Our clients’ stories

Verocnica Kudryashova
20 years old, Russia

About me

My name is Veronica, I am 20 years old. I was born and raised in the small town Vologda, I went to school with in-depth English classes. I have always liked the exact sciences and I realised a long time ago that I want to become an architect. I started thinking about continuing my studies in another country as early as year 9. I felt there were more opportunities available to me. I understood that European education would be able to give me a lot more in life, including a more promising job and the opportunity to live in a good country, where you are surrounded by friendly people.

First steps towards the dream

I didn’t think about going to France and I didn’t expect that I would study and live there. In year 10, I went to Paris with my family and after walking around the streets, learning more the French culture, watching people, this idea popped into my head. I read about higher education in France on the Internet, learned more information about admission and realised that everything is entirely possible. The only problem was the language. I started attending French courses in my hometown but I understood that this process might take a very long time. My parents and I started planning to go to France after high school for half a year with the aim of learning the language and passing the exam.

A difficult choice

There was no problem choosing the specialization: I realized a long time ago that I like architecture. Throughout year 11, I attended preparatory courses at the faculty of architecture in my hometown and realized that this really was my cup of tea. The choice of the city and the university was more difficult. When we were deciding which city to take courses, we looked at the Cote d'Azur and nearby towns. We wanted to be near the sea, in a good climate. I spent half a year in Nice, met people from all over the world, met a lot of new friends, spent time wonderfully and passed the French language proficiency exam. Initially, I thought about going to the architectural school in Marseille, but after visiting it, I didn’t like the city. I began to think about Montpellier, read a lot of good reviews about it and decided to go there too, take a look at the city and visit the architectural school. Montpellier made a very good impression on me right from the start - it has a small campus but there were a lot of interesting places to visit. The architectural school made a good impression on me too, I spoke with the headteacher and took a look at the building. That’s how I chose the city and the university I wanted to go to.

Initial difficulties

Now I live in France, Montpellier, and am coming to the end of my first year at the architectural school. I can't say it was easy. At the beginning, I couldn't settle down, there were problems with the language, as I hadn’t practiced it for half a year. Because of these language problems, it took me a while to fit in and make friends. Studies were difficult at the beginning, I studied in all my spare time. All weekends were devoted to my homework. The most difficult and important thing at architectural school is the coursework project. You cannot resit or resubmit, so if you don’t get the grade you need, you have to repeat a year. But in the first semester I passed everything and I started to make some good friends. There is an unusual atmosphere at our school that you didn't even want to go home in the evening. We all hang out, talk and laugh. In the second semester I went out more, visited other cities, in general, enjoyed my life :) I’ve decided to stay here in the summer and not to return to Russia, I will work on the beach.

I have no regrets

Everything turned out exactly as I wanted. I would not want to change anything. Now I can say that I am really happy. I'm in a good and warm country, studying at a place I like, I am surrounded by friendly people, almost every day I see the sea and enjoy the sun. I actually never even dreamed about this, I just tried to obtain my goal and now enjoy the results :) And I still need to study for many years. There are so many things I want to do, so many places I want to visit that sometimes I think that life is too short. But I try to enjoy every day.

Struggling with homesickness

Maybe it sounds strange, but I wouldn't say that I’m homesick. I hadn't been to Russia for about 8-9 months and when I came back for 2 weeks, I realised how good I feel here in France. No, of course, going back home is wonderful, I love my family and all my relatives and I was extremely happy to see them all. But I've never been to close with my family, I’m used to living far away. My parents always support me, we talk almost every day and they are very happy for me. Of course, at the beginning, it’s always not easy, I even wanted to go back to Russia to my comfort zone where I used to live. But every time, I told myself that I couldn’t do that: my parents and I had put in too much effort, I can’t surrender. So I continued to settle in another country, trying to deal with everything myself and finally everything turned out great.

Friends in France

Yes, I've got a lot of friends here and they are all very different. I hang out with girls from different countries, and it is very interesting for me to learn their culture and customs. I have many French friends and the difference in our mindset doesn’t pose a problem. More precisely, I don't even notice that there is a difference. People are, on the contrary, more open, friendly, willing to help. I really like that they are always willing to talk to new people. I discovered the BlaBlaCar website and traveled to other cities with fellow travellers several times. And every time I make new acquaintances, we chat all the way, everyone smiles and is very friendly. I feel great with people like this. It may be due to the fact that we’re near the sea and it’s always sunny. People seem happier.

How I heard about Quartier Latin

I learned about Quartier Latin about 2 years ago when we were choosing a language school. I found the group in VK and asked about language courses.

Help from professionals and old friends

I went to Nice for six months to learn the language and when I sent an application to the architecture school in Montpellier, I contacted Quartier Latin again. We were not one hundred percent sure that my application would be accepted and wanted to have a backup plan. We were offered several engineering schools and we submitted my documents to them. But then I found out that the architectural school in Montpellier had accepted me, and that I had concurrently enrolled in Metz University, where I had sent an application with Quartier Latin. But my goal was Montpellier so we stopped. Then we again contacted Quartier Latin for assistance in finding housing. We found an excellent studio not far from my school and they helped me with the paperwork.

Three main difficulties

The biggest, initial difficulty was arriving in an unfamiliar country for the first time and being there alone. When I had only planned to go to Nice, everything had seemed much easier. My family went with me and when the woman, whose house I lived in for half a year, met me at the airport, I realised that I wasn’t quite ready for it all. Of course, at the beginning it was very difficult especially when my family left me after a week. I felt terribly lonely but then I started making friends at the language school, we started to spend excellent time together, I liked the courses very much, and everything was OK. The second difficulty was also the arrival in Montpellier and adapting to the new school. In Nice, I lived with a host family, and here in Montpellier I live alone. Since I hadn’t practiced the language for almost half a year, I wasn’t self-confident. I kept thinking that I would say something stupid and that it was better to stay silent. The most difficult day was the first lesson in the atelier where we were engaged in the coursework project. I was so nervous that I didn’t understand the teacher at all and ended up in a group with guys that I also didn’t understand because I was so stressed. I didn't really understand what was going on and what I needed to do. It turned out that we had been divided into groups, and each group had been given a house to analyse. We had to find information about it, make drawings and a blueprint. But I only realised that much later. As soon as I left school to go for lunch, I immediately burst into tears, called dad and said I was coming back home. Now it is pretty funny to look back on that but at that time, it was very difficult for me. Dad told me to wait a little more, try to make friends and that everything would be OK. Of course, I understood that I could not simply give up after all the difficulties that I had overcome. So I continued to study, gradually made friends and fit into the group, got used to the studies, and passed my coursework project with flying colours. Difficulties always exist: it is definitely necessary to step out of your comfort zone and be sociable. People here are very friendly and glad to help everyone especially the teachers who recognise that everything is quite difficult for me. Thanks to this positive environment, I now feel at ease and am very happy to be here.

Main achievements

The biggest achievement is moving itself. I am very glad that I was able to overcome my loneliness and fear of new people. My achievement, I believe, is also that I passed all my exams and projects in both semesters and have never had to resit anything. I look back at myself a couple of years ago and feel that I have grown up and become more sociable. I learned a lot of life lessons from all the difficulties that I encountered. Now nothing scares me, I can go anywhere absolutely alone, safe in the knowledge that new adventures and new acquaintances are out there awaiting me. I plan to travel to America next summer on the Work and Travel program.

Words of gratitude

Quartier Latin helped me a great deal in achieving my goal. They always give a helping hand, give a piece of advice, or find a solution to the problem. I am very grateful for their assistance in enrolling, finding housing and simple household problems, for example, with electricity. I do not think that I would have achieved all that without their help. Thank you!! I wish your Сompany every success and I advise everyone who dreams of studying in another country to contact Quartier Latin!
Sasha Buron
21 years old, Russia

My name is Marina, I have lived in France for five years. My story is not about me but about my daughter, Sasha, who graduated from university in Rostov-on-Don with a specialisation in tourism. Back when Sasha was studying, we planned to continue her education in Europe, because I, as a resident of France, can see the local standard of living, and appreciate the quality and level of European education myself. So, we took the plunge and decided to apply for a Master’s program at a French university.

Sasha often visited us in France on a tourist visa. In an attempt to learn the language, we regularly enrolled in different language courses, however, three months later, the visa had expired and my daughter had to go home again. There was almost no progress. We then decided to apply for a long-term student visa and attend a paid language school in France.

Our attempts to do so were rife with constantly wasting money, frayed nerves and endless frustration. First we were refused a student visa. Having decided to try one more time, we applied again a little later. We decided to try our luck with the vacances travail visa, and again received a refusal. Her passport already had two visa refusals and we had lost heart. Then we heard about Quartier Latin.

To cut a long story short, this Autumn Sasha is coming to Toulouse University to start her Master’s program! Quartier Latin didn’t just help with visa issues, but we received full, comprehensive support, consultations at any time of day or night, and enrolled in language courses via Skype with a wonderful teacher, Gurvan. Our progress in French is all thanks to him.

This Company works like magic. It offers solutions to any, even the most problematic, situations. One day, we called the office in the evening, and, in a panic, told them that at seven o’clock in the morning the next day we had to submit the package of documents for a visa but our motivation letter was not ready. "You will have it by the morning”, came the calm response. And at 3 a.m., we had our motivation letter in our hands, written with the knowledge of all subtleties of the situation and the real thoughts of my daughter.

The standard phrase "individual approach” doesn’t begin to cover what this Company does. They grant our every wish! Whatever you need, Dennis and his team are there to help you. If you urgently need a visa, they will help to prepare all documents. If you need to learn French in language courses, they can provide you with a list and help you choose. Private lessons? No problem! Need to write a motivation letter in one night? Check your email.

My only regret is the fact that we spent a lot of time and money trying to deal with everything by ourselves. Quartier Latin's services may not be cheap, but, first of all, the price is entirely fair when taking French prices into account, and, secondly, one call to this team will cost you considerably less than the consequences of your own erroneous independent actions. What’s more, independent attempts can result in visa refusals and subsequent bad statistics like it happened to us.

We are very grateful to the whole Quartier Latin team. You really are professionals with a sensitive approach to the client and full immersion into the situation. I wish you prosperity and continued development and advise everyone who reads this to get to know this team!

Kamshat Bekturgan

"Hello, I study and live in France..." You can't imagine how long I dreamed of saying that! My name is Kamshat, I am 19, and I am from a small city in Kazakhstan, Aktau. In high school, like all the teenagers who want to be highly skilled professionals, I started to think about which profession to choose and where to get an education. As I had studied English since I was 9, I was only inter-ested in English speaking countries. After finishing school, I was admitted to an English College just as I had dreamed about all my childhood. Perhaps I wasn't flexible enough in my plans or con-sidered Great Britain to be the only country that offers high-quality education but I didn't consider other options and only worked towards that particular goal. While studying there I understood that it wasn't for me: I didn't like the climate nor the education fee, the educational system or the atmos-phere. My dream about studying in Foggy Albion was starting to fade.

In my childhood, I read many books about elegant French women, the Little Prince, and I fell in love with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, watched different films and adored the tender French sense of humour. I also heard about the possibility of affordable education there from my friends. With all this in mind, I decided to look at French universities. Having read about the system, the state assis-tance for students in the form of CAF, and the opportunity students have there to work, I under-stood that I should continue my education in France and only there. Moreover, I wanted to start afresh and study graphic design! Thus, I started to search for institutions. I filed my portfolio to Art School... And I was accepted. Of course, I was happy! However, I had to face a frightful challenge called the "visa document package". Everything was OK except for the accommodation document. My university has four subsidiaries: in Paris, Nantes, Strasbourg, and Rennes. I could choose any city. I ruled out Paris at once as the living costs there are very expensive. I was thinking about Nantes.

I spent 2 months searching by myself. 2 months! Everything was in vain. It was already August. I was already in panic fearing that I would have no time. Who can find accommodation at the end of summer? One of these fine days, my friend sent me a link to Quartier Latin. And it directed me to Personal Messages with Denis. I told him about my situation, asked a lot of questions. He was very calm, precise and clear in his answers. It was evident that I was communicating with a professional. After it, he and Mathieu started to search for accommodation for me. They suggested three options within three days – and this was when everybody was searching very intensively but they still found something. As a result, there was nothing left. However, I made a mistake: I was too slow and we lost out on all the options. I was the guilty party. Perhaps, the situation was meant to be. I then decided to study in Strasbourg and I am really happy about it.

Strasbourg is bigger than Nantes. I thought I would manage to look for a place myself. Thus, I wasted even more time. Only then, I realized that I needed to resort to the help of experienced pro-fessionals. I wrote to them again and they offered me several options that very day. Then I chose one. The rental cost was a bargain! I can even say it was cheap when you take the convenience into account. It was late September... If I had addressed Quartier Latin straight away, it would not have taken so much time. They are like magicians who can resolve any task. They work unbelievably fast! Thus, I secured a contract at a student residence (I wanted to live in a residence as I think it is safer and less expensive) and I included it in the document package for the visa.

In four days, I received the approval for a long-term student visa and soon thereafter I went to France. The Quartier Latin team offered me their services there: meeting me and assistance with documents. But, I am an adventure-lover and I tried to get there myself, which I managed. I arrived in Paris by plane and went to Strasbourg by train. When I entered my room... It was so bright! I had a room where I lived alone. It had a separate bathroom and a balcony but I had to share my kitchen with another girl. It turned out to be a real plus for me! She is French and helps me with everything. I am very happy to be here! I am studying to be a graphic designer, I work on projects a lot in the room. Thus, the room's features, the natural lighting, and the view from the window – everything is very important. I am satisfied with everything. Strasbourg is a very calm and beautiful city with very pleasant and friendly citizens. 70% of people speak English, which helps me a lot. Every day, I write to tell them how I am happy. I am very grateful to the Quartier Latin team! Thank you!

Karina Vardanyan

We met Denis two years ago when we we had run ourselves ragged in the search for an apartment in Paris. At that time, my daughter had got into a French university but was still under 18 so we had to find a guardian in Paris. It was almost impossible without any of the necessary contacts or ac-quaintances. We tried to find a solution to this challenge on our own for quite a long time but we were wasting our time. We even applied to an estate agency that would apparently resolve our situa-tion but in fact they refused to work with customers under the legal age.

As if by magic, we met Denis. All our problems were resolved almost immediately! They found an excellent apartment, a guardian and processed all the documents swiftly and promptly. If any addi-tional questions or difficulties arose, they were also solved very swiftly, accurately and professional-ly. As a result, we were very satisfied with the apartment and the guardian family, though at the start we had been worried about searching remotely. My daughter successfully moved to Paris.

After the move, we faced new challenges. It turned out that getting a commonplace SIM card in France requires that you jump several hurdles of bureaucracy, get all the documents, and open a bank account. In addition, you need a travel pass, electricity, and insurance! We entrusted these af-fairs to Denis just as we had last time and everything was sorted out in a week.

We still keep in touch with Quartier Latin. It is nice to know that the people working in this compa-ny are pleasant to interact with and friendly to communicate with. I know that I can call them in any situation and receive detailed consultation on any matter. When your child is two thousand kil-ometres away from you, it is important to understand that she is surrounded by people that you trust.

This support of Denis and his team is priceless. Thank you very much! I recommend saving your time and money and contacting Quartier Latin instead of trying to solve such complex challenges independently.