I knew I wanted to go to France and I was only able to go abroad during the summer. Which made the study abroad program provided by SUNY Oswego the perfect fit for me. I was a student of the University of Nice- Carlone for the month of July. Classes met Monday through Friday from nine to three.
I knew that when I went abroad that my studies would be easy, but things got a little dicey. My professor was great; however, she was very eccentric. Her last name in Italian means storm and she truly fit her name. She pushed everyone in the class to speak French exclusively and by the end I saw a difference in my French speaking abilities.
Because my professor had a funny way of teaching, the whole class bonded. My class was small and consisted of only eight people, but it ended up helping us in many ways. For example, if the professor asked one person a question by surprise we would somehow manage to help someone in our class- mostly by whispering it.
Because we had excursions twice a week we were able to bond outside of class. Our activity coordinators took us to a variety of different museums and at the end of each trip we always had the option to stay at a beach. My favorite outing was when they took us out to kayak on the sea. Even though I do not have any rhythm, which annoyed my partner, we still enjoyed ourselves and got to learn a little about the sea life around that area. Since we were located in the south of France, if we weren’t in class, or at a museum, we all spent our time together at the beach. By the end of my trip, I was the tannest I’d ever been in my life and by extension the happiest.
Since I was there for such a short time, I thankfully did not get homesick. I, however, did experience little moments of culture shock that made me laugh. For example, their cars are so much smaller than the cars we have here in the United States. It was almost get rid of almost like watching people drive little clown cars. They also have a serious parking problem over there; everyone double parks. For example, you could just be walking down the street and all of sudden someone would just stop their car, put on their hazards and run out to the store for their baguettes. Also that image that you think of people in France loving their baguettes is a hundred percent true. Every morning when I would walk to school, I would always see someone leaving la boulangerie with a couple baguettes.
What made this trip memorable was not the fact that I got to see France or learn French culture but was the fact that I made life long friends. I made friends from all over the world except from France (there were not any French people taking French classes). For example, my friends came from Germany, Italy, Russia, and Australia. We were able to keep in contact and have plans to meet up next year, but this time in Italy.
Thanks to Binghamton University, Myers Scholarship, and SUNY Oswego I was able to go abroad and cross things off my college bucket list. I am very thankful that they gave me the opportunity to get a taste of Europe. I will be returning there hopefully next year.
Isabelle Duvivier, a Human Development major, studied in France at University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis through SUNY Oswego during summer 2017.