By Hailey Pettit, Foster Undergraduate who participated in an exchange with Audencia University in Nantes, France
On November 1st, there is a holiday in France called Toussaint. This is when France celebrates all the Catholic saints. During this holiday Audencia gives everyone a week off. I was lucky with my schedule and got 2 weeks off. During these two weeks, I planned a trip with two of my friends to Barcelona, Spain, Marseille, France, and then to Geneva and Interlaken, Switzerland. It was an amazing experience.
In Barcelona, we did a lot of sightseeing. My Favorite part was the street La Rambla. It has many vendors, shops, and street performers. Barcelona is like no other city I’ve ever been to. The architecture is so unique and the people there have a very interesting history. Barcelona was part of Catalonia and there is still a lot of people that think that the Catalan people should have their own country again.
In Marseille we only spent a few hours because one of our French friends invited us to spend the day with her and her family. They were vacationing in a town called Cassis. This was my favorite part of the entire trip. The family showed us the cliff formation called Les Calanques and then made us a home cooked meal for dinner. Being able to spend quality time with a French family was eye-opening and very fun.
In Switzerland we went paragliding! It was breathtaking. The view of the Alps with the city of Interlaken below is something I will never forget. Switzerland is very expensive though so it was difficult finding places to hang out and eat without spending a lot of money.
This trip was so much fun and I really encourage everyone who does an exchange to go on a trip like this. It is challenging at times to travel to 3 different countries in 10 days but it is such a great learning experience.