Bonjour from Strasbourg! – Erin Williams
Mays Business School, January 31st, 2023
It’s almost been three weeks since I arrived in Strasbourg and my experience has been great so far. With this being my first trip overseas and my first solo trip, my anxiety was through the roof when I arrived in Paris. Initially, I was worried about missing my train, getting pickpocketed, and not being able to understand anyone and I can confirm that none of these things happened! If you just ask for a little bit of help, then someone will point you in the right direction. Once I arrived in Strasbourg, the biggest difference I noticed, compared to the US, was their public transportation. You can get anywhere in Strasbourg by tram, bus, or walking. It’s really easy and cheap. Speaking of cheap, the cost of living in Strasbourg is very affordable and there are so many cool restaurants and bakeries. There is a bakery on every corner with so many fresh pastries to try. I have been living off of croissants and pain au chocolat since coming here.
Regarding school, I have had to get used to the three-hour lectures, but they are quite manageable. Professors usually give a 15 min break halfway through and it helps with breaking up class time. It is nice only having to attend class once a week. Another big difference compared to A&M is that your class schedule is unpredictable. Not every class starts at the beginning of the semester, some start and end halfway through! Also, the meeting location for each class changes every week and you don’t have certain classes every week. Though every week is different and my schedule is random, it is nice to not have the same classes every week. Currently, I am taking 18 hours abroad and only have two weeks of the semester where all my classes intersect. So far school has been very manageable.
Some culture shocks I have experienced while being in Strasbourg:
- A lot of people here don’t speak English (shocker) (note to self: practice French before coming!)
- You have to pay to use the bathrooms & water isn’t free
- Strikes happen almost every week
- Everyone smokes
- Shops close at 8 pm
- Everything is closed on Sundays
- 2-hour lunch breaks
Regarding travel, I have been to Paris, Frankfurt, and Baden-Baden in the past two weekends! I have learned a lot about the history of these regions and it is rewarding to learn about cultures so different from the one I am used to. Below I have included some photos from my travels.