Bryan School Study Abroad Program

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Kathryn ThiedeKathryn Thiede
International Business major; studied in Lyon, France

Growing up in a little suburb of Boston (Plymouth, MA) my parents traveled frequently for business and pleasure. I had the opportunity to travel along with them sometimes to Europe, the Caribbean and other places around the states. I really enjoyed the culture, food and atmosphere when we were in Europe. When I came to UNCG in 2004 I had not quite decided what my major would be but I new I enjoyed business and had some experience with the French language. Shortly there after, I decided to declare my major in International Business and Minor in French. Next, I decided I would like to study abroad and had the opportunity to study in Lyon, France.

The City
Lyon is the second largest city in France, to Paris. It is known as the gastronomic capital of France, meaning it has some of the best food. Some of the world’s greatest chefs have studied, worked and lived here. Lyon is about two hours Southeast of Paris and about two hours West of the French Alps. It is a beautiful city situated between and around the Rhône and the Saône rivers. Lyon is very easy to get around in and has plenty to explore and see whether you take a bus, the metro or use the bike rentals kiosks throughout the city.

While in Lyon, I stayed a few metro stops away from the school in an apartment with another exchange student. It was a suite layout with a kitchen and shared bath. We were not even a block from a small grocery and a daily market, where you could find fruits, veggies, fresh meats and plenty more. My roommate and I cooked frequently, however, if we wanted to eat out there were plenty of little cafes, and restaurants for any kind of budget.

As far as coursework, I had the option to take courses in French and/or English. My business classes were taught in English and my next level equivalency in French began with a two week every day immersion program and then continued on to meet once a week for the rest of the semester. The business courses I took met once a week Monday through Wednesday. This gave me the chance to explore around Lyon or travel the rest of the week and weekends, which was great.

While abroad, I wanted to make sure I experienced new and different cities and countries that I had not yet been to. Since Europe is more closely knit with their trains and some lower airfares it makes it relatively easy to get around. I had the opportunity to travel to the UK, Ireland, and Switzerland and all over France. One of the coolest opportunities was going skiing in the Alps. The snow is amazing, super light, and unlike anything I had ever skied on before. Not to mention the views from the tops of the runs were amazing.

Here are a few for your study abroad experience:

  • During the process prior to leaving make sure you utilize all your resources (such as students who have already been or are abroad right now). You can never ask too many questions.
  • It may be a little nerve racking at times but take a deep breath and smile, it’s going to be fantastic!
  • Know your budget and stick to it there is always something to do that doesn’t cost money. (Create your own walking tour or make dinner with fellow exchange students instead of going out to eat.)
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things!
  • Last but not least, it’s a semester abroad - make the best of it! How many people do you know that have this opportunity?

Page updated: 06-May-2010

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