My First Week: in Reflection

Connor Hickle
September 18, 2018

It always helps to process thoughts and ideas when you can take a second to reflect on what’s happened. Personally, taking some time to myself to process things helps keep things in order, and also gives me break from the busy day-to-day. After my first week in France, I have learned that that will be more important than ever. I figured since you chose to read past post one (shoutout to my four loyal readers) that I’d share some of my thoughts on my first week in Nice.

First, let’s talk about something everyone can enjoy: the food. Nice’s culinary scene is unlike anything I have seen before. The “old town” of Nice (or “Vieux Nice”) is the hub for amazing eats in the main part of the city. Cuisines range from classic French food, to authentic Indian food, a few Irish pubs and even some burger joints. Nice as a whole is big on food, as long as it’s quality and fresh. So, that translates to some pretty fantastic eating opportunities. Stay tuned for some amateur restaurant reviews of the best in Vieux Nice.

One of the most important (and sometimes most challenging) aspects of studying abroad is understanding the transportation system where you live. Coming from somewhere that doesn’t have much public transport at all, I was anxious to see how I would do. Luckily, the transportation network in Nice is thorough and easy to understand. The tram will take you to all the essential stops, and buses running to other parts of the city and outskirts are close to those tram stops. After gallivanting all over the city for the first week I can say proudly that I was only slightly lost three times! Google Maps is great, but the Transit app and Citymapper have saved my life all week. Ten out of ten would highly recommend both to a friend.

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to studying abroad: school. It’s not the most glamorous thing to think of when you consider studying abroad, but this is an honest reflection. It’s easy to forget, but they call it study abroad because you actually have to do school. Everything on this topic is a matter of perspective, though. If you come from an Ivy League school odds are that few, if any, programs will match the difficulty of your home school. In some cases, you might go abroad and find that your program is more academically rigorous than you are accustomed to. As far as school here is concerned, I don’t find my program to be quite as difficult as my home school. But like I said, the key is perspective.

The bottom line being, do not base your decision concerning location based solely (or even largely) on academic difficulty. Yes, this will be the time of your life and you want to make the most of the adventure. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that you are student as well. Trust me, if you pick a location you love, you can deal with anything when it comes to school. I qualify all this with the fact that I am only one week into my semester, but I am already glad I didn’t choose a program because I thought it would be easy.

The biggest adjustment I have had to make was transitioning from campus living at Wofford to independence here in Nice. I have lived in dorms with roommates all three years of college so far, and it always included a meal plan. Moving into a situation where I’m responsible for all of my own meals and grocery shopping is a huge change. It’s safe to say that there will be some trial and error when it comes to eating at home this semester. This might be completely normal for some, but again, relativity.

Even considering the learning curve of meals on my own, my living situation is just sweet. It’s a large apartment for where we are, in a great location (about an eight minute walk to the IES Abroad Center), with plenty of space for myself and my roommate. With everything that you can encounter on a day abroad, it is great to have a place to come home to and unwind at the end of the day. Overall, very satisfied with my home for the semester.

All in all, things are fantastic here. You never know how something will end up until it’s actually been done, but that’s the whole point of the experience. In my last post I mentioned that life needed to be lived in order to be understood and truly enjoyed to the fullest. I was reminded this past week that some things aren’t always easy, but the things most worth doing in life rarely ever are. So here I am, adapting, going with the flow, and eager to see what’s next.

Until next time,

Connor

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Connor Hickle

<p>I am 21 years old, a rising senior at Wofford College, and I am pursuing a B.A. in Finance. My interests include cars, motorcycles (pretty much anything with wheels), and sports. I pass my free time by hanging out with family and friends, going to the movies, working out, and watching Netflix. A weird fact about me is that I enjoy philosophical discussions.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2018 Fall
Home university:
Wofford College
Hometown:
Simpsonville, SC
Major:
Finance
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