Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School!

The bus into Puyricard, a town north of Aix where classes will be held, was packed full of students this morning for the first day of a two week-long French or English (depending on where you’re from) course before actual school begins. I placed into level 3 French (intermediate – advanced - holler!) with about 20 other students from all over the world.

My French class is only in the morning which allows afternoons free to explore while my roommates, who are in the other levels, are in class. So far, meeting people has been very amusing. My name is particularly difficult to say in any language other than English. The French have an especially difficult time saying ‘Heather’ because of the first H which is silent in French, and the ‘th’ which doesn’t exist in the French. I’ve been getting a lot of ‘Heater’ – which is a good attempt, but I haven’t been called Heater since the 4th grade when my teacher misspelled my name one day and the nickname stuck! I really don’t mind. In fact, it’s a great conversation starter. I write down my name for them, they write down their name for me, and we both learn how to spell our weird names. And there are a lot of weird names considering the school is the home of international business management programs for students all over the world. Today I met people from Brazil, Germany, Holland, China, India, Mexico, and a few other locations I’m not as familiar with. It’s nice to meet some new people and expand from the cluster of Americans I typically find myself with these days!

Yesterday a few of the MGIM students and I took a beach trip to Marseille which is about 25 minutes away. We left Aix by bus, arrived at the Marseille train station (gare), then took the metro down to the beach. It should have taken us about 45 minutes to do this, but since there’s a first time for everything, it took about an hour and half. So far it’s been really nice meeting everyone in the program. Most of the students from the US are from NCState University. By the way, if you’re interested in what my program is, check out the program’s site: http://www.mgt.ncsu.edu/mgim/. I have a difficult time explaining it because it is pretty general, and was initially intended for engineering and science backgrounds – of which I am neither, ha!

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