French Exchange Student, France-Marie Nott, Reflects on Her Time at Sancta
July 2020

Degree: Bachelor of Political Sciences and English Literature, ICES Vendée Catholic University, La Roche-sur-Yon, France

Arrived in Australia: February 2020

Departed Australia: July 2020

Road to Sancta
Sydney was my dream exchange destination. The idea of living in a big city that is close to the beach and has really nice weather was very attractive! I chose to apply to live at Sancta because I wanted to make the most of my exchange by meeting new people and living in an environment that values community.

Difference between life in France and Australia
The main difference for me was the food in Australia. There are not as many bakeries in the streets like there is in France which was disappointing as I love cheese and French baguette. However, I discovered some delicious Aussie specialties instead – I already miss the Tim Tams!

Best things about Sydney
I really loved Sydney. The city has everything – you can go shopping in the CBD, you can spend your afternoons at one of the beaches, or you can walk around and explore one of the many parks across the city.  

Best things about Sancta
What I enjoyed most about Sancta was the spirit of community. Welcome Week was absolutely fantastic – I met so many new people in just a week and the activities were fun! I also really enjoyed Formal Dinners where the whole College gathers to spend time together once a week for a special dinner.

France-Marie (right) enjoying Welcome Week with friends in the Quad


Standout memories of Sancta
Welcome Week and all the moments spent on Graduate House’s Rooftop Terrace cooking in the shared kitchen or having a party.

Advice for future international students
Don’t be afraid to talk to people (even if you are shy like me) and join in every event or activity.

Moving forward from Sancta
For the second half of 2020, I will be finishing my undergraduate degree at my home university. Once completed, I hope to complete a master’s degree in journalism either in France or back in Australia.

Homesickness, culture shock and anxiety are common experiences for many international students. How did you manage this aspect of your experience?
At around two weeks after I had arrived in Sydney, and just before classes started, I started to feel a little bit anxious and worried that it would be hard for me to study completely in English. Once classes started and I had settled in, I learnt to adapt to my new environment very easily and everything went well after this.

If you could sum up Sancta in a few words, what would you say?
A big family where everyone supports each other!

Message for the Sancta community
I really miss all my Sancta friends and hope to see them again in the future.


Read more about Sancta’s international students