I can’t believe how fast the time has gone during my semester in Nice, southern France! I’ve been here for over three months now and I only have three weeks left. These past months have been the greatest of my life and I’m already stressing about leaving, I’m not ready! First few weeks went by in a blur when life was all about new places, new people, different language and beginning of studies, but after getting used to everything I’ve really enjoyed my life here. After all, how can you not when the sun is shining 95 % of the time?
I’m studying at IPAG Business School which is a private school that has campuses here in Nice but also in Paris, Los Angeles and Kunming. When compared to TAMK, the school is very small and I was really surprised when I first got here. There is no actual cafeteria where you could buy lunch, but only a small café that serves sandwiches and other small snacks. During lunchtime everyone just goes to boulangeries (little bakeries) near the school and eat plain baguettes. There is nothing more French than people walking in the street with a baguette in their hand.
Studying compared to TAMK has been a little more challenging than what I expected. We usually have seperate lectures and tutorials from the courses which mean that in lectures we just sit and listen, and in tutorials we do group projects in small groups. Lectures are very similar than lectures in TAMK but the strong French accent has made listening to the teachers sometimes very difficult. Also the tutorials are something that took me awhile to get used to. In TAMK we are used to doing our group projects on our own schedule whereever and whenever we want so sitting in a classroom writing a project together with the group feels sometimes very unefficient.
I usually only have a few hours of school a day so I have a lot of freetime! Still I feel like I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do and visit all the places I want to see! I live with my Finnish roommate so I never get lonely and usually we spend our days hanging out with our friends, taking trips to nearby towns, doing a little shopping and tanning at the beach. Traveling around the French Riviera is very easy and cheap, for example a bus ticket to Monaco costs only 1,50e! Going around in Nice is also very easy since the city is relatively small, there is one tram line going from one end of the city to another and there are also the bikes (vélo bleu) that you can rent. The city is very cozy and cute and life here is very relaxed. Local people spend their evenings just hanging out at the beach which is so different from the busy Finnish lifestyle.
All in all, I really enjoy my time here and I’m going to use the time I have left as well as possible. There is still so much to do and see and I also want to have some time to just enjoy the weather and atmosphere here.