Au Revoir, Nice

Kate Allen headshot
Kate Allen
May 5, 2024

Wow…. I can’t believe it’s over!

My semester abroad in Nice came to a rapid close. After my last final, which happened to be Beginner French (I hope I did well :) ), I left my apartment and took a walk to the Nice Port. I continued towards the lighthouse path, which I loved to sit on and watch the sunset earlier in the semester. I would often bring a book or my journal with me and listen as the waves crashed into the rocks. It was my little bit of peace and quiet in the noise of the semester. 

I walked the opposite direction, following the coastline towards the iconic “I Love Nice” sign. Once blue, white, and red, the sign was changed to yellow and black to celebrate the upcoming Tour de France. The sign is almost gawdy and out of place in the picturesque Mediterranean view, but I love it. 

I kept walking and arrived at the Promenade des Anglais. This stretch of coastal pathway is easily my favorite part of Nice. Tourists and locals alike are constantly walking, running, playing, and sitting on the Promenade. Everyone can enjoy the beauty of the rocky beach, and everyone does. I walked and walked, until I met the La Chaise Bleue sculpture, the symbol of Nice. I snapped a quick photo, knowing I couldn’t leave without one. I kept walking, taking in the beauty of my (temporary) home. 

Before I knew it, I had been walking for two hours. My mind was overcome with joy and tranquility. It struck me that this semester has been my semester of reflection. I spent so much time alone, writing, walking and sitting with my thoughts. In my past five semesters at college, there has been chaos, crazy amounts of socializing, and rarely a second for alone time. But my time in Nice changed that completely. I will return home with a better sense of balance and prioritization, so that I can carry over some of my abroad habits to my life at home. 

So, after four months in Nice and some time with family towards the end, I have arrived back in the United States. Truthfully, the transition wasn’t hard, but it has been weird! Over the past few days in Virginia, I’ve been missing out on the little luxuries of Nice, like the beach, the weather, the food, and the beautiful language. Most of all, I miss waking up and walking to a nearby boulangerie for a fresh croissant or baguette. There is nothing that even pales in comparison to that in the United States! I will miss it. 

Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I am so grateful to have had this once-in-a-lifetime experience. But, I think I was ready to leave by the end. I missed being able to see my friends, drive around in a car, and sleep in my own bed. 

Also, five months later… I am so glad that I was able to be a Blogger for IES Abroad. It definitely kept allowed me to remain both present, and reflective at the same time. Now I have a record of my experiences, that I can share with the world!

That’s all from me! Au revoir, Nice. 

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Kate Allen

Hi! My name is Kate Allen and I am a third year at the University of Virginia, studying Foreign Affairs and Global Commerce. I love to read, cook, take photos, and explore. 

2024 Spring
Home University:
University of Virginia
International Business
International Relations
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