I’ve been in Nice, France, for six days and I am already in love with the city. I am living in an apartment across the street from La Vieille Ville– the Old Town section of Nice. My apartment is a peach colored building with blue shutters a classic Mediterranean feel. There are two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, dining area, and a bathroom. The bathroom is separated into two rooms– one with a shower and a sink, the other with a toilet and a sink. There is also a small balcony outside one of the bedrooms. The apartment is decorated with impressionist style paintings of the beach and the promenade.
My roommate, Nour, is from North Carolina, although she is originally from Algeria. We haven’t spent a lot of time in our apartment so far, as we’ve been exploring the city and attending orientation activities.
Everyone on our study abroad program is living in different housing. A few other groups of students are living in apartments similar to ours, although a majority of our study abroad peers are living with host families. Many of them are having great experiences living with mainly French-speaking host families. For others who speak little to no French, they are finding it a bit difficult to communicate with their host families.
I had the option to live in either an apartment or a homestay, and I chose an apartment as my first choice. I have traveled abroad a few times before and feel comfortable traveling and living independently, which is one of the main reasons I chose not to do a homestay. I like having the freedom to come and go and to have friends over if I choose, without having to worry about disrupting a host family. However, I see the advantages of living with a family and being more immersed in the culture and the language.
When we are in our apartment and walking around in Nice, Nour and I often practice speaking French to each other. This way, we will can still practice the language even when we are not interacting with other French people.
Overall, I am very happy with my apartment and with the neighborhood I am living in. We are close to tons of cafes, restaurants, and shops, and we can walk almost everywhere. There is also a tram stop and a bus stop nearby, which we can use to get around the city or to nearby towns.
The only downside to my apartment is the distance to the school. The school is in a different town and is about 45 minutes away by bus. I started classes at SKEMA Business School yesterday.
Stay tuned to hear more about my adventure in the South of France!