School Days

In France, I am attending Reims Management School (RMS). RMS recently partnered with another business school in France, Rouen, and the schools together have a new name: NEOMA Business School.

RMS (NEOMA) has 7 different programs and I am participating in CESEM (Centre d’Etudes Supérieures Européennes de Management) program. CESEM is a dual degree program. RMS has partnered with schools in more than 8 countries. Students begin their studies at RMS or at one of the partner schools.  For their third and fourth years, they study at RMS (if they began their studies at one of the partner schools) or at one of the partner schools. I am currently in CESEM 3. To learn more CESEM about it, you can visit their website:  http://www.cesem-rms.fr/en/home-page-cesem.

I started school Monday, September 2 (yes, it has taken me a while to post this). The first week of school was intensive French classes. That week I had three classes: grammaire (grammar), institutions (French history),  and français pratique (practical french–I learned vocab for the phone, bank, etc.). At the end of the week, we took a written test on French grammar and gave a group presentation. These were used to place us in French classes for the semester. There are 8 levels of these French classes, 1-8, with 1 being the highest level and 8 being the lower level of French.

My favorite part of CESEM is being in classes with international students. I learn so much from just talking with everyone. And I now know people from Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, China, and Italy, which is super cool.

After the first week of intensive French, I started my classes for the semester. My class schedule is a little complicated and very different than it was at Elon. I am taking 13 classes this semester. Yes, I know. It’s a lot. All my classes are, for the most part, with the same group of people. After the French placement test we took the previous week, we were placed into one of four groups–A, B, C, or D. This is the group of people we have class with. I am in group D. I am also taking two French classes for the language. One of them is with the other people who were placed the same level of French that I was placed in (7, if you’re curious). The other french class is for extra French grammar practice and there a people from levels 6, 7, and 8 in it.

Classes are taught in 1.5 hour blocks with 15 between classes. But, most of my classes are two 1.5 hour blocks, or 3 hours long, with a break halfway through. At Elon, the longest classes (other than labs) were 1 hour and 40 minutes. I didn’t like those classes because they were so long. Needless to say, I’ve been having to adjust to having 3 hour classes. Additionally, my class schedule changes every week. My classes vary in the number of credit hours which means that I have some classes for 15 hours total, and others for 45 hours total. This combined with the number of classes I am taking, means that I am picking up and dropping classes throughout the semester. So, I have a schedule that has my class schedule mapped out everyday for the semester. Some days I have one class, others I have three or four. In general, Mondays and Thursdays are my shortest days and Wednesdays and Fridays are the longest. Also, some days I finish classes at 1:00 and other days I am in class from 8:00 to 5:30. It’s definitely going to take some time to get used to this schedule.

I’m still adjusting to the schedule and having all of my classes in French, but so far so good!

And now, I’m almost all caught up with my blog posts 🙂

Until next time!

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It’s the Little Things

Before I left for France, my mom warned me that peanut butter isn’t the same France as it is in the US.

At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I though that I was going to eat a lot of Nutella and be just fine. I have been eating a lot of Nutella, but I have been missing peanut butter. And, the grocery store closest to my apartment does not have peanut butter. So, I decided to try another grocery store today, one that’s farther away, to see if they have peanut butter.

Much to my delight, I found that the store had one kind of peanut butter that was hidden in the corner on the very top shelf. It made my day!

 

I started school 2 weeks ago with a week of intensive French classes and then I started my classes last week (I should have a new blog post about school later this week!). Since starting school, I have been really tired. My schedule has been pretty hectic  and having to translate French and English constantly is exhausting.

Despite my exhaustion, I’m doing my best to appreciate the little things, like finding peanut butter in France, that make each day special.

 

More to come soon!

Apartment Tour!

Hello! Welcome to my apartment!

I have a tiny studio apartment in France. It has just enough room for all of my stuff, but it will be perfect for the semester!  And, I am only a short 5 minute walk from downtown and the train station, so it’s the perfect location for my first semester in France!

Entrance:

2013-09-09 10.59.33

Bathroom:

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Kitchen:

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Bed:

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View from my window:

2013-09-08 11.51.20

First Week in France

This past week has been very busy!

My first few days in France were filled with logistics–figuring out transportation, a bank, etc.–and exploring the city! My apartment is very close to the center of Reims (le centre ville) so it is very easy  to walk to the restaurants and stores downtown.

Monday, we decided to find the school. We are attending Reims Management School (RMS). The school has two campus, campus 1 and campus 2. Our program is primarily on campus 2. We hopped on the tram and quickly found campus 1. After exploring the campus, we decided to visit campus 2 as well. We knew what road it was on and thought that we would be able to find it quickly. We were very wrong. We road the tram to another stop and walked around for an hour with no luck. The next day, we looked up directions and tried again and found the school very quickly!

After tackling the tram, we decided to tackle the bus system. Our grand plan was to hop on a bus without looking at a map and just get off at a random stop. Eventually, we would end up where we needed to be. We got on the right buses, but rode them in the wrong direction each time (whoops). So it took us two hours (instead of 30 minutes) to get where we wanted to go, but we learned how the buses work. It was also really cool to see more of the town!

The food here is delicious. Like expected, I am eating copious amounts of bread and cheese. And, we have discovered a delicious crêpe place five minutes from our apartment. Yum! Also, there is a market that is open every week with fresh produce, eggs, and other goodies. We are definitely good to stop by every week!

Saturday night we decided to go to a soccer game. We took the bus on the stadium and managed to get on the correct bus that was going in the right direction! When you ride the bus, each stop is announced in advance. When your stop is called, you push a button to let the driver know that you are getting off there. We pushed the button to get off at the right stop, but the button was broken and didn’t work. So, we were stuck on the bus. First, we thought that we could just keep riding the bus to the end of the route and then take it back to our stop, but that was really far. Eventually we finally made it to the soccer stadium well after the game had started. There was one ticket window still open so we went to see if we could get tickets. It turns out that there were a lot of open seats and since we came so late (after half time) we got free tickets! The game was so much fun! Each team had a section of fans who were extremely enthusiastic and led cheers throughout the match. After the game, we ventured over to our favorite crêpe restaurant for a scrumptious treat!

Monday I started school! The first week is intensive French before we start classes next week. So far, the week has been great!

More to come soon!