Tag Archives: La Rochelle City

Orientation Week – First Impression

The week start with an Opening day in the big Auditorium. Introduction about La Rochelle city, the School, the Professors and Staffs, etc. Boring but might be useful in the future..

The whole week is the French Language Intensive Course. From 9am til 5pm. Very tired but really useful and handy! The last day we have a walk around the city center. The city of La Rochelle is not a big city as I imagined. You can enjoy the walk in one afternoon to see the most important land marks. However, if you want to enjoy the beach, beautiful ocean view and visit the three nearby Island, that would take a few days discovering. At the end of  week, we have an escape to a nearby theme park Week’n Go to participate in three activities: Laser Guns, Volleyball and most interesting the Tree Climbing adventure. I was thrilled by taking the Red route, which is the second difficult just before the Black Route! Again I experience the feeling of loneliness in adventure and sole conquest of my own fear. I love it! Although at that moment I don’t think I wanna do it again but now I wanna comeback to finally try the Black one! Joining the trip, I met a lot of new people coming from very different countries that I have never had a chance before! Namely French, American, German, Swiss, Indian, Greek, Spanish, Dutch, etc. which is a lot more diverse.

So about La Rochelle!

I love how the sun shines here in La Rochelle. It seems I have saved two years of sunshine in Finland to get it here in La Rochelle. I walked through the coast of the sea nearby the school and I could spend hours sitting there, maybe have lunch, or have some beers with my friends or just simply alone and think about anything. At sunset, the port is so beautiful with the sky full of color and the sun looks like a tasty egg yolk. Generally, the city is more historic  rather than modern. Yes, it has its own history and you gotta find out about it yourselves 🙂

Transportation here is quite cheap compared to Jyvaskyla. One bus ticket is only 1.7 euros and in peak season – summer – only 1 euros. Monthly ticket for student is 23 euros/month. There are also yellow bicycles scattering around the city for renting at 25 euros per year! (100 euros deposit).

I cannot complain anything about the food. They are so varied and a little cheaper than in Finland. Everything looks delicious, especially the desserts. Now I have to buy less desserts since it costs even more than my other food LOL The only I would regret is I know so little about gastronomy, and also my poor student pocket. I’m so impressed that the French knows A LOT about food and food processing and particularly, how to enjoy it as an art, not a daily necessity! As I observed, the French definitely know how to enjoy life better than any other countries!

Gotta learn a lot more….

So it’s set! France one-year exchange (and good food) is waiting for me!!

Eventually I got the acceptance letter from Groupe Sup de Co La Rochelle – La Rochelle Business School. Remember just three months ago I still wondering what could be the destination for me. Anything could change at the last minute and I learned that sometimes life does not lead the way we plan.. Some just turned out to be.. better 😉

When I first come to Finland and know about the exchange program, I would love to go to Italy (thinking back, the reason is again the same: Great FOOD haha). Looking for an Italian language course at JAMK, I was so disappointed to find out it is only taught in Finnish. Okay, so I know what is next for me. Spanish! I started to learn Spanish and really love the sounds of the language. Until the day of filling out online application for exchange on Asio, I still have no doubt about Spain as my exchange place, although the economic situation bothered me a bit. The final turning point came in when I realized that due to the downfall of economic, school in Spain paid less attention and made less investment on English program. At that time, I really don’t think my Spanish is advanced enough to have lecture in Spanish and also assignment and exam written in the language…

At the last minute, I think about French. Never in my life I would imagine I’m gonna (have to) learn the language. Some says it’s like the pain in the ass, some claims such a beautiful language it sounds. For me, it’s just too brand-new. The main reason for the choice of France again is the rich in beauty, wonderful architecture, and Gastronomy – Great cuisine and food (wine also)! It also has to mention that my last Interrail trip around Europe, I had already fallen in love with Paris, with the Louvre, the Seine River, Arc de Triomphe, so on and so forth. Besides, the program majoring in Tourism, in a touristic city La Rochelle. What could be better for my degree of Hospitality Management as well as the life of a totally new and interesting city!

At the moment, the only thing I know is that I gotta learn French fasttt this summer! I feel that French is way better than in the past about the English-speaking attitude..But I got a chance to learn, and that seems to be a destiny, so why not? I don’t know how La Rochelle would be like and could the people there speak English. Hopefully, it would be more alike in Paris.

One more thing is the paperwork. I got some reminder from friends that it would be lengthy, tiring and complicated like in my home country Vietnam. I just hope it would be better than what I already know about my hometown administration..

That’s good for now! The whole summer at home is waiting for me! It’s great that Finnair has just newly open a direct route to Hanoi.

So just 10 hours, I’ll be home, closer than ever. ^^