While in in Aix en Provence, located in the south of France, I studied the field of Global Innovation Management for four months. The program was dual degree, so I obtained two Master's of Science degrees in Global Innovation Management from both universities. Those institutions being, Aix-Marseille University and North Carolina State University. My transformation going overseas was pretty easy actually. My family planned a surprise celebration for me the day before I left which helped ease any nervousness that I had. It was also my first time riding a plane, but I slept through the bulk of the traveling therefore I didn't feel the effects of jet lag as much as I thought I would.
The food in France is amazing. Everything is fresh and mostly natural, which I absolutely love. The people are so laid back and just want to enjoy life with their families and friends. It's refreshing to be in a place where not everyone has to be somewhere at that very moment. I didn't get to indulge in the music as much while I was there, but the weather is borderline perfect. It doesn't get too hot, being close to the mountains. Even if it did, there's always a nice breeze that'll take the forecast down a few degrees. France is a beautiful place that should be experienced by everyone.
The natives in the south of France were pretty friendly. I had a couple of uncomfortable meetings while there, but everyone seemed to welcome us with open arms. I didn't feel out of place at all. It would have been hard to feel that way. There were people from all over that also attended the university in different programs. We met people from Germany, South Africa, Iran, Belgium, Canada, and so forth. So in a sense, we were all out of place and I think it made for a much more fun experience.
The highlight of my experience was traveling to Milan to go to the World Fair with 4 of my friends from the program. We rented a car and drove. The car ride was much fun, but being able to "visit all the countries" and see their exhibits, set everything over the top for me. It's something that I'll never forget. If I can do it all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat. This experience is something that I wouldn't trade for anything. If I had to choose something that I would do differently, it would be my living arrangement. I chose to rent an AirBnB for the entire semester and live with the renter. I think maybe had I lived with other students, it would have made the experience that much better.
I advise the readers to travel as much as possible. Those experiences will stay with you for the rest of your life and will allow to gain more understanding of not only the things that you have and are able to get, but to the family and friends you have and who they've shaped you to be.