Angela Davis – Lyon France
Before going abroad I hoped to become more fluent in French. Going to France had been a lifelong dream of mine and it was great to be able to finally go there. I did not have that many expectations about studying abroad before going other than meeting new people from all over the world. I can appreciate not having a lot of expectations because it makes it easier to keep an open mind.
When you go to Lyon you have the option of living in an apartment or staying with a host family. These accommodations are usually arranged before you arrive in Lyon. I stayed with a host family. It was a great experience because I got to learn about the French culture and speak the language. We usually had dinner together every night. Sometimes I got to read stories to my host mother while she was preparing food which was really nice. When living with a host family you get to see the family interaction and learn about the culture in a unique way.
The classes were small, usually around 20 students per class. The students came from all over Europe, the United States and Mexico. This brought different perspectives into the classroom and I got learn about businesses practices in different countries. The lectures had more student and teacher interaction, which was really great. There were fewer assignments and more independent reading than at UNCG. We usually had one big test or project due for each class at the end of the semester. I took all of my courses in English, except for my French language course.
THINGS TO DO
The campus in Lyon only provided limited opportunities for extracurricular activities. However, the city itself made up for it, because there are so many things to do in Lyon. I went to the movie theater and saw a lot of French movies, which helped me to learn the language. I also went to a lot of museums (which were free on the first Sunday every month) and concerts. I took some dance classes and used the gym facilities on campus to work out.
I did some traveling during my time abroad. I went to Paris by myself during the Winter Break. I also traveled to Switzerland with a friend from class. However, I spent most of my time traveling around Lyon. The city has many small neighborhoods which all have their own culture. I found Lyon to be a very friendly city with nice people. Paris was very different from Lyon because it had more of a tourist atmosphere.