Chloé shares her Erasmus year in Ireland wih us, like the best experience of her life ! She wanted to tell us about her difficulties, because it's all partof experience ! We can see, depending on the country, the advances in inclusive mobility aren't the same, but the adventure is worth experiencing !
Hello. I’m Chloé, I’m French and I am 23 years old. I study Human Resource Management. I’ve got cerebral palsy and I’ve been in Ireland for an academic year at IT Carlow.
Why is it important to you to write this testimony ?
Well, this year might have been tough but was also the best of my life. Living abroad is the best way to know yourself.
What information you wish you had before leaving ?
Lots of information weren’t available concerning disabilities like how to be refund for physio, how to get somebody to help in the daily life if you need an assistant.
Do you want to share a thing / a moment that makes or made you angry ?
The Pôle de Relations Internationales was completely lost and took a long time to give me information related to my disability questions. Most of them were answered by the IT Carlow where I’ve been. Therefore, the additional grant to help Erasmus people with disabilities is quite impossible to get. Let me explain. They ask you for different cost estimates of your expenses related to disability, from France and from the destination country. However, your needs may drastically change depending on what will be your new environment. Besides, if you want to go to Canada or far from France, you won’t be able to « do it » before you arrived for the academic, so you can't have it.
What did your stay abroad bring in your life ?
My stay was the best experience in my life. I’ve discovered a new culture with wonderful Irish people. I’ve been out of my comfort zone. Now I know my physical limits. Therefore, it gave me perspectives on French culture and people or even on Europe itself. It was a real challenge at first but it was so worth it. Disability in the UK or Ireland is not the same thing as in France. It was quite easy to be accepted and have all the accommodations I needed. Otherwise my English improved and I’m not afraid to travel within Europe anymore.
Any conclusion word ?
If you wish to live abroad it’s possible. You just need to convince yourself that you are able to. Then, convince your university and prepare most of your stay like accommodations, your flat, the contact with your university etc. You’ll see when you arrive it will be easier. You’ll miss France and your relatives. However, you will live one of the best months of your life. Just go!