Brittany Yansak – Nice, France
I made it! I'm in Nice and it's absolutely beautiful. I met up with my new roommates and we're all getting along great. We finally found a place and now we're all moved in and settled. There are a lot of cafes and there is internet at the school, which we have been using to keep in touch. I have a phone but it's so expensive that I barely talk on it anyway. One thing I can tell already is that I'm learning patience. If ever you think you're patient enough, do something like this - strand yourself in a different country thousands of miles away with a 6-hour time difference and a difficult language barrier and see how you hold up! I'm having a great time expanding my French language skills though. There is certain vocabulary you just don’t learn in the classroom in America.
The way of life here is great... very laid back, yet in a larger city. There are only a couple main roads on which cars travel very fast; otherwise the streets are one-lane, where the cars go slowly, watching for pedestrians. I was surprised to see how big Nice actually is; I heard it was smaller. It also feels big because there is an endless amount of things to do. We haven't had to use any sort of public transportation yet - it's big but my apartment and the school are centrally located - we can walk everywhere. There is so much stuff on the streets; cafes, restaurants, shops, stands, everything.
Our apartment is a 3-bedroom on the top floor with access to the roof, from which we have a 360° view of Nice; it is absolutely beautiful! The beach is less than a 10 minute walk from our apartment! It is a rock beach, which you would think would hurt like crazy to lie on, but it isn't that bad once you get used to it. We've also been running along the main road called the Promenade des Anglais, which means "The American Walkway," and it goes all the way along the water. You can see the pictures on Google images; it really does look like that. Running along it is gorgeous.
I can't get over the fact that this is where I live - it is a dream vacation spot. The weather is amazing; it is 85 °F or so every day, fairly dry as far as humidity; perfect weather to walk around or be at the beach. I've only had to put on jeans maybe twice at night; other than that it's too warm for anything heavy. As far as food, Nice is a coastal town near Italy, so there is mostly seafood and Italian! They also have a lot of Indian food and other worldly food. Bread and cheese is found everywhere – luckily we walk a lot!
The people I have been meeting through school have been wonderful. It's indescribable - something everyone has to experience for themselves because words and pictures do it absolutely no justice. Live your dreams now, study abroad!