When I’m on the bus to and from IES, I can’t help but smile like a complete idiot. I’ve always felt drawn to cities because there’s a plethora of things to do there and now I have all of them at my fingertips. For example, I live less than a minute from a boulangerie. Just let that sink in…baguettes, croissants, pains au chocolat…a skip and a couple smells away.
Here are “a few of my [other] favorite things” in Nantes that make me so excited to be here:
*The buses: albeit sometimes understandably delayed, they are very reliable and VERY frequent. And for €37/month, you can buy tickets (“billets”) so you can ride the bus an unlimited number of times. Which, although quite expensive, are especially great as I have classes at the University of Nantes and IES, and only an hour in between classes some days.
*Monoprix and Carrefour: I realized that I was paying way too much for a can of coke at street vendors, which is where all us IES peeps have been eating.
*Which brings me to #3 – student ID cards! You can get entire meal for under €4 at university restaurants.
*It is possible to successfully buy AND activate your SIM card in French (especially if you go with a group). I am pretty comfortable speaking to people in French and I quite enjoy it, although when it’s something I have trouble figuring out in English – like…cell phone plans.
*IES: Everyone at IES is wonderful. I can’t believe I just got here last Wednesday but I feel like I’ve known these people much longer (thanks to our weekend trip to Vannes!)
*Street vendors: it is possible to get a nice slice of pizza and a pain au chocolat for under €4. Or, if you want to splurge, €4.90 for a duck hamburger. Yeah I know, sketch…but it was actually maybe one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had.
*Vending machines: THERE ARE BAGUETTE SANDWICHES IN THE VENDING MACHINES. Basically anything you need, you’ll find it in a vending machine. And what’s even better – they’re at the University of Nantes, where I’ll be taking some classes. I’m crying with so much happiness.
Over the weekend we all went to Vannes, biked around l'île aux Moines, walked around and ate gallettes and crêpes in Saint Goustan, and wandered around Rochefort en Terre.
Vannes (starring the Chateau de l'Hermine and nutella beignet):
L'île aux Moines:
Rochefort en Terre:
Yesterday we chose our classes. Although we’re supposed to be “shopping” for classes this week, I picked out classes that A) I hopefully will get into and B) I want to take and not drop. I’ll be taking French 401, History of French Cinema, French Literature from the 19th Century, French Cooking & Gastronomy, Techniques and Theories of Art History, Sociology of Work, and private voice lessons. It's been a crazy nine day week. I am so looking forward to taking these classes, going on more exciting adventures in and out of Nantes, and seeing more of the lively city I have come to love.
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<p>Bonjour! I'm Laura Schneider, a junior at the cozy College of Wooster, majoring in vocal performance and minoring in French. Apart from immersing myself in these two fields, I enjoy baking - while occasionally tweaking recipes, riding my bike, reading (especially outside), and playing (and watching) tennis. I lived in Bath, England with my parents my sophomore year of high school, and am so thrilled to be abroad on my own this time! After college, I am hoping to further my studies in performance somewhere in Chicago!</p>