Monthly Archives: August 2014

Ready for the Riviera! … I think

me rock

Hello any travel-loving people reading this!

I’d like to introduce myself: I’m Stephen, I’m a college sophomore, I study Math and Finance, and I come from the sprawling, metropolitan oasis of technological advancement that is New Hampshire (Haha. It’s a joke.)

I’ve only ever left the US one time to travel the “courageous” 200 miles to Canada. So I’m kind of nervous to travel the 3,000+ miles to the French Riviera. That’s like 15 times farther. I’ll be travelling under the CEA program, and I’ll be studying at the SKEMA school of business right outside of Antibes. I’ve looked it up on Google maps street-view and it looks awesome. Seriously.

Right now I’m slowly knocking things off of my “To-do” list I made back in April, and I’m down to ‘pack yo stuff’ and ‘go to the dentist.’ Besides those, my passport is fresh, my visa is stamped, and my ticket is booked. But don’t let me fool you; there are a TON more steps for study-abroad preparation: getting a phone, canceling subscriptions, checking in with your bank, exchanging currency, buying adapters, researching the town and country, etc. Not to mention actually learning the native tongue.

I took French in high school, so I only have a loose grasp on the language. Thankfully, none of my classes will be taught in French. I plan on trying to immerse myself with the French culture through the food, local bars (I’ll be legal in France! If you’re reading this, sorry Mom!) and restaurants, and especially the beaches. Did I forget to mention that Antibes has 16 miles of coast on the Mediterranean? Beaches all day, everyday (another joke, calm down Mom.)

But in all seriousness, I do plan on giving 100% effort with my school work. I’ve given up on Googling “differences of French and American college classes,” and I’ve come to except that I can’t really know what to expect. The only truth I know is that there’ll be billions of differences and all I can do is try and absorb, learn, and explore them.

My top worry isn’t actually the differences. Right now, it’s the packing. How many bags should I pack? Am I packing too much clothes? Not enough? My Google search results have been battling each other between the two points of “You don’t want to be over-encumbered by all of your bags! Only pack the essentials.” versus “You only need to carry your bags for a day, so take whatever you can carry! And keep room for trinkets to bring back.” I’m sitting here, with my scale balanced on both ends, having no clue which side I should agree with.

But enough about worries. I’m obviously excited to experience a whole new culture, and I’m also looking forward to meeting my roommate with whom I’ll be sharing a nicely furnished apartment. Our apartment will be a stone’s throw away from the sea-front, and it is located on a street that hosts a fresh-foods market everyday. I probably couldn’t ask for more. Except for a dryer; we have to use clotheslines.

Well, I think that’s enough pre-departure worries and excitements. By the time my next post goes live, I’ll be living in the sunny Riviera. I’ll be sure to include a ton of pictures, thanks for reading!

-Stephen M Dicillo