Outgoing: Quentin at the University of Bayreuth, Germany
Quentin Yssartier is following a Bachelor degree in law and German. During his third year, he is spending 9 months at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) within the framework of the Erasmus+ program.
Why did you choose the University of Bayreuth, Germany?
During the first two years of my Bachelor program, I attended classes given by teachers from the University of Bayreuth and was thus able to obtain information directly from them. As a partner of the University of Bordeaux, various events are organized to promote the collaboration between the two universities and by participating in these events, I met incoming German students as well as previous outgoing Bordeaux students. In this way, I managed to find out all I needed to know about my choice of destination, especially in relation to specific issues related to my disability.
What are your expectations for this mobility experience?
I hope that my year in Germany will not only be an opportunity to broaden my legal knowledge, but also to progress in the German language. From an academic perspective, it’s great to discover different teaching and learning methods and more generally, I am really enjoying the experience of another way of life and a different culture.
What are the main differences you have identified between studying in France and Germany?
One of the main differences I’ve identified between studying in France and Germany is the teacher-student relationship. The lectures are much more interactive, similar to French practical sessions. As regards the classes, those that I have attended are more practice orientated – perhaps due to the smaller class sizes.
As a student with physical disabilities, can you describe the challenges and rewards of this mobility experience?
Although I knew that my disability could make my plans to go abroad a bit more difficult, I never thought or felt that such difficulties could not be overcome.
The first challenge as a disabled person in a wheelchair is, just like any other student, finding accommodation, but with the additional criteria that my lodging be adapted to my specific condition. Luckily, this was not too much of a problem, as the specific needs related to disabilities are now acknowledged (at least in Europe). The university staff from both Bordeaux and Bayreuth also provided me with a lot of information and help in this respect.
As for attending the university, the University of Bayreuth here in Germany is very easy to access and the exam format takes disability into account, pretty much just like in France.
Overall I feel like I benefit from the same international experience as the other students – I take part in the same events, whether it be inside or outside the university, I don’t feel any difference to my counterparts.
What have you learned from this international experience?
At the beginning I did, of course, need some time to get used to speaking in German on a daily basis. As time went by, this difficulty disappeared and it is now a pleasure for me to communicate in a foreign language, with not only German students but also those coming from other countries.
As an Erasmus student, it is very easy to meet other cultures thanks to the various events organized by the university or student associations. As for getting to know the locals, the people are very open and welcoming, probably due to their culture but also due to the fact that the city is medium-sized, and strongly influenced by the student population.
I’m gradually discovering the city and its surroundings (Nurnberg, Bamberg, etc.) and can say that, to my great surprise, I have very much appreciated the local cuisine!