Thursday, 22 March 2012

I need a roof over my head, at least.

So, this is my second post on my year-abroad blog. I can definitely say that i'm panicking now, and it's only March. 

I think given the fact i'm studying towards a dual language degree, I will first of all speak about Aix-en-Provence from here on; it's my first port of call on my year abroad. I think i'll end up speaking more about Koblenz, and my plans for that part of the world later on in the year when i'm already settled in Aix and i'm beginning to plan to move over there, what i'm expecting and travel info etc blah blah.


I've been told that it is a very expensive place to live, though not to put you off I have also heard it is -possible- to find cheap accommodation and live on a shoestring budget, but I am personally yet to witness this.

Aix-en-Provence is located in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of the Côte d'Azur region of France. Right on the French Riviera, Aix is around 20 miles away from Marseille (the second largest city in France).

I've had an absolute ballache trying to find relatively cheap accommodation in Aix, even in Marseille, although I'd wanna live as close to Aix centre as possible.
If you are reading this for your year abroad, I would suggest starting to save money es early as possible, even from March/April. has so far been VERY helpful in working out how much I will expect to pay for anything.

I don't know whether i'll be renting a studio, sharing with people from uni, sharing with locals or going into halls yet. Really need to sort finances out, but I can say one will be expensive. is also a very useful resource. All you do is plug in the postcode of Aix (13100) and search for Location/Colocation

I guess that's all I can really say. I don't have any plans set in stone yet and I guess it's a bit too early but I am a panicky mess and I know for a fact that one month before I leave I will be even more of a mess!

Friday, 2 March 2012

I decided to write a blog.

I tried this once and failed dramatically at it. Hopefully this time won't be as disastrous.

This is me. My name is Gareth Hunter.
I am currently a BA French & German Student at Sunderland University.

I'm 21 and i'm about to embark a great, scary, terrifying adventure which will (hopefully) change my life, I'm about to go on my year abroad, as part of my languages degree. I thought that documenting the year abroad would be a great thing to keep for myself, as well for others to look at in the future to see how much of a struggle it can be, but also what an exciting experience this will be.

As of August/September I am living in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France for 6 months, and then in Koblenz in the Rhineland area of Germany 6 months after that.

To say i'm shitting bricks would be an understatement.

View Larger Map

I had to make a smaller map because Aix-en-Provence was so far off the map if Newcastle was to be shown too!

The really worrying this is that I have nothing sorted yet - through my own fault and seemingly all of the universities faults. Not only does the Université de Provence's website not show or document student accommodation, but it also gives no help into finding local accommodation.
Pretty much same with the Universität Koblenz-Landau; it shows only photos of the campuses and photos of the university library. 

I don't think i'll be living in the uni library to be honest.

I've lived away from home quite a bit since I was 18 (moving to Birmingham for a year, and instead spending a large part of it with my ex-boyfriend in Northern Germany, then living with friends in Newcastle instead of staying at home with my parents) so it's not such a major step for me; that major step is the language barrier and will be either my greatest achievement or my downfall.