A Student Story: Turing-Funded Study Abroad in Paris and Siena

Posted in: Mobility, Student mobility, Turing funding

Written by Petra Zmatková, MA Contemporary European Studies student.

Petra's blog was submitted as part of  the 2022-23 Turing Stories Contest

MA Contemporary European Studies – Euromasters – is a special degree in many senses, but perhaps most importantly in the fact that you can study at up to 3 universities in the course of 2 years. For my first term abroad, I chose to go to Sciences Po Grenoble, which, as you may know, is in the French Alps. Let’s not talk about the fact that I thought I’d be going to Paris (because Sciences Po, c’mon)! I didn’t make the same mistake again, and I know where Siena in Italy is for my next term. 

The region itself is beautiful but also, as you may have guessed it, expensive. I was lucky to go with a friend, so we shared the accommodation costs between the two of us. We scored a beautiful flat, but it also meant living quite far from the uni, two trams and 35 minutes away, to be exact. And I love travelling, I do! All the attractions, the bubble Téléphérique that takes you to the Bastille (not THAT Bastille, though, don’t get confused), the cakes and pains au chocolat, trying foods like raclette for the first time. But you guessed it, it all costs money. All of which is to say that without financial support, it would’ve been near impossible to enjoy my time there. 

Tasting different food and discovering beautiful views during my year abroad.

I find it interesting, that as a society, we don’t talk about financial support more. Why? I’ve also noticed many people won’t consider applying. And once again, why? I remember the times of Erasmus+ grants and how everybody got them and could enjoy their time abroad to the fullest. I don’t see why we shouldn’t now put in the tiny bit of effort to apply for Turing… It did cover my entire accommodation and commute costs! I try to push all of my friends to take advantage of the “free money” whenever possible. When are we going to have this option again? So now, here I am, trying to get you to make use of the funds available. Does that make us friends? I hope so! 

I hope, in a couple of months, you will be able to share your experience about studying abroad. The cakes you’ll have eaten, the beaches you’ll have visited. Though perhaps most importantly, of not living in a literal hole in the wall, because having a roof over your head is the biggest financial concern of them all.  

Posted in: Mobility, Student mobility, Turing funding


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