As American as apple pie, as French as … a strike? by Isabelle Picciotti

Before studying abroad, we had all seen the news about the Yellow Vest protests but didn’t really understand the true “tradition” of strikes and protests in France. I say “tradition” because barely a month goes by here without a group of people striking or protesting in cities across the country. But if strikes are so common,…

Living with Dietary Restrictions in France by Marisa Olson

Living with any kind of dietary restriction can make life a little difficult at times, especially when travelling.  Being a dairy-free vegetarian, I was anticipating some difficulties when living in southern France.  But I have been pleasantly surprised at how dairy-free/vegetarian-friendly Aix is! For some minor backstory, I have been vegetarian all my life.  I…

Exploring Religion in Southern France by Mason Stover

Taking two religion courses this semester abroad has proven to be quite a treasure. Not only have I learned so much and gained a completely new perspective on a variety of topics within the religious spheres of the world, but I have been afforded multiple opportunities to explore religion by experience as well. One of…

Living in the Moment by Brittany Robinson

I spent the last weekend in Aix and it was incredible! After a month of straight traveling and adjusting to this new life, this weekend offered a chance to simply relax. My weeks are usually pretty hectic between classes and homework, so I was shocked with how much time I had to myself this weekend. My…

My Travel Journal by Marisa Olson

I journal at the end of every day.  I only do it when I travel, never when I’m at home in the States.  The thought of journaling at the end of every day in my normal daily life sounds exhausting.  I’m sure it would turn into a lot of writing about what new show I…

A Ticket to Full Cultural Immersion by Isabelle Picciotti

You went to the Visa office, spent an hour (or more) waiting for your interview, and a couple weeks later received a big sticker in your passport that you thought was only useful for all those weekend trips you had planned for the semester. Wrong! Your visa is so much more than a way to…

The Little Things by Brittany Robinson

At the beginning of the semester, the IAU Facebook page posted about a French family seeking an English tutor. Interested in the idea of further immersion and earning some money, I reached out. Now, two months later, I can positively say that this opportunity has been one of the best parts of my experience in…

IAU Field Study: Painting in Giverny, France by Marisa Olson

One of the things I was looking forward to the most as an IAU student in the Marchutz Core Program was the five day field study to Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny, France. Safe to say, it lived up to—and surpassed—any and all expectations I had going into it. We left on a Thursday morning with a…

Fulfilling a Lifelong Dream by Isabelle Picciotti

When the opportunity presented itself during the first week of classes to book a trip to London, my friends and I bought tickets faster than you can say “Ryanair’s baggage policy is as follows…” We all had different reasons for booking the trip and planned our days accordingly. For the friend who wanted to retrace the…

7 Tips To The Perfect Aixperience by Maxine Musto

Take a day trip— Some great options for warmer weather are Cassis, Nice, and La Ciotat.  Some non-weather dependent trips are Marseille, Avignon, Arles, or Nimes. This is a great way to spend a day during the weekend!  Take the time to sleep— Studying abroad for such a short time, I often get caught up running around and trying…

A Piece of Home Away From Home by Paulina Kawalec

Choosing an external study abroad program, I knew, meant sacrificing the comfort of going abroad with all the students I went to school with. It was a daunting feeling, deciding to leave my college just two years after arriving.  However, I reasoned with myself, deciding that I was ready to do this, to meet new…

The Meaning of Dinnertime in Aix by Brittany Robinson

“Ah, la vache!” This is the phrase my host mom exclaimed after I killed a mosquito at the dinner table with a piece of bread. The literal translation of this is “Ah, the cow!” However, she really meant something along the lines of “Oh my God, please stop killing insects with my French bread.” This…