9 November 2017

ULIP's annual Win a Trip to Paris competition is now open for applications!

2017 marks the competition's sixth year and we've now hosted as many students and their guests here in the City of Light. The winner receives two second-class, non-flexible return tickets to Paris (worth up to £400 maximum), as well as two nights of three-star accommodation in the Hotel de France, Invalides, and a personalised tour of ULIP. The weekend offers the perfect chance to explore the French capital, try out your taste for croissants, and see what it might be like to live and study in the city. Two runners-up each receive one £50 gift card for Blackwell UK, also known as Blackwell’s and Blackwell Group.

Uniquely designed to engage students working at AS/A level or equivalent, the competition task - to describe what you'd do with 48 hours in Paris in 250 words - makes ideal material for teachers to make use of in class. As an extra incentive for teachers to get their students involved in the competition, the member of teaching staff who encourages the most applications wins un coffret cadeau, or gift hamper, from Fauchon worth €75. In 2016 we received more than 250 applications from over 130 different schools!

We asked last year's winner, Lana, to keep a journal of her weekend in Paris - read on to find out what she got up to on her weekend in Paris.

Lana and the Eiffel Tower

After numerous visits to the French capital, the element of discovery and adventure when in Paris could have worn off by now – but this is far from the case. We began the weekend at the Musée d’Orsay, a personal favourite, as a lover of impressionist art. The ornate clock hanging from the front wall exists from the time when the building served as a train station – I find that its interior design, and perhaps the soft echo off the high ceiling, helps to create an atmosphere that still resembles that of a gare.

Lunch featured a homely coq au vin at Le Procope, the oldest restaurant in Paris (Rousseau and Voltaire frequented the restaurant in the 18th century). By chance we later came across an event to promote the candidature of Paris as the host of the 2024 Olympic Games, of which the highlight was Mr Macron clad with boxing gloves! Only on the other side of the Place de la Concorde was the Paris pride parade, a bustling and vibrant event which was equally great fun to get involved in.

After a visit to Hôtel des Invalides for an exhibition on the Franco-Prussian War, the remaining time on Sunday was a chance to visit my favourite district of Paris, for its artists’- and fashion-boutiques, and brilliant food: Le Marais. Strolling along the quaint narrow streets around the Place des Vosges, or along the wide boulevards of the surrounding quatrième arrondissement, is for me the best way of immersing yourself in Parisian culture as a local might, and was indisputably the loveliest way to end the weekend.