Boujour tout le monde!!
I have finally found some down time to be able to write about what abroad life is like! I’m studying in the south of France– Antibes, France to be exact, right in-between Nice and Cannes (yes, where the Cannes Film Festival is held in May).
I have been here for a little over a month now, and I absolutely love it! In fact, I’ve already texted my parents and told them I don’t want to come back 😉 Packing to come over here for 4+ months was quite the task, let me tell you. I was only allowed one checked bag and a carry on, plus everyone says not to pack too much. Let me just say that I haven’t had any issues with the amount that I have brought, and my bag was way over 50 lbs! Don’t believe what everyone tells you about how much to pack ladies 🙂
The first couple of days were a grind! We had 3 days straight of orientation followed by an excursion to Nice and Monaco, plus we were all jet lagged, and to make things even “worse” my 21st birthday was squished in-between those orientations. Needless to say I was in bed at 9pm on my 21st birthday due to jet lag and exhaustion.
I have not experienced any culture shock whatsoever! My first few weeks here were absolutely fabulous, and the company I traveled here with (CEA) is AMAZING!! I can’t say enough good things about them! There’s a group of 25 boys and girls, so little did I know I came here with built in friends (only 2 people in the whole group knew each other). CEA organizes many excursions for us (at least one a month), plus they have office hours everyday for us to come in and talk to them about any problems or questions we have. Even if you have to ask where you can buy cough drops 🙂 The CEA director in Antibes also works at the University I attend for the first two weeks. So if I had any questions or problems with my classes she was a familiar face.
Now let’s talk school. I go to a University called Skema. It’s about a 15 minute bus ride from where I am, depending on traffic. I am a Biology major, so I’m taking Ecology, Oceanography, and Environmental Impact Assessment– and I have the same teacher for each class (and yes all the teachers speak English)! And the classes are TINY, but that may be because I’m taking science courses at a business school. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in high school, because there are so little students, and when we go on breaks everyone gathers in one area. The one thing that isn’t like high school is the music that is blasted during the breaks. They play US Top Hits songs while advertising for parties at clubs that the organizations put on. And there is a party every Thursday. But back to the important stuff…. right? The biggest difference other than the size of the classes is that each class is 3 hours long (yes, I said 3 hours) BUT they are only once a week. Therefore, I don’t have any classes on Thursday or Fridays which is ideal for traveling.
Since most of my group in CEA doesn’t have classes on various weekdays we usually travel together. The second weekend I was here a large group of us took the train to Paris (5 hours), while another large group went to Marseille. A few weeks ago a hand full of us traveled to Isola, France (about an hour from Nice) to ski in the French Alps. To say that it was beautiful is an understatement. In Antibes you can go skiing in the morning and be back by the afternoon to go lay on the beach!!
This weekend about 18 out of the 25 people in CEA are traveling to Amsterdam. In Europe that have budget airlines that fly all over the place for INSANELY cheap. I can usually get a roundtrip ticket for $75 or LESS!
Well, I think that’s enough to read for now. Until next time!