My name is Travis and I am studying at EDHEC Business School in Nice, France
20 Things to Know for Study Abroad (France Edition):
- Learn how to use a map and keep it on you at all times. If you don’t have WiFi or your phone dies you need to know how to get home.
- Go very open-minded to Europe. A lot of European countries are much more accepting to certain things than we are in the U.S.
- In France, wine is cheaper than water.
- Guys, don’t carry anything in your back pockets. Girls, always keep your purse zipped up and close to your body.
- Download Viber or WhatsApp. This is going to be your means of communication between the people you meet.
- When planning things out with friends use the following rules:
- Establish a meeting time and place beforehand! Most people wont be able to contact each other when outside of their apartments.
- Wait 10-15 minutes after the scheduled meeting time for anyone who shows up a little late (believe me, it may be you!)
- Know where you are going afterwards so that people who are really late can still meet up with you!
- Always have cash on you! You never know when your credit card won’t work.
- Bring a water bottle with you from home. Fill it up before you leave everyday! Bottled water is very expensive and my $14 water bottle has paid for itself.
- Sometime traveling by rail is cheaper; sometimes traveling by plane is cheaper. Check all options before doing any traveling.
- In France, learn how to order tap water (“une carafe d’eau”). If you just ask for water they will bring you bottled mineral water, which is 5-7 euros.
- In France, it is required for them to give you “free” (as long as you are ordering something) tap water. DO NOT pay for tap water!
- If you are a milk addict, like me, don’t be surprised to find milk on the shelf in France. 95% of the milk in France is not fresh milk, but “made to last” milk. It will be thicker, creamier, and sold non-refrigerated! This takes some getting used to. Also, refrigerate after opening.
- Ask for the WiFi password at every restaurant you eat at! As you eat out more and more, you will slowly gain a small “city” WiFi network that can be helpful for those nights you are looking for directions, trying to contact someone, etc.
- Public transportation in France does NOT run all night! If you are going out make sure you leave early enough to take the metro home, know where to get a cab, or party till the morning metro begins J (5:30 – 6:00 a.m.).
- Lots of things in France close on Sundays. Make sure you don’t need to go buy anything specific on Sunday!
- Students in France dress up a lot more for class than those in the U.S. Don’t be surprised if shorts, flip flops, tank tops, etc. are not allowed in the classroom.
- Even in the summer it gets cold at night in France! Bring a jacket with you at all times!
- France has a very unionized workforce. Be aware of (obviously, non-violent) strikes that could affect you or your travel plans! i.e. Train strikes, cab strikes, air traffic control strikes, tourist attraction employee strikes, etc.
- Everything is expensive in Europe. The saying “Buy Less, For More” is no truer than it is in Europe. Bring your maximum spending amount. Then double that…then bring a little more. Seriously.
- Yes, you actually have to study on study abroad.
A picture of Nice, France.
I rode my bike every morning up the Promenade de Anglais to school. This was one calm morning.