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Lindsey RaeburnLindsey Raeburn
International Business, spend a semester in Rennes, France

How it all Began
Ever since I was little I have studied French and I remember sitting in high school, listening to my teacher talk about France and her study abroad experience there. That was what sold: ever since that moment I have dreamed of studying abroad in France. So when I was a freshman at UNCG, I got on board and started the process very early because I knew I was going to France. That is exactly what I did. During the spring semester of my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Rennes, France.

The City of Rennes
The word to describe Rennes would be quaint. With a population of 210,000, Rennes is one of the biggest cities in France. It is located two hours by train outside the capital, Paris. With its medieval architecture and French culture, Rennes is a really nice place to visit and study. It also has some modern buildings and you can find those at Rennes II, the university at which I studied.

Classes
The university Rennes II is known for its liberal arts. There are a lot of international students there as well, so it is very easy to fit in. All my classes were in French and I had class every day, but only about two classes a day that averaged from one to two hours per class. The classes were similar to the way foreign language classes are taught at UNCG. I did a lot of independent study outside the classroom and I really enjoyed the style that the professors used to teach French. I found it very efficient and I found all of my professors wanting us to learn the language and they helped us in any way possible.

Accommodations
I lived about 10 to 15 minutes away from Rennes II. I could walk or take the metro to the stop Villejean University. I lived in a residence hall with French students and I got to enjoy my own room. There are kitchens provided on each floor, so I was able to practice my cooking skills. Bon Appetite! It was really fun to cook with my friends and try a new variety of food from all over the world.

Don’t ever think that there is nothing to do. Rennes has plenty of opportunities for you to explore! You can go downtown and eat at a crêperie, or you can enjoy a French film. Maybe a tour through an art museum would appease you, or perhaps you would enjoy shopping in exquisite shops or the market. Or, perhaps you would like doing what most French do, go to a café and enjoy a drink while chatting away in French. Whatever you would like to do, Rennes has it available for you. To be able to get around, you can take the bus or the one metro all by the swipe of your KorriGo.

Travel
Traveling was of course on my to-do-list as well. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Italy, Greece, and Spain, just to name a few a places. It is so convenient to travel in Europe by buying a plane ticket through one of the cheap airlines like RyanAir or EasyJet and just booking a hostel and you are off. To travel anywhere in France you can take the TGV (a fast train), which from Rennes to Paris is about 2 hours and costs around 50€. Don’t worry about traveling alone. I did a lot of independent traveling and did just fine.

Program Impact
My study abroad experience was wonderful. I enjoyed it so much that I am going to go abroad again. You may only have one chance to go abroad in your life, and it might be right now, so take advantage of this great opportunity.

Advice for Future Students

  • The best advice that I can give is always approach a French person in French and if they see you are struggling then more than likely they will speak to you in English.
  • Don’t just stay with the American students: meet other international students and French students and practice speaking in French.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity because you will learn so much, especially if you travel by yourself.
  • If you get frustrated don’t forget there are other international students in your shoes. Just stay positive.
  • Of course make the best of your trip and have fun! Bon Voyage!
 

Page updated: 17-Feb-2009

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