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Saturday, December 2, 2023


Study Abroad: Never a dull day in Angers

The trip to Paris was an unbelievable experience for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that life in Angers wasn’t exciting.

The daily schedule started with getting ready for classes at Universite Catholique de l’Ouest in the morning. My host mom woke up early to go to her job, which was located in another town, so she was always out of the house by the time I woke up.

I took advantage of her absence and played songs such as Kanye West’s "Can’t Tell Me Nothing "or Keane’s "Nothing In My Way" to help my roommate, Willie Wright, and I get pumped up for the day. Because we lived so close to the center of Angers, we walked to school instead of taking the bus.

This daily half-hour walk to and from school thoroughly immersed us in the town. One tradition on the way to school every morning was going to a certain bakery and eating pain du chocolat. This pain (bread) is best described as a croissant covered and filled with chocolate chips. It was usually early in the morning when we were walking to school, so we’d arrive at the bakery as the first batch was being baked, and they were always hot out of the oven. Angers had one of those pastry shops on just about every block, so each morning we could smell fresh pain du chocolats.

The main street in Angers, Foch Boulevard, was en route to the Universite. Foch featured everything: a movie theater, post office and a vendor who sold many t-shirts, including American ones, such as an overpriced Nirvana shirt. On the particular cross street leading to school, there was a convenience store called Petite Casino. It had everything you could want for a reasonable price. It quickly became a favorite store.

Other notable places on the way to school were a kebab shop and the Kronenburger, which is where I regularly ran into some classmates.

After these places, there was a tricky circular street that led to the parking lot of the school. The parking arm for the cars was coined "the guillotine" because it was dangerous.

A few steps up this path led to the main door of the Universite. After this entrance was a hallway and a library followed by the building that classes were in. In this building, we all headed to the fifth floor (usually by stairs, because the small elevator took a long time to arrive at the first floor), where our classrooms and the Centre International d’Etudes Francaise office were located.

There was never a dull morning, but things were just as interesting once we entered our classes, as you’ll find out in the next story of this series.

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