My Final Month in the South of France

Kate Allen headshot
Kate Allen
April 19, 2024

With only a week left in Nice, I am feeling full of gratitude and nostalgia. 

My appreciation for the South of France has grown exponentially in the month of April. The sun is shining each and every day. The streets are lively. Everything is a bit more crowded, and I love it. It has been amazing to see the transition from emptiness and short days to tourists aplenty and 8pm sunsets. 

Finishing school has been bittersweet. I’ve enjoyed my classes much more than I thought I would—much of the joy of every day has come from seeing my classmates and spending time in class together. My favorite class by far was the Global Pillars: Designing the Sustainable City course. I am so glad to have taken a class with Professor Christine Alfsen. She is a wonderful teacher and such an interesting individual. If you are studying abroad in Nice, I highly recommend taking one (or more…) of her classes. You will not regret it. 

In just a few days, my family will come to Nice to explore the city that I’ve called home for the past few months. I am so excited to show them around. I want to bring them to the Cours Saleya market, to my favorite coffee shop, and to sit on the beach. I will bring them to my favorite restaurants and show them where to get the best baguette. I am excited to play tour guide for a few days. It is so special to give the people you love a glimpse into your new (and temporary) home, where you have made new memories on your own. 

Afterwards, we will travel to Aix-en-Provence to spend a few days exploring the south. We have plans to simply eat, drink, and relax… My kind of vacation! Afterwards, we will drive to Paris and spend the rest of the week there. I am so excited to eat steak frites at Le relais de l’entrecote. We went there as a family around a decade ago, and I have made sure it is on the itinerary for this upcoming trip. I have gained such a wonderful appreciation for French culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. 

It’s incredible to think about how much my mindset has changed over the past four months. In January, I came in with a positive attitude. I was so ready to conquer the study abroad experience, but I faced challenges in ways I was not prepared for. 

The moral of the story is…you will never be prepared enough and in any of the right ways. But that is also the beauty of the experience. You don’t need to be “ready” but you do need to arrive with an open mind and a good bit of resilience. Every day might not be great, but with the right attitude, everything will work out as it should. 

Thanks to the South of France, I’ve had an overwhelming amount of great days. I am so thankful that I was able to have this experience. I encourage everyone to just go for it…this is a precious time and it will change you in the best ways.

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs
Kate Allen headshot

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
Explore Blogs