As I reach the end of my time in Nice, it is time to reflect on what I have learned and how I have grown. When I first arrived in Nice, I was completely alone and wondering if I had made the right choice. Now, five months later, I have had the experience of a lifetime and learned so much.

EDHEC Business School was quite different than Mays. The three-hour-long classes were rough but allowed many long weekends to travel. The grades were based only on a midterm and final exam, mostly a 30/70 split. I was lucky enough to have at least one fellow exchange student in every course, as the French students are indeed difficult to get to know. The classes there were high-level, and I really enjoyed the electives, which were taught by professors with incredible real-world experience and unique teaching styles. I will miss the campus itself. Many of the classrooms and the various decks had views of the ocean and the private planes at the airport. It was easy to start planning my walk to the beach when I was two hours into a derivatives class.

My favorite part of the exchange was all the people I got to meet. I was the only American in the M1 program, so I was truly out of my comfort zone. I met people from places I never thought I would and loved learning about how their cultures and all their languages. I also got to live with people from England and The Netherlands and see the differences in how they live. I especially enjoyed the authentic Stroopwafels my roommate’s family brought.

I was able to travel to five countries during my time in Monaco. My favorite was Portugal, and I spent the most time in Switzerland with four trips. I was also incredibly lucky to attend some of the world’s most iconic events. I went to the Cannes Film Festival and saw celebrities walk the red carpet. I also extended my trip to go to the Monaco Grand Prix, something I never thought I would do.

Although there is much to see in all of Europe, I feel that Nice is one of the best cities for a long stay. The weather there is great, with a milder winter I especially appreciated and much cooler summers than Texas. The Côte d’Azur is truly beautiful, and I grew to love Nice’s rock beaches. There are sand ones nearby though if you can’t get used to it. There is so much to see in a close radius as well. I took trains to Cannes, Antibes, Marseilles, Monaco, and many more places. You can even take an hour-long train to Ventimiglia, Italy. Nice also offers a direct bus to three different ski resorts for a mere six euros each way. I made four different day trips out to Isola 2000 in my time there.

My time in Nice taught me a lot. I had to deal with many challenges there such as the language barrier, opening a bank account, and luggage lost for five days that was only saved by a French-speaking friend. It is a time I wouldn’t change for anything, and I hope to return soon.