Thursday, January 7, 2010

The first week in France!

So we've loved having espresso by the ocean, seeing all the little dogs, and meeting all of the amazing people that are drawn to the area. There is no shortage of things to do or see here. We've met a lot of fellow exchange students as well as a few locals and truly are loving our time in France. However, there have been so many humorous mishaps, that it would be a shame to keep them to ourselves. We hope no one will take this as us complaining about the great opportunity we have been given. We both have only the most positive attitudes about our exchanges and look at every mistake as a learning experience!

I guess we should start with the apartment. On a positive note, it's in one the best locations in the area and is walking distance to the water. We aren't paying a fortune and we've been able to decorate it ourselves...hmm however upon arrival it was not so desirable. Sheets and towels were tough to find on Saturday and Sunday in Juan les Pins and the floor had a SERIOUS scrub down. But now that we've settled in a bit, it's definitely livable. You could say its the perfect pre-party apartment.

Our first nights going out have been a bit of a change from what we're used to. Drinks are super expensive, about 13 euros expensive. After orientation on the first day, we had some Canadian and American exchange students over before meeting everyone at a local bar. We were BY FAR the most obnoxious group there, ordering giant tube-like beer sleeves and taking turns drinking out of them, sans cup. We had one casualty early on, taking a bit of a nap on the bar. Needless to say, I don't think we can go back ever again...

The Bus
We've had some trouble figuring out the bus system...It seems to come when and where it feels like visiting.
Lesson #1: If you are at a bus stop alone, it is not coming. If there is at least one french person there, you're good. We still seemed to have not picked this one up ourselves as numerous times we have waited for more than an acceptable amount of time, in the rain for the bus.
Lesson #2: The buses go really fast, especially in the dark, during rush hour periods. P.S. Learn the basic apology words in french well as you will fly into other passengers
Lesson #3: You may see signs saying "this bus will never be coming here again". It is true so believe it. You may also see full bus routes and schedules at stops, yet no bus will ever come there.


Since we're both really into expanding our wardrobes while here, we've been trying to shop around...
!!do not shop at the only mall in Nice the day before a region wide, month long sale!!
Us along with Taylre and Steph, ventured (on the most backwards bus route ever) to the Cap 3000 mall in Nice. We all found some good stuff, however we kept noticing large sections of stores were taped off and being marked down. After finishing our shopping journey, we asked customer service what was going on. Apparently in January on a Wednesday they mark down everything for the whole month. We shopped Tuesday night.

the day wasn't a total right off, we did find this gem of a t-shirt.
As Jason says best,
"I'm ALWAYS saying how ready I am for a carefree afternoon with friends!" Awkward English translation, I'm sure it will continue not to disappoint. Will keep posting are marvelous finds!

Our first day of school
Our experiences with the school haven't been too bad so far. We both have our schedules worked out and didn't seem to have any issues. We had our first seminar today with Scott which was initially really interesting and we were really proactive about learning the material. However, after the 'prof' starting writing with a permanent marker on the dry erase board (see photo), sat down and revealed his Tweety bird socks, and integrated french language and grammar into several of our english slides we quickly realized failure in our first course was a definite possibility.
The class was actually a lot harder than any of us realized, as we had to prepare a 15 minute powerpoint after an hour and thirty minutes of class. The first group also didn't help our confidence, as they had an amazing presentation a nd the y barely spoke english. So the three of us spent most the remaining class day stressing about the final exam. It feels like you're cramming for a final that you never any class for. We'll update you with the results and try to sneek a copy of the exam out for future exchange students...

The dogs are adorable and well groomed, but there is poop absolutely everywhere. Lisa had a dog almost pee on her leg yesterday and we've checked our shoes many a time.

Overall, all of the french we've met have been really helpful and patient with our terrible attempts to speak the language. We have so many plans to see different parts of Europe and are looking forward to exploring the area some more.


  1. C'est bon! Tres drole . . .
    Great idea, you can print it as a book when you're done. Looking forward to the next installment!

  2. Wow, what a great idea. Now we can stay up to date with the trials & tribulations of SueAndLisainFrance. Maybe in your next installment, you two will have cracked the secret bus schedule code. Can't wait for your next post.

  3. Looking forward to following along on your adventure :)


  4. Ha, ha, ha!! What can we say here....Mmmmm, I think you know what I'm thinking but I love it. Talked to my friend that Kyle and I went to see in Spain and she said this all sounds familiar and that she could have "told you so" but you have to live it to know it. Bisou, bisou....

  5. Very entertaining and well written! It must be very exciting for you both. And the shopping on Tuesday night thing sounds like something I would do. I once spent about $300 in Ohio, the day before American Thanksgiving. I didn't know!!


  6. Amazing! Sounds like your having so much fun - I am not going to lie it is taking everthing inside of me to jump on a plane and come visit! Ugh - I don't know about you, but the language is enought to make me melt! and the clothes... oh G-d the clothes!!! So Jealous - In a good way ;)
    xo Katie