It has been exceptionally cold for the typical winter in southern France. Or so I’m told. I’ve found it rather mild without too much rain. To poorly paraphrase a French saying “it can’t be a Saturday without sun,” so most days have some sun. The wind here is notorious. They call it the mistral and it blows down the river from the alps. There is a plethora of urban legends about the mistral. Some say that in the 1600’s people who had committed a crime while it was windy would blame the wind saying it made them do it. It was like an insanity plea. They also say that the wind only blows for an odd number of days. I have not necessarily found that to be true. The decent weather has made me want to spend all day in one of the lovely parks, but alas school is an essential component of this process.
At Linfield I study journalism and international relations. While I am in Aix, I am primarily focusing on the international relations component. IAU, the program here in Aix, has a school specifically for business and international relations. This means that there are many other students who are IR majors here, and the IR classes are strong. I am taking classes on monotheistic religions, the history of French colonialism in North Africa, the European Union, and refugees and immigrants into the EU. I am also taking a French class which is required for every IAU student. I am excited to learn more about France’s role in the European Union and about their policies on refugees and immigration. I think that a lot of students believe that the classes you take abroad are easier than the ones at your home university. This is not necessarily true. Classes are just as intense when you’re abroad. Some consider it more challenging, because while taking classes in a different setting than you’re used to, you’re also growing accustomed to a new culture and a new country. My advice would still be to challenge yourself with classes. The course offerings at your location are as unique as the location, and offer a new perspective on things you’re learning about.
A plus tard,