Although it is not a tourist attraction as such, the University of London Institute in Paris serves as the perfect springboard for expatriate living in the city. Linked to the Royal Holloway University in London, ULIP allows students to study French language, culture, business and literature in an ideal setting, while still benefitting from the privilege of graduating with a University of London degree. As it is the only British university operating in continental Europe, admissions are relatively low, and with only French Studies taught at BA level, demand is mostly on a niche basis. A year group typically consists of approximately 50 students, allowing bonds as a cohort and with other year groups to develop and form a close community.
Nestled into the same building as the British Council, ULIP is situated in the heart of the city, boasting a panoramic view of the Esplanade des Invalides. During a break, ULIP students can be found picnicking on the sprawling lawns of the Esplanade or wandering along Rue Saint Dominique, a beautiful and upmarket shopping street, offering anything from Chinese food to luggage shops, and a mind blowing selection of award winning boulangeries. ULIP’s impressive position means that often students and lecturers are literally ‘in the thick of it’, as the Esplanade plays host to political events. In several months, personal experiences have included a military reception for Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president and Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president. With all of this surrounding the university, classes are often interrupted by excited teachers and curious students, and with a stunning skyline view including the Eiffel Tower, the atmosphere provides inspiration even during the most difficult classes!
ULIP truly is an opportunity not to be missed, although it is possible that interest is low due to a lack of awareness for prospective students. Trawling through the British university admissions system was worthwhile, and the hidden treasure was discovered after much persistence. Six months after admission, a wealth of doors have been opened; a flat in the 7th arrondissement, a supportive network of friends, immersion in the language and culture and most importantly, the chance to have such a beautiful and resourceful city at your fingertips. For others, MA and PHD courses are offered, as well as a successful ‘Year Abroad’ scheme designed for British university and gap year students.
Overall, ULIP is a haven for learning and personal development, the University of London Institute is bound to impress; the well suited combination of an English educational structure and lessons taught in French facilitate language learning, as well as knowledge of culture and history.
Metro: Invalides (Line 8), Assemblée Nationale (Line 12)