It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Every year, Reims hosts a Christmas Market in the center of town. It’s filled with lights, trees, and little booths where you can get food, drinks, and gifts. I have had so much fun looking around, trying out new things, and buying gifts at the market!

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Exams are finally over, which means that this semester is officially complete! Thank you so much for all of your support this semester 🙂

And, I am extremely excited to have 3 more semesters in France! Next stop, an internship in Paris in January!

Happy Holidays!

Until next year 🙂

It’s November?!?!

I can’t believe that it’s already November! Time has flown by so quickly this semester. As of October 22nd, I have officially been in France for 2 months and I will finish my first semester here is less than 2 more months. That means that, I will be back in the U.S.A. in just 2 short months (even if it’s only for a few weeks)!

Instead of having a typical fall break, I had a few of 3 day weekends. At the end of October, I have my first exam in France in Finance. I stressed myself out way too much over the exam but I think that I ended up doing okay (fingers crossed!). After the  exam in France, I had a 3-day weekend, 3 days of classes, and then another long weekend. During these three day so of classes, I took one of my many classes–management of teams. Being in the same classroom for three days got a little old, but I really enjoyed the class!

Anna’s mom visited us that week too! It was so great to see her again 🙂

After my 3-day class, I got to go on a mini-vacation! One of my friends, Kate, is studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany for the semester so I hopped on a train to visit her! Other than getting a little lost on my way there, I had a wonderful time in Germany (pictures to come soon)!

I am currently swamped with school work (most of my group projects are due this month), but I’m so glad that I had the chance to relax a little bit before diving into school again. I have also started working on finding an internship for next semester. Hopefully something will work out soon 🙂

I am going to start volunteering in France! Well, a little bit this semester and then hopefully more next year! NEOMA has a program called Prepa Remois that helps give students equal education opportunities. Their next event is at the end of November and I’m really excited for it 🙂

Until next time!

P.S. This is awesome : http://www.edisproduction.de/2013/10/14/best-coin-ever-spent/

Exploring Reims

These past few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to explore Reims! Here’s what I’ve been up:

Two weekends ago (September 14 & 15), was the journées du patrimoine. All historical building, including some that aren’t normally open, were open to the public for free! The majority of these sites are in Paris, but there were a lot of things to see in Reims! Our first stop was the Cathedral (the Reims Notre Dame). We took a tour of the Cathedral that allowed us to climb up to the top! The views were amazing 🙂 Our next stop was the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall). The building is filled with gorgeous architecture with some modern touches. Finally, we toured the Opera House! First, we looked at the costumes that were on display from various Operas. The best part of the exhibit was that they had two instruments from the 1800’s and 1900’s on display! Next, we took a tour of the theater. We got to sit in the theater, walk on stage, and visit the orchestra pit! All in all, it was a fantastic day!

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The view from the Cathedral

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L’hôtel de ville                                                                    The Opera House

On our way to explore a path along the canal, Anna, Dre, and I found an awesome park just a few blocks away from our apartments!

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Friday the 20th of September was the International Student’s day at NEOMA (RMS). So, instead of having class, all of the international students traveled to a small town just outside the city. We were split up into groups with a mixture of students from both international programs and had a scavenger hunt around the town! The town is absolutely gorgeous! The other international program is a semester abroad for a master’s program in English. Since my program is in French and not every speaks English, we translated and played charades to communicate and had a blast getting to know each other.

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This weekend, Anna and I decided to go to the movies. We decided to see Sur le chemin de l’ecole, but when we got to the theater, the movie wasn’t playing there. We realized that the movie was playing at another theater that was a part of the same chain. Oops. There were two other movies that hadn’t started yet at the theater–a horror movie, which was out because I hate horror movies, and 2 Guns. So we saw 2 Guns. It is an American film, but was dubbed over in French. The movie was a lot of fun, but I didn’t understand a lot of it. Whoops.

Reims has a week every year for student, Welcome Week. I went to my first Welcome Week event Sunday, a brunch, with some friends from school.  I was really excited to eat crepes and croissants and pain au chocolat, but when we got there, we quickly realized that that wasn’t the case. There were just drinks and plates of little appetizers. But it was a (little bit of) free food, I got to meet some new people, and I got to see Palais du Tau–a gorgeous building right by the Cathedral–because that’s where the brunch was held.

After the brunch and some homework, I went to a soccer game at the Stade de Reims! Reims was playing Monaco which was a huge game. From what I understand, Reims is in the top division for soccer (football) 1. Monaco was recently bought by someone really wealthy and moved from division 2 to 1 because they also signed a bunch of great players.

We had really good seats! Were were towards the center in the first row of the top balcony. (And I finally got my student card this week, so I was able to start enjoying my student discards by getting a half-priced ticket).

The atmosphere is the stadium is energetic, awesome, and so much fun!

The game ended in a 1-1 tie (but we almost won–it was so close!)

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It has been a great few weeks! I can’t believe that I have been in France for over a month now!

More to come soon 🙂

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!

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:

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Bathroom:

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Kitchen:

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Bed:

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View from my window:

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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!

Light Show

When I think of a light show, I typically think of bright lights in fun patterns and colors. The light show at the cathedral I went to the other night made me completely rethink what I think about when I hear the words “light show”. In my previous post, I described the show as spectacular, but that only begins to describe how beautiful it was! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so…

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