Cahors was very small and quiet. There were a couple of bars, but no real nightlife to speak of. I met most of my friends through joining the local climbing society, where everyone was really friendly. I travelled every weekend and during the holidays. As a teaching assistant, you have plenty of spare time (and money) to be able to travel easily. The most difficult aspects were finding accommodation, setting up (and closing) a bank account and there was limited public transport, but I had great fun visiting Toulouse, Montpellier, Sete, Bordeaux, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Corsica and Paris.
Useful local words: 'Une clope', 'un devoir sur table'.
What not to pack: Way too many grammar books, the school had loads.
What to pack: A pocket-siezed dictionary.
Couldn't have done without: My passport and camera.
Francis, French, Bristol University