Hannah: Moving to Marseille

Hi, everyone!

This is my first post on Rebels Abroad and I’m so excited to share my stories from my semester in Marseille, France. I’m a little behind in my posts because I’ve been exploring non-stop, so I will post a couple of recaps from the last few weeks and then post more frequently in the months to come!

Moving to France was something incredibly out of my comfort zone. It’s not uncommon for me to travel for long lengths of time, but I’ve never spent any time outside of the United States. I also don’t speak any French so that was very intimidating. Despite the overwhelming doubt that I had in myself about being able to make it in a foreign country for a whole semester, I pushed myself to go. I knew that only adventures awaited me, and any adversities that I would encounter would serve as learning experiences.

September 1st, I landed in Marseille, France. Marseille is not only the 2nd largest city in France, but also the oldest, so there is so much to do and see! My first couple of days were a little rough because I didn’t know any other students and I definitely didn’t know my way around, but I survived! I live in Luminy next to the KEDGE Business School campus, which is great for when I need to go to class, but when I need to go into the city it’s a 30-40 minute bus ride. Despite the long ride into the city, I’ve found it quite nice being in a more rural area.

My apartment bedroom
My apartment kitchenette

Once I got situated in my new apartment and found my way around, things got much easier. Before international student orientation I was able to find some other KEDGE students who wanted to meet up and explore the city together. As orientation got underway, I was able to see more of Marseille and meet many new friends from all over the world. One of my favorite things about being an international student here is that when I meet someone new, we never ask how the other one is doing, we ask where the other person is from! So far I have made friends with people from Norway, Russia, Spain, Finland, Scotland, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland just to name a few places. Although I’m spending this semester in France, I feel that I’m learning more about the world as a whole. My friends and I discuss how things work where we’re from and how things are similar to or different from Marseille.

New friends saying “hotty toddy” on our first day out in Marseille!

So far, I haven’t seen all of Marseille, but I’ve been able to see a large portion of it! Rather than write too much about it, I can show it in pictures. There’s no way my descriptions can capture the beauty of this city!

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Lastly, I have to talk about my overall favorite part of Marseille: Les Calanques. My first Sunday in town, myself and several other exchange students hiked just 15 minutes down the road from where I live and found THIS.


Once we made our way down the slightly dangerous terrain, we came upon a small rocky beach where we were able to swim in the sea. Some were even brave enough to try cliff diving (not me)! We eventually got out of the water and climbed up the mountain and back to our apartment, but one of these days I will have to return to Les Calanques.

Well, that is pretty much my first week or so in Marseille in a nutshell. Soon I will post about classes and traveling around France!


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