My name is Travis and I am studying at EDHEC Business School in Nice, France

20 Things to Know for Study Abroad (France Edition):

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In France, wine is cheaper than water.
  4. Guys, don’t carry anything in your back pockets. Girls, always keep your purse zipped up and close to your body.
  5. Download Viber or WhatsApp. This is going to be your means of communication between the people you meet.
  6. When planning things out with friends use the following rules:
    1. Establish a meeting time and place beforehand! Most people wont be able to contact each other when outside of their apartments.
    2. Wait 10-15 minutes after the scheduled meeting time for anyone who shows up a little late (believe me, it may be you!)
    3. Know where you are going afterwards so that people who are really late can still meet up with you!
  7. Always have cash on you! You never know when your credit card won’t work.
  8. 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.
  9. Sometime traveling by rail is cheaper; sometimes traveling by plane is cheaper. Check all options before doing any traveling.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.).
  15. Lots of things in France close on Sundays. Make sure you don’t need to go buy anything specific on Sunday!
  16. 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.
  17. Even in the summer it gets cold at night in France! Bring a jacket with you at all times!
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Yes, you actually have to study on study abroad.

 

A picture of Nice, France.

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I rode my bike every morning up the Promenade de Anglais to school. This was one calm morning.

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