Charlotte was the successful applicant to be awarded the French Scholarship in Cannes 2010:
As you all know, with the help of ‘CESA’ I’m currently living in Cannes, learning French, whilst staying in the lovely Cannes college and working in the college bar. The past few weeks have gone so fast – I can’t believe it has been over a month since I arrived! This in itself is a testament to how much …fun I’m having, and how much I’m enjoying life here in Cannes.
The college itself is situated about a 15 minute walk from the centre of Cannes and right next to the beach! The location really is perfect – its really easy to walk into Cannes whenever you want and being so close to the beach means that whenever its sunny we can go straight down to the beach after class. It’s a lovely way to unwind – and I still can’t get over how lovely it is that I can do my homework on the beach.
The college is also right next to a community centre too, which offers a range of classes, both artistic and physical – I’m due to start yoga there soon!
The social life at the college is lovely. At the moment the college isn’t too full, which gives a real feeling of a community; everyone grows so close, living and working together, especially those, like me, who are here for a long time. Although it’s sad having to say goodbye to people as they come and go for maybe just a month at a time, its also lovely being able to make so many new friends.
The culture shock, too, is something that I’m only just getting used to, but still really enjoying. Here you don’t just learn about French culture, but also about American, Mexican, Venezuelan, German and Swiss to name a few, because of the diversity of the college. I’ve only been here a few weeks, and I feel like I’ve… learnt so much about different societies by living in an international college.
I have now signed up to ‘Intensive French’ lessons, which means that from Monday to Friday I take lessons from 9:00 – 12:00, and on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday I take extra lessons from 1:30 – 3:30.
The lessons are of a very good standard, and the ability to progress through the levels allows them to be very rewarding. I’ve already been moved from my first class at level A1.3 to level B2 (which, as I explained to my friends in England, is an improvement!).
We’ve also had 3 tests so far, which I’m happy to say I did well in, and really to help consolidate all the grammar work we do. Already I feel like I’ve improved so much – things that I really didn’t grasp at school are now second nature to me.
Getting extra practise is made easy here; every weekday free newspapers are offered to students at the college. There’s also a ‘salle de video’ where you can watch French films (or English if you’re feeling the need for a little ‘love actually’!) and French TV. I’ve also bought a library card for the meagre sum of €1:20, which lets me take out pretty much as many French books as I could possibly read!
As part of the ‘boursière’ scheme, I’m currently working at the college bar. I’m a little ashamed to say that I’ve never had a real job before this one, but so far I’m enjoying it. The atmosphere at the bar is lovely – all of us who work together get on so well, and there are always people around to chat with. Not to mention how amazing it is that my education, accommodation and meals are all free!
The placement of the college also means its really good for travelling. Most of the American students who study here spend the weekends around Europe, taking advantage of the cheap flights! I’ve already been to St Tropez and Aix en Provence with the college, both of which have been really lovely days out – now I keep telling everyone to go to Aix en Provence because I enjoyed it so much!
Next week I’ll go to Grasse with the college and make my own perfume, which I’m really excited about! I’ve also been to Nice with my friends from the college, and we’re planning to spend a day in Antibes soon.
Overall, my first few weeks here have been lovely; so enjoyable that I’ve decided to extend my trip to April!