Time for Thursday Throwback!

June 27, 2013

A long time ago when I was a traditional college student, my friend and I left for Besancon, France to enroll in an immersion school for nine months.  The school, living in France, the perspectives I gained, and the friends I made changed me forever.  I am so thankful that I was able to have this study abroad experience my junior year of college!

Besancon has about 220,000 people and is part of the Franche Compte region, which located in the east of France near Switzerland.  The city's claim to fame is that Victor Hugo was born there, and indeed he was.  He just didn't stay there very long, as his family moved away at a young age.  Other cities near Besancon are Dijon (yes, think of the mustard!) and Bern, Switzerland.

When I arrived, I had to take a month long intensive French course.  This photo is of my classmates and I.  The girl who is in the front and center became a really good friend of mine.  She's Singaporean, and I even got a chance to visit her there and to meet up with her in New Zealand in 2008.  I keep waiting for our next meet up!  Maybe one day we can arrange a group meet up back in "our" town of Besancon, which is commonly abbreviated as Besac. 

 This was our first time going out in France.  We went to the most famous/biggest bar in town to a place called Pop Hall.  It didn't become our favorite bar, but they always had loud music playing.  The pic below is of my two American friends and I with some Brazilian girls who lived on our floor in our dorm. 


One one of our first weekends in France, we didn't waste any time visiting different cities.  Our very first trip out of Besancon was to Nice, which was were my friend and I initially wanted to study.  The program there fell through, so we picked Besancon instead.  We loved Nice, but after visiting, we thought it was a blessing in disguise about how the Nice program didn't work out.  In Nice, everyone spoke English and wanted to speak English to us as soon as they heard our American accents.  In Besancon, the fewer people knew English which really gave us a chances to practice speaking with the locals.   

We stopped at Aix-en-Provence on the way back, but just for a few hours.  The pic to the far right is from there.

By the way, these pics were all ones I scanned in because I didn't even own a digital camera back then!

It's crazy to think that after all this time and after all the traveling I've done that I've never gone back to France.  I need to change that!  Did you do a study abroad program while you were in university?
5 comments on "Time for Thursday Throwback!"
  1. I always wanted to study abroad, but I had a two-semester class every year and worked every summer. Maybe someday...

    1. Do you have that option in your Master's program? We weren't allowed to study abroad for a whole semester (though I tried to do it in Haiti!!), but we could do a study tour with our prof.

    2. Are there any study abroad trips you could do in your Master's program? We couldn't do study abroad for a whole semester (I tried!!), but we could add an optional study tour.

  2. Cute throw back! I would love to go to France. When I was in University doing my Psychology degree lived away from home but it was still in Ontario. I went to a University about 4 hours away from my home.