Cinema, Cinema, Cinema

Play ‘Cinema’ by CIX. A well-known fact about me: I love to watch foreign TV and film. Bong Joon Ho, the director and writer of many critically-acclaimed films including Parasite (2019), said it best as he accepted the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2020: “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will …

Goodbye in Barcelona

At the start of the month, my friends and I made plans to take one last trip together to Barcelona, Spain. Like many of the places I’ve visited this semester, I was taken with it in ways I never anticipated. For Barcelona specifically, the architecture and the atmosphere it created was particularly enchanting. Of course, …

Spring Break Part 2: Croatia at Last!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, Croatia was the last stop on my spring break travel itinerary. What started as an average morning soon turned into a reminder about personal realms of control and the importance of perseverance.  The day started at 4am. My friends and I were staying in Rotterdam and had a …

Swingin’ by the Carnaval de Nantes

A few weeks ago the wide gravel path beside the Cathédral Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes was filled with colorful swings and churros smothered in whipped cream for the Carnaval de Nantes, one of the oldest and largest festivals in France.  Carnival lights outline the sharp edges of the cathedral in blues, reds, and greens every night …

Tour de Europe: Spring Break

We are here! The last month of study abroad, the last two weeks before I’m back for graduation, and the last moments with my friends here at IES and my host family. The time has been flying just as I anticipated it would this April, but I have so many new things to write about. …

Mise en scène: Performing in France

The IES Abroad Nantes Program offers a variety of courses taught entirely in French, from Gastronomy to Translation, but the most interactive course is without a doubt TH 343: Theater Production. You read that right! Theater Production. No, we’re not sitting at desks in the IES center analyzing French comedies— we’re rehearsing for a live performance, every …

Teaching English, Learning French

Coffee is a fact of life here in France, but each Tuesday and Thursday, I make sure to get my espresso extra strong. Why? These are the days I head to my student teaching internship at a local middle school here in Nantes, and those kids have a lot of energy.  Personally, teaching has been …

Don’t Sink: Visiting Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel

Though France is beginning to blossom and warm, on Saturday morning I wrapped my fuzzy pastel scarf securely around my neck in preparation for the cooler coastal winds of Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel. For the third IES field trip of the semester, we headed back to Brittany, the northwestern region of France known for its cider, …

Essentially Nantes

Today I was struck with an idea. There are so many small tools that I’ve discovered during my time in France that I wouldn’t have heard of had a friend or family member not recommended them. So, I am here to be that friend to the future generation of students, specifically those heading to Nantes. …

Friends and Farmers Markets

This month my friend and I made a pact: each day we would visit a new place in Nantes. Whether that be a store or café, a study spot or garden, we wanted to push ourselves to keep exploring our city during the second half of our time here. On Wednesday, the new place we …