The first few weeks of study abroad will rush by. The most exciting part is exploring all Nice has to offer for yourself!
- Make a bucket list. In order to frame your experience, write down a few items you want to accomplish. Whether it is to taste the Niçoise cuisine or travel to Paris, make note of it.
- Enjoy Orientation. You may have to wake up early, but you will learn logistics that will be crucial to your adjustment. This is one of the first opportunities to meet other students in your program, so make the most of the activities.
- Order a meal in French. Nice is home to an abundance of delicious restaurants, especially in Old Town. Even if you have an American accent, try out some French vocabulary to immerse yourself in your new lifestyle.
- Adjust to your new school. Whether you are taking classes at IES Abroad, SKEMA, or UNS, you will be aware of the differences between that institution and your home university. Be patient (even if you get lost trying to find the SKEMA bus) and embrace the diverse learning experience. Don't forget to pick up some school supplies at a papeterie like Calipage, Dalbe, or Papeterie Rontani.
- Get a SIM card. It is important to keep in contact with your friends and family from home. In addition, you may want data for those times when you get a little lost on the Nice streets. If you do not have an international plan, it is easy to pick up a SIM card by visiting the mall Cap 3000. I personally went to the Freemobile store and got the 20 euro/month plan. Just make sure your provider unlocks your phone before you leave for France!
- Walk the Promenade des Anglais. The beach will leave you in awe. Even though it is a little chilly, it is worth it to relax and indulge in the beautiful views. You could even check out the tourist attraction Castle Hill and see Nice from above.
- Pick up a fresh baguette. While you may not know the top boulangerie, you cannot go wrong with stopping into any bakery and asking for a baguette. Not only are they delicious, but strolling out with a baguette will make you feel like you fit in with the locals.
- Buy the essentials. Some popular grocery stores are Monoprix, Carrefour, and Epicerie des Etoiles. Don't forget to buy or bring a reusable bag! You can also go to the Cours Saleya market in Old Town to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables. As for clothing, the Avenue Jean Médecin is a great place to start. There is an H&M and a Zara, and I also like the stores Bershka and Pull&Bear.
- Search for the best café. With so many to choose from, look around. It will be great to find your perfect place where you can work, write, or hang out with friends while enjoying a coffee and a snack.
- Reflect and record. Whether it is writing in a journal, making a photo album, or creating a video, take a moment to remember your experience. Although there is a lot going on, you will want to be able to look back at all your nice times in Nice!
*Bonus: Travel out of Nice! This an easy task with the exciting Orientation excursion to Provence. Monaco, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and Ventimiglia, Italy are also quick day trips!
The Promenade Des Anglais.
A French café.
A meal in Ventimiglia, Italy.
Part of our excursion to Provence included making our own perfume!
Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
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<p>My name is Emma Desjardin and I'm traveling to Nice, France, but my French last name is spelled wrong. Desjardins translates to "of the gardens" but somewhere in the past I lost the "s" and my green thumb. I love language and am excited to write about my experiences. I hope that in my adventures abroad I can find myself and learn a little bit about where that "s'" went.</p>