Currently Browsing

Study Abroad in France

MPL –> CDG –> MSP

The fairytale is coming to an end. This morning (yesterday in the United States) I left Montpellier, France; my home for the past four months. It still doesn’t quite seem real that I’ve left. After the goodbyes, the struggle of packing up the suitcases again and the rush to the airport, I’m finally taking the time to write down some thoughts. First, let me catch you all up on the last couple weeks. They’ve been rather busy, to say the least. Two weeks ago I finished up at my position […]

Read More

Just some small, Provencal towns

Saturday, we did our final day-trip adventure to Provence! ​ The squad of eager travelers has dwindled as the semester has gone on… Shout-out to Grace Nell, Grace Evans, Dawn, Eddie, Haleigh, Rachel, Erin, Aaron, Cecilia for sticking it out to the end. And to Cedric and Carrie for organizing and leading another great excursion. We started our day at Fontaine-de-Vauclause. This little town is known for its natural spring which surges up from a steep cliff – the “close of the valley” (fountain valley close – it’s a pretty […]

Read More

Friday Fêtes!

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! I’m 100% not excited and not interested in any of the Christmas-related activities going on around Montpellier. Not at all. ​Nope. Friday afternoon, we got festive at the bureau with Delphine’s activity and decorated our sapin de Noël. Delphine provided hot chocolate and pain d’épices to get in the holiday mood and the resident computers blasted some Christmas ambiance. In reality, there was a lot more belting Mariah Carey and decorating ourselves with garlands and lights for the sake of Instagram photos, but the tree did eventually […]

Read More

Morocco + Madrid

For fall break I visited a long-term dream country, Morocco. I think the desire to travel there started when I ate some “Moroccan” couscous in Disney World’s EPCOT, and grew when I learned it was a francophone country in French class. Thus when plans were being tossed around, I was a big proponent of forming a group for Morocco. Final plans included going to Fez, Morocco and then Madrid, Spain for the second half. Day 1 We arrived and headed straight to our Airbnb, which was the coolest place I […]

Read More

11 Facts About the Netherlands!

1. The Netherlands is the lowest country in Europe. In French, it is literally called Pays-Bas, or low country. 26% of the Netherlands sits below sea level, including Schipol Airport, which is 3 meters below sea level. 2. The Netherlands is home to more bikes than people. Bikes = 18 million, people = 16.8 million. Dutch people cycle an average of 2.9km per day and use bicycles for more than a quarter of all trips. 3. In Amsterdam, there are more than 8500 homes which date back more than 250 years.About […]

Read More

La famille américaine en France

I have been in high travel season this past month. I hardly seem to unpack my backpack before I have to pack it again for the next weekend adventure. Believe me, I’m aware that this is, as they say, a very “first world” problem. Even with this complaint, however, I’m having the time of my life country hopping, and this week I’m going to try and catch you all up on my life recently. First, my parents came to visit in mid-October. They say it was to confirm their daughter […]

Read More

48 hours of solitude: a Nice me-cation

I am full of witty quips. Except they’re not fully accurate. My voyages this weekend actually occupied a little more than 48 hours – more like 52 since I didn’t arrive at the exact mark of when I left. Also, I traveled solo but actually spent a good chunk of my time with some EXCEEDINGLY excellent company. And finally, it’s funny that it was a “nice” me-cation because I went to Nice and Monaco. Lolz 4 evr Aight, on with the words and pictures. ​ Friday, I hopped a train […]

Read More

Roll with the Punches

Before I started writing this post, I looked up the meaning of “roll with the punches”. Now, don’t color me stupid. I knew the gist of the saying but I just wanted to be sure for the purpose of this blog post. I found the most fitting definition on Urban dictionary and it’s this: “when things don’t go your way and you adapt to the changes and keep moving ahead instead of flipin out”.   See, that’s exactly what I had to do this weekend when I was supposed to […]

Read More

Fall colors in Grenoble

Fall break part II: THE SEQUEL A short train ride southeast-ish from Lyon, we found ourselves nestled in the mountains in Grenoble. Adventures are much easier when not encumbered by backpacks and luggage, so we made a beeline to our Airbnb. Tiffany and Pete are on the vacay in Italy this weekend so their cozy little apartment was all ours. From Josh’s interactions through Airbnb, we know that Tiffany at least, is from Vancouver. I was super stoked to find two books on the coffee table about nature on British […]

Read More

Fall In Stockholm

Happy Halloween! How is everyone spending their halloween weekend? Personally, not gonna lie, I’m not huge on halloween (but I do love candy!). The stress of figuring out a character, then having to find a costume is just not for me. However, I do enjoy seeing what everyone else dresses up as. What I do love though is fall weather ! All the colorful leaves and brisk cold is perfect for scarves, boots and oversized sweaters/jackets. My first fall experience this season happened to be in Stockholm and it was […]

Read More

ONLY LYON

Fall break Part I: the beginning Happy fall break ! It’s a foreign concept, but fall break actually falls in the MIDDLE of the semester at Paul-Valéry and UMontpellier 2. Crazy. No 14th week of the semester week off, it’s week 6 and we’re getting our week to be all fresh and ready for the second half of the semester. And so it’s time for a REAL ADVENTURE. Not to say that the adventures before-hand we less real, this is just going to be a week of traveling and seeing and […]

Read More

Castles on a Cloud

Chickens, gorillas, castles. There was a lot of mist to be seen on this excursion. ​Saturday, Paul – my medieval literature professor (one of the classes offered by the Minnesota program at the bureau) – took us on a day-trip to visit some châteaux south-west of Montpellier. Studying medieval literature and architecture in the region of the south of France, the history of these châteaux has factored into our studies – making this trip fun AND educational! ​ These two châteaux: Queribus and Peyrepertuse, were the hideouts of Cathares in […]

Read More

Hither and Thither on the Tramway

I have been doing the city life and using public transportation here in Montpellier. Gotta say, it’s a bit to get used to. Coming from itty-bitty State College where I have a car and a bike and can walk, it’s a whole new world (cue Aladdin music) to have my TaM pass and hop on and off the tramway to get to school, the bureau, etc. Everything takes 10x longer than I want it to. To get to school in the morning? Wait 4-6 minutes for the tram. Ride the […]

Read More

Carcassonne

Our second day-trip of the semester took us west to the Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortified/walled city and castle/keep. Think classic medieval castle. That’s Carcassonne. I died. It was incredible. ​ The history of Carcassonne as a stronghold dates back to the Romans – they occupied this area in 200 B.C. and (like Bordeaux – IT’S ALL CONNECTED) built city walls in the 300’s A.D. due to attacks from those darn Germanic tribes (Visigoths, I’m lookin’ at you) as well as the Muslims and Spaniards in the region. There’s […]

Read More

Four-day weekend on the home front

  Another weekend! (aren’t they flying by!?) And more things! ​ As I provoyed (Franglais, let it happen) in my last blog post, this was an exciting weekend because the travel was minimal and I was going to relax (and by that I mean get things done). Which it was (mostly) and I did (mostly). However, the weekend began a little earlier than expected. Montpellier was predicted to get hammered on Thursday and Friday with hella rain. Like, wrath of God rain. This kind of thing happens and usually (apparently) […]

Read More