On Monday, we had plans to go kayaking which would have been two days in a row of this experience for me. Unfortunately, as we got to Séte the rain was pouring down! We were all so excited to go on our guided kayak tour of the city, but the rain would not let up.
Sadly we didn't get to go kayaking, and just our luck just minutes after changing our clothes, packing our stuff, and leaving the kayaking place....the weather cleared up and the sun started to come out. I decided that it was God's plan not too send us in that water...after-all things happen for a reason! We spent the rest of our time visiting a museum and sight-seeing as we walked around.
Sète is a major port city in the South of France, in fact it is the largest fishing port of the French Mediterranean coast. While I didn't stop to eat in this city, I'm sure the seafood would have been amazing! As you can see in the picture above, Sète is right by the Mediterranean sea. The city also had a beautiful canals, in fact it is known as the "Little Venice of Languedoc." Although we had a rainy day, I enjoyed the time in this cute and small city.
Tuesday: Escape Room
Tuesday after our classes at the ILA, we were given a special treat! We were expecting to go to the library to find sources for our French research projects, but instead our program director surprised us with a change of plans. We got to take a visit to the Escape Room in Montpellier! I was very excited because I had never been in one before and this specific one was related to medicine. The employee explained everything we needed to know...in French of course but I understood the main points: we would split into teams, enter the room and have just 60 minutes to make it out and figure out why the patient died. I felt so ready! I entered the room with my small team and the door shut behind us, the room had a hospital bed, a cabinet, a table with some medical books, and a chalkboard with chemistry equations. I'll be honest, my team did not get off to a good start, we were so lost on how to get started but thankfully the employee sent us hints.
We made it out with 2 minutes to spear!
I won't spoil any answers here so if you're ever in Montpellier I highly recommend the Escape Room, it was on the my favorite activities from the trip!
Wednesday was our trip to the wonderful city Nîmes! It's hard to choose but this city might have just been my favorite visit....click here to read more!
Thursday: Faculté de Médecine & Final Dinner
On Thursday, we had a special tour of Montpellier's Faculty of Medicine, I for one was especially excited because as you know I want to be a doctor. I thought learning about the history of medicine was especially interesting. This faculty was created in the 15th century! Montpellier was a city renowned for its prestigious medical school. In fact the University of Montpellier's Faculty of Medicine is the world's oldest medical school still in operation! Amazing! On this tour, I was able to learn about how medicine was taught back in those days, one interesting fact was that Botany was an extremely important subject. The Jardin des Plants was very useful for the physicians (read blog on week two to learn more about this garden).
Another interesting fact...surgeons were thought of as a lower level than physicians. Take a look at the portraits in the picture above. Do you notice that some are in red and some are in black? The men in black were the surgeons, they were on a lower level because they had to use their hands and "do the dirty work" in a way. It's the opposite way now as surgeons are the highest paid.
Afterwards, we had a tour of the Conservatory of Anatomy. This was my favorite part! Unfortunately, photos were not allowed but its probably for the best as I know not everyone likes to see human body parts like I do. The Conservatory of Anatomy held about 5,600 anatomical parts and wax models of items/body parts relating to anthropology, embryology, malformations, pathology and skeletons, and surgical instruments.
We saw everything! Surgical tools, mummies, bones, models of the heart, a wall of skulls, and my favorite: malformed babies that were preserved in jars.
I know that sounds creepy, and yes it was. It was a little hard to look at and seemed that it was out of a horror movie....but I was most interested because it showed me how prenatal care has evolved throught the years. I'm interested in the malformations because studying them can help is to prevent them and have healthier babies all around the world. As you know, my goal is to be an OB/GYN so I could go on and on, but I'll save that for another blog!
Overall, the visit to the Faculty of Medicine was a great experience.
Later that night we all met up for our final dinner at La Diligence: a fancy French restaurant in Montpellier. We all got dressed up for our last special night. During the dinner we presented our final projects, mine was on the education system in France versus the system in the US. Other students in my group talked about politics, gap years, smoking, and other topics that they found was interesting. As we chatted away, we enjoyed some really interesting French cuisine.
Some things tasted better than others, I'm used to French cuisine but I had never had a five course meal like this before. The experience of being wined and dined was very unique. Above were some of my appetizers!
Above are my main dish and dessert...it was so good! We finished the night off by giving our program director a present for being such an amazing teacher to us during the three weeks.
For our final dinner I wore this long floral dress from H&M paired with my brown wedges and my yellow purse for a pop of color. I loved this look! The city is so alive in the night time, as we waited for our trams back home there were plenty people in the streets just having a good time. I knew I would miss these good vibes in Montpellier.
Friday: Final day of Class & Goodbyes
My final day!!! I couldn't believe how fast the past three weeks had gone by. I went to my final french class at the ILA and I was really sad while saying goodbye to all my classmates I had met in the last three weeks as well as my funny French teacher. I received a certificate for completing my course:
After class I went out to lunch with my friends at a local restaurant and I had the best meal of my whole trip! It was the fish of the day with mashed potatoes and it reminded me of the food back in St. Martin.
Next, I went to the Musée Fabre for a special exhibit: PICASSO!
The exhibit had just opened up on my last day there, I was so happy to have the opportunity to see his work.
I like Picasso's work because it's very abstract. I often had to look for a while to see and appreciate all the aspects of the paintings. I couldn't believe I was seeing real work from the famous Picasso! I took pictures of some of my favorite pieces. Do you like Picasso's work?
After the museum we headed for a special treat: Bubble Waffle
I had this "FreakShake" and it was so amazing! It was the perfect way to end my last day!
That ends my blog series on my experience in Montpellier! I hoped you guys enjoyed me sharing my daily activities, the things I learned, and the places I visited. I truly had a once in a lifetime experience and I am so so grateful that I was given this opportunity.
To all the people who helped make it possible THANK YOU! And to everyone who supported me on this trip thank you too!
For anyone who is interested in study abroad, I hope these blogs gave you inspiration. I will be writing a blog on my overall study abroad experience, if you have questions please send them to me and I'll answer them in that post.
Till next time,