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School of Business Administration


By Claire Esslinger, '21

“Bonjour,” as the French say (or for evening, “bonsoir”). If you read my first stUDy ABROAD blog, you may notice that my French has improved very little; however, after a whopping three French classes, I am quite happy with my progress. I now know more than just “oui,” which was the only word I knew when I arrived in France.

After three weeks of classes, I began to notice significant differences between the American and French education systems. For instance, my courses meet for only ten class periods and each teacher is in charge of scheduling times and dates for their classes. One of my instructors decided to hold three class periods in one day, and then none for the rest of the month. Another course will take only one week to complete. It’s quite different from having a set day and time for each class, but we’re adjusting. One week we had only one class meeting, so we took advantage of the break with a long weekend in London. After returning to Nice for one class, we leave for another long weekend in Switzerland.

Our school has a large international presence so we interact with students from all over the world. For one of my projects I’m working with a girl from Germany and a boy from Canada. The diversity in the classrooms is beyond what I’ve experienced before and I find it very enlightening. Talking with students from various cultures and backgrounds has opened my mind to many new issues and ideas.

We have many three-day weekends and use these to explore Europe. Our trip to London was over Valentine’s Day. We joined the locals dodging buses traveling the wrong way down one-way streets and munching on fish and chips. We felt quite British! It was nice to be in a country where the primary language was English. Navigating the Tube was as easy as we’d been led to believe. We took a spin on the London Eye (see photo) where we spotted Big Ben under construction; we walked the Channel Tower; and of course we crossed Abbey Road just like the Beatles (see photo). The renowned English rain pelted us the entire weekend, but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We braved the downpours to watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, we never saw any of the Royal family while we were there, so didn’t get to have our high tea with the Queen!

We were sorry to say goodbye to London, but took away lifetime memories of our quick visit.

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