After applying to graduate, I walked into the Office of Global Education, and it completely changed my plans. I delayed graduation, enrolled in French classes, applied to the IP program and never looked back.
In this photo: The CSU program organizes a couple of student dinners throughout the year and this is a picture from the first one (I am seated first on the left).
About 50 of us gathered to eat at a restaurant very close to the school that we attend in Aix-en-Provence. The company and food were amazing!
After the first two weeks of being in Aix, it is mandatory that students find their own living situations – with the help of the experienced CSU staff in France, of course.
Once students are situated, it is always fun and very common to have dinner parties.
The directors of the CSU office in France plan amazing trips for the students in the Aix program.
Student trips are organized throughout the year for very reasonable prices. This is one of the best ways to see the south of France on a student budget.
Along the way, students will become well acquainted with the public transportation offered in France: trains, planes and buses. This is a picture of a friend and me riding the TGV train.
The first CSU trip was to the nearby town of Marseille.
Marseille is famous for having the largest port in all of France. Not surprisingly, it is a melting pot of many cultures and traditions.
My favorite day trip so far has been to Arles, a beautiful town with old ruins and many opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime pictures.
The closest country that students can visit outside of France is the Principality of Monaco, only a two-hour bus ride away. Heavily influenced by its proximity to Italy, Monaco luckily still speaks French.
This is me standing in front of the Royal Palace before the changing of the guard.
For the first long break, some friends and I went to London.
Most of the museums in London are free or offer a reduced-price admission to students. Luckily, in the British Museum, you are allowed to take pictures in most of the galleries.
“Mind the gap between the platform and the train.”
This is one of the most famous phrases in all of England. If you visit London, you will hear this phrase so often you will dream about it even when you come back to France.
Back in Aix, my fellow students and I decided to make the rounds and take pictures at every fountain in the city.
Aix-en-Provence is most famously known as the city of fountains. There are about 22 major fountains throughout Aix.
After two and a half hours, we accomplished our goal!
It may seem clichéd, but you really become close to the other students in this program.
Learning together and experiencing many of the same firsts will always bring people together.
Just be sure to take pictures at every opportunity!
Learn more about the study abroad program in France