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Why Cannes is the Perfect Study Abroad Location

by Corey Shaw
Cannes, France

If you’re planning to study abroad but aren’t sure where in the world you want to go, let me give you a couple reasons to show you why Cannes is one of the most irresistibly attractive places to spend your time.

I’ve got to say, this semester abroad has been without a doubt, one of the most amazing semesters of my life. I got to see and do things I never, ever thought I would. Now, as a disclaimer: before you travel abroad, you should have in the back of your mind that your experience could differ because of a number of factors, like the time of year, etc.

But I’m going to tell you why you should come to Cannes and some of the things you should do while here to make your experience amazing.

1. The Film Festival

Cannes is a really popular location in France, and it hosts one of the most popular film festivals on the planet. I’m glad they chose Cannes as the location for that, because it’s gorgeous. Think of the beautiful, sunshine weather in California but all the people are speaking French instead of English or Spanish. Oh, and the food at the event is to die for! That’s Cannes. Also, if you come around the right time, I think around May, you can probably see some of your favorite movie stars like Brad and Angelina and then remember the good times when they were “Brangelina.”

2. The Landscape

You have to swim at the beach. I’m from the Caribbean originally, so I know good water (haha), and I’m telling you, the water here is beautiful. It’s crystal clear and a little bit chilly but all-in-all, phenomenal. After your swim, walk around and see the famous Casino right next to where the film festival takes place. It’s huge and magnificent. And while you’re at it, soak up the town. The roads are full of people and historical and cultural buildings. There are also these little mountains that you can walk up. It’s a little tough, but your legs will thank you after your semester is over.

3. The Cuisine

Please, please, please get a kebab from the kebab shop next to the train station if you visit Cannes. You will not regret it. I guarantee you. Kebabs are a popular food in Europe that are essentially meat off the gyro along with lettuce, tomato and your choice of sauce. I can bet that it will be on your “Top 10 Best Foods” if you do. Aside from kebabs, it’s true what they say about French food in general. It’s delicious, yes, but there’s something else to it. It’s beautifully done and amazing to look at. You definitely should eat out at restaurants once in a while, because meal time in France is very culturally important. You should experience that.

4. Ease of Travel

Once you get here, or in Europe in general, you’ll definitely want to travel. Cannes is only a stone’s throw away from some of the most historical places in France, like Provence. Provence has a lot of  French history to offer. There are monuments and remains of age old buildings there. In my life, I never thought I’d ever see a palace in person, let alone three. You can even go to Monaco in about an hour or so by train. For those who are reading this and don’t know, Monaco is a little country of its own. It has a monarchy and thus a royal family whom anyone can visit. Just beyond Monaco is Italy. So, stay in Cannes and enjoy the sun, beautiful weather, beautiful people and amazing food and then brush up on your Italian on the weekends.

AIFS Abroad students in the Cannes, France region

I came to Cannes in August 2016, and sadly I’m leaving. As a matter of fact, I’m packing as we speak. It’s really painful, because I’ve grown attached to the campus, the people, the culture and kebabs every Friday. I couldn’t think of a more perfect experience. The people of Cannes were so welcoming and patient with me and my horrible French. They all seemed to understand and appreciate the fact that I was trying to learn the language. Also, nothing beats bonding with people who speak a little bit of your language and vise versa. For that reason, I fell in love with the translator on my phone. It’s helped me so much in tough times. It’s a great joy to speak with people and help them practice their speaking while at the same time learning another language while creating ever-lasting bonds with people.

I didn’t think about it at first, but coming to Cannes was one of the best decisions I’d ever made. I’ll miss everything about this place, and I want everyone to experience what I felt living here. Wherever in the world I go, if I ever come back to Cannes, I’ll be flooded with the good memories and emotions that I received from this amazing place.

This post was contributed by Corey Shaw, who spent his Fall semester studying abroad with AIFS in Cannes, France.

4 Reasons Why Cannes, France is the Perfect Place to Study Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad | AIFS in Cannes, France
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