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Matt in France

Final Thoughts About Living Across the Pond

After studying abroad and over the past 21 years of being alive, I have now become accustomed to be called: Baby Matthew, Matthew, Matthew Tyler, Matt, Matty, Mateo, Matias, and now. . . Mathieu. But before I became used to my French name. . . I grew up with a Mexican American Father and a Nordic heritage American Mother. They have lived and travelled across the globe from Iceland, to England, to Norway, to Spain, to Germany, to Japan, to Australia, and more. They have worked in the fields under […]

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Matt’s Across the Pond Favorite Photos

I attempted to capture the culture and the people I met and encountered on my adventures here. I arrived on August 31, 2013. I did not just stay in Montpellier, France, for this entire semester but visited several places: St. Guilhem the Desert, France Carcassonne, France Sussargues, France Lyon, France Paris, France Barcelona, Spain Füssen, Germany Frankfurt, Germany Prague, Czech Republic Vienna, Austria Salzburg, Austria Budapest, Hungary I did not get to see everything that I wanted to in France and that would be impossible, but someday I hope to […]

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What My Art History Research Taught Me About the Western World

When I originally applied for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, I had no idea that my research would change as much as it did through the course of the semester. In general, I was interested in further exploring 19th and 20th Century artwork of the Western World, le monde Occidental as it is known in French. I wanted to look at how the world rapidly developed due to industrialization and how it affected the Art world. After discussing with Professor Patrick Perry at the Beaux Arts School in Montpellier, […]

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Haute Cuisine & Mediocre Art Instruction

I’ll start with the frustrating I’ve dealt with this semester and end on a high note. One of my French Classes: I took a course this semester at Paul Valéry entitled Téchniques plastiques fondamentales – Perspective et Dessin d’observation. I was required to follow to courses under the umbrella course with different professors. Each week I would go, and each week I would not learn a ton or anything at all. It was not a language barrier either. One professor did sometimes explain on the board how to create perspective […]

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Lyon’s Lights, Art, and a German Friend’s Story

A $10 dollar trip to go to Lyon, France for the day. I at first had no idea why we were going for class because no one had said anything to me until a week before and my professor asked me if I wanted to come to the Lyon for a day trip. I assumed it was to visit some museums but then realized it was the weekend of the Fête de Lumières, which happens annually during a week in December with light shows all over the city, and assumed […]

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Melted Cheese During Christmas Time

When you live in France. It becomes a routine of eating cheese and drinking wine. However, the taste is never the same and always a new experience, because the people who surround the table are learning a little more about you and you are learning a little more about them. I was incredibly lucky to be invited to spend another afternoon in the country. This time, it was for the Raclette. The word “raclette” originates from the French word racler which means “to scrape.” It’s a type of cheese that […]

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A Very Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Since being in college I’ve only spent ONE Thanksgiving back home in Kansas with my parents. The other places for the feasting and giving thanks holiday I have been in Minnesota, New York City, and now France. I’d figure I’d go in order and try to tell you one funny thing from each and why this year was just very Charlie Brown feeling. 2010 – New York City My awesome cousin Rebekah and her incredibly talented husband Jason, they are both formidable actually. It was in a great apartment just […]

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German Play, French Cheese, and American Cinema

Tambours dans la nuit (Drums in the Night) is the French title for the German play I saw this past Saturday night. Yes I sat through a 2hr play with no intermission in French and actually understood what was going on; duly not though I probably actually only understood about 30-40% of the play. It was fascinating watching the French interpret this German production that was originally written just after WWI. The actors spoke with German inflections and used German mannerisms; at least that’s what I gathered. And got me […]

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Picabia’s 391 Research & la Fac Update

My research paper is going fairly well and I’m starting the outline this weekend! It is looking to involve the 1913 Armory Show, Masculinity, WWI, WWI massive amount of advertisements to join the war, the Avant Garde, the Dadaists, Picabia (of course), Andy Warhol. . . Also, there’s been a massive strike at the University (la fac) here. Essentially the schools been on and off for the past month because of the disputes of the changing public university. Instead of anyone being able to go to school for free, it […]

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An Irish Woman in the French Countryside

The day after I got back from Paris. . . was the day I started feeling ill. I had a horrible sore throat, was getting cold sweats, a constant fever, and my muscles felt like noodles for the rest of the week but on Friday I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics (and yes I’m taking all of them so public health people don’t worry). However the entire week wasn’t a bust. I went to see Gravity and luckily it was in English. Entirely blown away by the […]

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What’s Changed from 15 to 21 Years Old

I first came to France just before my 16th birthday with my 21 year old brother for a 17 day tour of England, Scotland, and France. We spent a total of 3 days in Paris. Man, still can’t believe my parents let us go abroad by ourselves. Would you have let your kids? Reflecting back now about that trip is difficult because it’s been so long ago and I don’t have my journal here with me that I had kept while traveling with my brother. Additionally, I don’t have my […]

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Paris- 3 Days in 610 Words

I had left at 5:24 am in the morning to save myself about 13 bucks by taking the early train. When I arrived and took the the metro to the stop where my hostel was at. . . I immediately didn’t know which way to turn and apparently this old French man saw it all over my face. He approached me and asked me in French what street I was looking for. He knew instantly it was down the way and the first street to the left. I thanked the […]

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The Real Disney Castle- Germany

The final stop was Füssen, Germany. All just to visit a castle. Why this castle? The Neuschwanstein. First: It’s the castle the Disney Castle is modeled is after, if you haven’t already deduced that from the title of the post. Second: I was told by several people who’ve been to Germany that going to a castle in the woods and mountains is a must. Third: My mom went to the castle when she studied abroad as a student. (Still on the hunt for that picture of her and the castle, […]

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A Waiter Named Jakob in Salzburg

We got in to Salzburg, Austria when it was dark and left when it was dark. It was an incredibly short visit because we were trying to get to Füssen, Germany but wanted to at least go to the city of Sound of Music. Who doesn’t love the Von Trapp family?!? So we wondered the streets listening and singing to a little of the musical. There was an awesome city square place to play chess, but sadly it appeared someone still a rook and a knight. And they weren’t playing […]

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Halloween in Budapest

I knew nothing about Budapest before I visited and still feel like I don’t even have a general idea because of the complexity of the history of the east. However I did learn three things the cities development, about the alcoholic drink Pálinka, and a little about the occupation of Hungary by Russia. Yes, it wasn’t always called Budapest. It was the combination of Pest, Buda, and Óbuda that united to become Budapest in 1872. It was the golden age of Hungary and 1896 marked the continental Europe’s first underground […]

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