More John Storey Junior Memorial Scholarship Reflection

As part of a scholarship I received I was encouraged to observe what goes on in other countries, and how we can maybe apply it back home as a way of improving what we already have. Sometimes it was easier to notice what I had at RMIT and not at Université Paul Valery then to notice what UPV had that RMIT didn’t. However, eventually, some things stood out (in both fields): 

  • social media as a classroom aid, as productive rather then counterproductive – the French university where I studied was, in some respects, a little behind the times, that, combined with my Dad (the academic) deciding to get twitter made it apparent that we do a great deal of positive learning and communication around learning via social media and there are still plenty of options for improving this!
  • cinema is something we should just do – maybe I’ve been taught to overthink it, I know this was true of my short film that I agonised over far too much! – picking up a camera and getting out there (especially for documentary making) might just be the most productive thing to do (of course when money and the time and effort of other people come into play planning is important, but not when it stops you from getting things done!)
  • maybe French students are taught that things could always be better (a harsh marking scheme and a critical approach), but maybe we are far too built up, infact creating and then inflating egos and self confidence – we are all important and special, but not more so then the person we sit next to on the tram
  • and in both contexts, it’s easy to get help if you are willing to ask for it!

One of my fellow exchangers posted this link on our group page, the last one, No one read your blog, don’t reference it, may be true. If it isn’t, I hope I’m not boring you with all my reflections.

So, not having expectations, it takes you far and wide.
Down to the ground with broken bits of teeth lying next to you, up to the roof of the opera house where there lies a helipad and a fantastic view…

This semester has been anything and everything that could be fantastic and each thing that has happened has been truly extraordinary. My eyes have been opened, to the world, to the opportunity of travel, to people  – to the lively spirit that everyone has, that has become so pronounced on this part of my voyage.

Montpellier has been a good place to be, a small town, perfect for some anglophones to wreak havoc and learn what it is to live in France. To learn to live, in a place where wifi is not a guarantee, re-useable, BPA-free, water bottles are not easy to come by, and banks, well all administrative organisations minus the post office, seem overly complex.
Wine, bread and cheese, everywhere. It is true what they say… France smells. But France is also pretty nifty. Montpellier, you are like French men, small, but also quite charming.

But more then anything else, the people. The people of Montpellier, of Europe, the Australians who I got to share my adventure with and the amazing Americans who decided to plonk themselves here too – you’re all pretty great! In fact, you’re all bloody fantastic, and I’m honoured to have crossed paths.

And so the sun sets on Montpellier for moi, after discovering an infatuation with Barcelona, eating moose and walking (and falling) on ice in Sweden, some incredible opportunities in Melbourne have opened up for me; and I realise that I need to focus, and finish what I started – my degree. With eyes open I can now discover the world, but I’m better off doing that with some sort of income at the same time.

I’ll be back, and I’m not just saying that, not at all.