I have just arrived in Strasbourg, France and will be living here for the next 4 months. Upon arrival, things were different here than they are at home right away. In order to travel around the country, you must take trains, which was a new concept for me. After arriving in Strasbourg, I know I will love my time here as it is a beautiful and lively city. The people of Strasbourg have been kind to me, even when I can’t communicate with them perfectly in French. They are also very eager to help me when I need it.

My international program at the EM Business School has had orientation events for the group this week, for us to meet others from around the world doing a semester exchange. It has been a very unique experience so far getting to meet other students from different countries, who I am more similar to than I would have imagined.

Although the French get stereotyped as being rude to foreigners, I have not felt that in the time I have been here. The culture in the country has been remarkable and I have loved trying local foods, my favorite being the “pain au chocolat.”

One of the biggest differences I have noticed this week is the means of transport in Strasbourg. Biking, walking, and public transport is the most common form of travel for locals and tourists here, which is different from the US as cars are heavily used there. Another difference I have noticed is the laid back culture of the French, the mornings start slow for the people here and evenings are social. This has been different to see compared to the hustle culture I am used to in the US.

This semester, I hope to gain a new sense of independence while I am here as I will be navigating every aspect of living in a foreign country. I would also like to become more open minded to different ways of living in the culture I see here, knowing it is completely different from what I am used to back home. I hope that throughout this semester, I am able to develop new skills and make lasting friendships with those I meet here.