Pau! La vie in the South of France

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The small city of Pau lies in the South-West of France, a few kilometres away from the foot of the Pyrenees. I will be living here for around 5 months while I complete my internship for a well-known engineering company.


This was perhaps the scariest part of my year abroad yet, as I had never travelled to the South of France before, and I had no previous contact with anyone but the company who I’d be working for. I was going to be all alone!!

Additionally I had to go on a long, long and tricky journey from London to Toulouse to Dax and finally arriving in the city of Pau in the evening. Why does Pau not fly to London huh???


At least they have a funicular railway to get you to the town from the station.

As ever, I stuck to the rules that I made for myself during my year abroad and especially the most important one for me, live with native speakers!

Despite knowing no one when arriving in France, I had found a flat share with two other girls, a French law student and a German Erasmus student who speak no English. (Perfect or what?!) On arrival I felt at home within a few hours of meeting the girls and speaking both French and German. (Score!) 

I was greeted with this in my new room… As I stepped in I couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not.


Yeah, I like it

In my preparation for my stay in Pau I stuffed my suitcase with summer dresses, swimming costumes, suncream and lots of thin shirts for the extremely hot whether that I’d been expecting. 

 When I arrived it rained for two weeks straight.

 And I had to invest in a new woolly jumper. (I should have taken one of the 100 that I have at home from the cold winters of Durham)

Lesson learnt: check the weather before you assume that the South of France is a sunny paradise all year round.

In conclusion I think that the city of Pau is beautiful and homely and I love my job!! I’ve hardly been speaking English outside of my work in my own office, having made friends at work, whilst playing basketball (join a sports club: my second aim accomplished!) and meeting up with the other interns at my company. 


Even after being here a few weeks, you can’t keep your eyes off the mountains!

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