I can’t believe I am finally here. I had been crossing out dates from my calendar for two months now, and today I finally arrived at my new residence Cergy, France. When I first arrived in Cergy I was a bit shocked because it was not what I expected. When they told me I would be moving thirty minutes away from Paris, I imagined Cergy would be a little glamourous and a picturesque town; however, it is an industrial small town. Nevertheless, once you get to know it, you will fall in love with it.

Even though there is not much to do in Cergy, when you have a group of friends you can make great plans. There is a lake beside the port, which has a couple of restaurants and bars, where you can go with your friends and have a picnic and watch beautiful sunsets. We normally go every afternoon to the lake to walk around, or walk towards the ax-majeur and eat at the stairs, and if you are lucky you might even see the Eiffel tower from here.

Nevertheless, once you get bored of the lake (which you won’t) you have Paris thirty minutes away. During my first week in Cergy, I went to Paris every day. If you go abroad check the transportation card your city offers you. Because when I arrived in France I didn’t know there was a pass (the Navigo pass) that would allow me to use all methods of transportations in Îlede- France. But after some friends told me about this pass, now I can travel to Paris and all small towns surrounding it for only $75 dollars a month, which is nothing compared to the daily ticket to Paris. Being close to a big city is the best part of being in Cergy, because you are experiencing the same university vibe that we have in TAMU with only students but at the same time you are also living the Paris life because trust me you will be going to Paris at least three times a week.

The one thing that really differentiates ESSEC from TAMU is the long class periods. Most of the courses in ESSEC are 3 hours long with a 15 minute break. However, because the classes are really small, about 25 students per class, the classes are really interactive and you get to meet all of your classmates. What I also really like about ESSEC curriculum is that instead of giving homework or midterms most of your grade is based on participation or group projects. However, my favorite part of ESSEC is that inside the school you have a bar where all students get together during the breaks or after school and you get to meet people from different cultures.