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International students in Paris go on mystery tour to experience French capital

International students from the University of Paris-Saclay have been immersed in the Latin history of the French capital by following a mystery tour.

As universities create new initiatives to introduce students from abroad into their new countries of study, the University of Paris-Saclay has launched the mystery tour to bring students together, immerse them in Paris as they begin their studies, and encourage them to ask questions.

The students, who come from 34 different nationalities, were divided into teams and given clues to work out the route.

“Despite the rain, the discovery tour was a resounding success,” says Carmel Keane-Davies, Languages and Interculturality Officer. “We met in front of the Pantheon and headed off with sodden brochures full of clues, armed with umbrellas and wellington boots – but there was such a sense of fun and enthusiasm amongst us all.”

They were divided into nine teams each named after a famous French person, including Victor Hugo and Marie Curie, and accompanied by a teacher or administrator from one of the Paris-Saclay partner institutions.

All of the students figured out the secret location at the end of the tour where they competed in a quiz based on what they’d seen – complete with prizes, goody bags, tea, and cake.

The students also got a chance here to talk to the faculty and other university staff individually to ask any questions.

Giulia Fisauli, an Italian geology student, enjoyed meeting other international students on the tour and learning about the French capital. She says: “I’d always passed through this area of Paris but never knew about its history. I thought it was so good that when my friends from home visited, I took them on the same tour!”

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