Studying abroad is something every student dreams of during their academic career.

It can be a wonderful opportunity to learn about and immerse yourself in another culture. Not only does this experience grant you access to many international experiences, but it enables you to learn and grow as an individual as well.

For the students here participating in the Global Entrepreneurship Minor program in Nice, France, we have learned about living on our own, navigating a foreign country with a language barrier, and how to survive a jellyfish sting. For some, it is even their first time leaving the country! Taking this huge step has provided us with opportunities to make friends, travel around Europe, eat delicious food, and learn entrepreneurship with real-world experiences.

Although this personally is not my first time living abroad, it is my first time living abroad alone. Before coming to France, I researched grocery stores nearby my dorms, the easiest modes of transportation around Nice, and the must-see places in the Côte d’Azur. I also invested some time researching French customs and cultural norms. In France, you say “Bonjour” to everyone before starting a conversation with them; the French take politeness very seriously.

Here in Nice, we are able to encounter new circumstances in many aspects of our lives, including academics. From our student body to the teachers and courses, our whole experience is shaped by the city. We are also able to take advantage of our surroundings, including weekend trips and traveling to other countries. These new perspectives provide us with learning in both our instructional and personal lives.

Another huge factor in studying abroad is budgeting. It can be quite overwhelming, but in most cases, the finances are laid out for you before you leave, so you know exactly how much it is going to cost. Setting a weekly amount for food, activities, and other things that might come up before you leave will help you maintain a reasonable budget throughout the duration of your time abroad. I have found this to be extremely helpful when planning my time here in Nice because it keeps me on track with my spending.

A study abroad would not be the same without all of the great connections and friendships formed. Our group was very fortunate because most of us did not know each other before arriving here in Nice. This has provided us with the chance to create long-lasting and valuable friendships. I am also grateful for the connections I have made with my professors while studying here. I know this is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life, and that is thanks not only to the University of Utah for providing me with this possibility but to the people here as well who have made this journey memorable.

I am looking forward to the remaining adventure-filled, sunburned months.

Siena Ashdown is a student at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business who took part in the Eccles Global Entrepreneurship program in Nice, France in the summer of 2022.

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