Whether they formulate in the middle of class as a professor’s voice slowly becomes a mumble, or they meet you in the familiar comfort of your bed, everyone has them – everyone dreams. Some more than others, and for those of us whose minds tend to wander a bit farther than the average, the idea of living day by day, moment by moment may be one of the biggest challenges of living in a different country. When your hands are gripping the safety bars of the Eiffel Tower,…

“We decided that once school begins we’ll start speaking it most of the time,” I said to my host mother over dinner with my roommate on one of our first nights in Aix-en-Provence.  “Oh that won’t happen,” she said. “After a full day of classes, the last thing you’re going to want to do is go out with your friends and keep speaking French.” Ouch. A former American resident and current Aixois of 30 years, she’s a no-nonsense woman who managed to pop my romantic balloon of an…

study abroad, studying abroad, study abroad in Aix en Provence

When I first arrived in Aix-en-Provence, I thought the semester would last ages and I would never become truly accustomed to life abroad. I was wrong, these four short months in France flew by even faster than I had anticipated. In just the first few weeks, I became close friends with people in the CEA program and others in my classes. The landscape of Aix quickly became familiar, and I grew to know the streets like the back of my hand. Back in the US, I attend University…

I am used to hearing about being immersed in a culture is the best way to learn the language. It is, trust me. I didn’t really understand the magnitude of this statement until after being in France for four months. I can say that I have truly improved my French as well as experienced French life here. Though, I’m not nearly at the level of where I thought or wanted to be, I can get by with the French I do know. Or as the French would say, “Je…

Whether going to school, into town, or to the nearest pizza place, walking is my main mode of transportation. I’ve enjoyed getting to know this area just by the walks I have taken, and I want to show you little more of Aix from my daily commute. Not to mention that my  physical health has greatly benefited from all the walking that I’ve done! Definitely a win-win situation! Eberechi O. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a senior studying International Studies at University…

I like food…a lot. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned about the cooking classes that CEA organizes for us at the Atelier des Chefs. The menu changes every day depending on what the chef decides to cook. What was on our menu, you ask? Duck. Not just any duck: fried, baked and cooked with salt, figs, with fluffy mashed potatoes on the side. It was a delicious! After everyone arrived, we washed our hands and shuffled into the kitchen, the first step to cooking this delicious meal was…

Studying abroad doesn’t have to be a terrifying process. Especially if your study abroad program isn’t directly through your school like mine is. Here’s how my process went: Preparation Once I found the program that would provide the classes I needed, in the semester that I wanted, I applied. The process of getting placed in the correct level happened in multiple steps. First, there was a written part of the placement exam that I did before leaving the U.S. You can prepare for it as much as you…

Every year, shortly after Armistice Day, Aix en Provence begins to prepare itself for the Christmas season. The Cours Mirabeau is refitted with stringed lights, carnival rides, and wooden shop stands. The city’s annual Christmas Market draws in visitors from all over the Provence region, and it displays many of Aix’s specialities, as well as traditional French street food and nicknacks. Madeleine C. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a junior studying English at University of South Carolina. 

Study abroad, studying abroad, study abroad in Aix en Provence

The bus let us off just beside the train tracks beside Camp des Milles. There was no one in sight, and the scattered modern buildings seemed insignificant in the shadow of the World War II internment and deportation camp. A cold wind cut through the streets, adding to the tension already building within our chests. The camp’s towering roof cut against the sky, making the red stones look cold and harsh. Our shoes clicked on the sidewalk, and every sound we made seemed inappropriate. We had yet to…

While study abroad is an entirely new and different experience, studying while abroad can be very similar to what you’ve experienced in the United States. Here’s my commentary on the classes I’m taking while in Aix en Provence, as well as what I think about studying while in France. Madeleine C. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Aix-en-Provence, France. She is currently a junior studying English at University of South Carolina.