hour’s drive to Andorra and the Alps, for those who like to ski (this was the second reason for us choosing to live Ã la campagne).
I went up to Toulouse to attend to the second stage of my enrolment yesterday. More forms to complete and an appointment made for Monday afternoon. I will be sitting an exam on 4 October to assess my level of French at which time I will be able to choose subjects (the third stage of enrolment) and finally know my timetable. I bumped into Yousef whilst there, who has managed to obtain accommodation on campus.
I’m going to join the children now who are out the back picking blackberries."