By Rio Deleon, Foster Undergraduate participating in an exchange with Audencia University in Nantes, France.
I’ve been in Nantes, France for about 4 weeks now and I can’t believe how different it is from home. From the city to the people and the business school, everything is so different and definitely took some time to adjust. Let’s start with the city, it’s a LOT smaller than Seattle and very quaint. The buildings and the city itself are so rich with history, it’s actually quite fascinating. Getting around the city by Tram is something that’s very different to me, back home I had my car and here; if I want to go somewhere, it’s by foot or by Tram. I’ve gotten to experience quite a bit of things since being here and exploring the city. Seeing and visiting the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul has been one of the most memorable. Just the history in the cathedral alone amazes me.
I also had the opportunity to see the Château des ducs de Bretagne but did not get a chance to see inside. During my visit to the Chateau, there happened to be a protest going on right outside of it. Seeing the French people protest for things they care deeply about was very enlightening. While the protest wasn’t a friendly one, it was still very interesting to see people standing up for what they believe in.
One thing that really took some getting used to was the culture the French people live. For example, on Sunday, the supermarket closes early and is only open for a few hours in the morning. I didn’t really know how much the French valued their family time and personal time. It was interesting to know and see people leave work from 12PM to 1:30PM to go home and have lunch with their family, even the schools let the children out during this time. Very different from home but also very enriching.
I’m still adjusting to school life as of right now, I’m taking 7 classes during this semester and having to juggle them all is work in itself but I’m managing. Not having a set schedule is something I really had to adjust to because I was so used to having to balance work and school and every minute of my weekly schedule. Now, I go with the flow and take my days/classes on a day to day basis. It’s less stressful for me and allows me to do things with my day that I normally wouldn’t be able to do at home.
Well that’s all the update I have for now, keep an eye out for my next blog update, I’ll be doing some traveling during spring break and will have some fun updates to share about Europe.
See you soon!