AIFS Study Abroad Blog

Study in Paris: Escape to Avignon

Paris is the perfect study abroad location to escape to incredible destinations such as Avignon. Furthermore, exploring outside of study abroad host cities not only creates unforgettable memories. It also allows students to experience a greater cultural exchange experience. Recently, our Paris Fall semester North Orange County Community College students took a weekend trip to beautiful Avignon. Let’s hear what they got up to:

Bonjour from Paris!

Our first weekend trip of the semester was a trip to Avignon. The weekend began at 7.30am – nice and early! However, the early start did not deter the students musical spirit; I had no idea that we were actually a small band as a opposed to a study abroad cohort! One of our students, Elizabeth, entertain the passengers at the beautifully decorated Gare de Lyon with her wonderful piano skills.

The musical skills continue

Aside from performing at the train station, Elizabeth also sang in the main chapel of Palais du Papes in Avignon. Other visitors admired her beautiful voice in awe. The musical escapades didn’t end there. Encouraged by Elizabeth, other students joined in to entertain the crowd at Aix en Provence TGV train station; suddenly, we had a concert! Finally, our guide informed us that we had made history because we were the first group to dance to the song Sur le Pont d’Avignon on the actual Bridge of Avignon!

Provencal Olive Oil

On Saturday morning, our weekend continued at an olive oil mill. In addition to learning about the history and modern techniques of making the world-famous Provencal olive oil, we also tasted different aromatic and flavorful oils.

The greatest picnic

The students unanimously demanded the picnic in Arles was the highlight of their week. As part of their assignments, students were divided into groups to visit and purchase food at the weekly farmers’ market. Surrounded by the unmistaken Provencal smell of lavender, the groups quickly made themselves a part of the local Saturday market scene. Undeterred by their broken French, they came back with a grand picnic fit for French Royalty.

What did their baskets contain? 10 different cheeses: from the softest Tomme d’Arles to the silky smooth (and pungent) Morbier, 3 varieties of olives, fresh heirloom tomatoes right from the farm, crunchy pears and apples and the impeccable French bread.

Aix en Provence

We ended our weekend in Aix en Provence, the city of Paul Cezanne. Since it was the first Sunday of the month, students took the advantage of free entrance to museums and visited the Musée Garnet, which houses master pieces of Cezanne and Picasso.

Currently, we are prepping ourselves for a big week ahead: a walking tour of the beautiful Marais district in Paris, visit to Chateau de Versailles and Paris Nuit Blanche!

The North Orange County Community College District comprises Fullerton College and Cypress College.  They work with AIFS Customized to offer three study abroad opportunities to their students each year; Spring, Summer and Fall.  See their website for more information on future programs.  

Join NOCCCD adventures studying with AIFS Customized Faculty – Led Programs in Paris this Fall by using hashtags #aifscustomized #NOCCDParis to see these awesome photos!        


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