Thursday, October 30, 2014

Semester Abroad: Bienvenue à Nice, France.

Veronica LaManna, a member of the Verrazano Class of 2016 studying International Business with a minor in French, is spending the Fall 2014 semester in Nice, France.  Veronica arrived in Nice a couple of months ago and is having a great experience so far!  Read below for her first impressions after her arrival in France.

Bienvenue à Nice, France.

I have just begun my study abroad adventure in Nice, France.  I decided to take the same flight as another student who attends the College of Staten Island and who would also be studying at the same school in Nice.  We also decided that it would be better for us to stay with each other and try to find an apartment together.  When we arrived in Nice we did not have an apartment to live in yet, so we stayed in a hostel while we searched for one.  Living in a hostel is something I think everyone should experience.  A hostel is similar to a hotel except it shared with strangers who are usually traveling.  The hostel we stayed in at had two sets of bunk beds, a shower and a sink.  If you needed to use the bathroom, you had to leave the bedroom.  We shared our room with two older women who weren’t from America so they had different ways of doing things that we weren’t used to.  The hostel we stayed at also had rules.  Everyone had to be back in the hostel by 11 o’clock at night.  The hostel also only had Wi-Fi in the lobby downstairs so we weren’t able to have Internet while in the room.  In America we take these small luxuries for granted.  

It was a little hard getting used to life in Europe.  Everything is smaller here, so we had to take turns bringing our luggage up to our room since there was only room for one suitcase in the elevator.  The first few days were extremely stressful since we were jetlagged, unfamiliar with Nice, and living in a different country.  We also were stressed because we wanted to find an apartment to live in quickly. Our school helped us find an apartment, but we had to do most of the work on our own.  It was challenging since we had language barriers with most of the landlords, which caused a few misunderstandings.  After five long days of searching for an apartment we finally found one in Ville Vieux, also known as the Old City.  I have just a ten-minute walk to school and a two-minute walk to the beach.  

The town I live in is very touristy and has a very interesting history.  Our apartment is full of different accents and cultures since it is shared with a few other students who are from different countries.  After getting settled in we had orientation at IPAG, where we got to meet the other Erasmus students and our professors.  In our school we must speak English.  Our student body is made up of students from over thirty different countries.  I have already become friends with so many of the students and it is so interesting to learn about everyone’s culture. Even though the first week was extremely challenging, I have been having an amazing time and I am truly enjoying studying abroad in Nice already.  I am finally getting used to life in Nice and I am looking forward to experiencing this lifestyle for the next four months. 
 

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