Sitting down to study and write papers might not be the first thing you think of when you think of your semester abroad. Traveling, eating, and speaking French might be your priorities, but I guarantee that at some point in the semester with IES Abroad Nice’s rigorous academics, you will at some point find yourself needing a place to study. Unlike in America where any and every café is usually filled to the brim with students who have been camped studying out since it opened, it is not very common for students to study in cafes here in Nice, some cafes even actively discourage it. Most French students study at home or at school. Studying at school or at home can be fine, but sometimes you just need a change of scenery, so I have included some of my favorite places to study outside of the house here in Nice.
When it is warm and sunny here in Nice, which it often is, I recommend studying at Castle Hill. Castel Hill formerly had an actual castle on it but it has since been destroyed. Now there is a park at the top of the hill which is right at the edge of old Nice. Within your first few days of being here in Nice, I am sure you will be quite familiar with it. Not only is it a great place to study, but it also has the best views in Nice. It can be a bit of a hike to get to the top, but it is well worth it, and if walking up all the stairs to reach the park is not an option, there is an elevator you can take to the top. The park at the top is wide open, with many benches, a few places to get water and snacks, bathrooms, and wide-open grassy spaces. I would suggest heading up there with a picnic blanket or towel so you can spread out on the grass and have a productive study session surrounded by the crisp smells of nature and the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea. However, should it be cold or rainy there are also a few good places to study indoors.
One of my favorite places to study indoors in Nice is the Louis Nucera Library which is connected to the Modern Art Museum here in Nice. It only about a fifteen-minute walk from the center and you do not need a library card to enter. The library is large and cozy with ample seating. It a great, quiet place to go when you really need to knuckle down and concentrate, or when you have a little free time and just want to work on your French comprehension. Plus, the windows at the end of the study hall add some light to your study session so you hopefully won’t get too bogged down.
While here my host mom also introduced me to a great café-like option for studying for when you find yourself missing your Starbucks study session. Down the main avenue, Jean Medecin, just past the IES Abroad center the Columbus Café on the third floor of Fnac at the back of the book section there. The food (especially the muffins!) is good and they have fun seasonal drinks as well. Often there are people there studying or reading their recently purchased books, so this is a great place to go if you need a little background sound to do your best studying.
Finally, there is the IES center. It is rather cozy and quite convenient. I have found that there have been ample opportunities for group work during my semester here, either through group projects, presentations, or assignments and the IES Abroad Nice center provides a great place to go for group work and especially for last-minute group cram sessions.
My classes here in Nice have been engaging and challenging, but never overwhelming, so as long as you stay on top of your work and maybe use some of these study spots, you are sure to have a great semester.
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<p>Hello! I am a junior at the College of William and Mary studying global studies and data science, but my true loves are language learning and map-making. I enjoy reading and playing soccer, and I also love to bake, though I more resemble a candidate for Nailed It! then an actual baker. I am excited to go to France this fall so that I can practice my French with locals and eat some good food. For my next adventure abroad, I would love to go to China as I have recently begun to study Chinese and fallen in love with the Netflix show Wild China.</p>