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Mecca of culture, art, and sophistication but with a high-tech twist, Cannes is a gem of the French Riviera and home to the world's most famous film festival.
Just a stone's throw from Italy on France's Cote d'Azur, Cannes is a relatively small town of less than 100,000 residents with a booming high-tech industry. First settled in 200 BC and claiming independence in 1530 AD, today Cannes enjoys a two-pronged economy that benefits from tourism dollars flowing into the city during the film festival, and a year-round technology hub similar to California's Silicon Valley.
We here at GoOverseas hope this travel guide will help every student thinking about studying in this wonderful city to say, "Yes I Cannes!"
Long contested and claimed at different times by the Greeks, Romans, Spanish and French, Cannes demonstrates these disparate influences with a deep Mediterannean tan. Don't miss Le Suquet and the Promenade de la Croisette the classically Riviera old town and the palm tree-lined beach walk it overlooks. We also recommend hopping a quick boat to Ile Sainte-Marguerite to run your fingers along the prison cell where the Man In the Iron Mask was held captive. More into sampling local fare? Walk the narrow streets of Rue Meynadier and taste the best-kept culinary secrets in Cannes.
Perhaps the best-known feature of Cannes is its annual Spring film festival, Le Festival International du Film de Cannes. Known for bestowing the coveted Palme d'Or upon select films deemed the best, the festival also brings a flourish of excitement to the local restaurants and hotels. Student offers at local eateries and drink specials at hotel bars are common
Students studying in Cannes should have plenty of opportunity to meet their fellow students. The College International de Cannes hosts international students from all over the world, and language exchange clubs exist to work on your French skills.
Students looking to study abroad in Cannes can expect a variety of price ranges, with the average semester program falling somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000. Services included in the price of a program also vary, from tickets to the film festival, to meals and laundry services, to excursions in Paris. Expect prices to skyrocket during the festival, and return to fairly low levels in the off-season.
France's currency is the Euro, so keep your eye on the international exchange rates and strike while the iron is hot to get the most "use for your Euro." Most large or chain establishments will accept American credit and bank cards, with a somewhat smaller percentage of local shops doing the same.
Most city museums are free to students with a valid ID, and many local cinemas and and nightclubs will host "student nights" that offer discounts and special offers.
The pace of life is slower in France, and while many students find the charm in this, it can be frustrating for many. Expect many shops to close their doors from Noon to 2 pm daily for a siesta, and expect your waiter to not visit again after taking your order. People are not rude, but perhaps not as over-the-top friendly as they are in the States. Take these changes in stride, and try to remember that the French way is neither better nor worse, but simply the way it has always been in Cannes.
If you're feeling like you could use a little more support, the Erasmus Student Network is present in Cannes for those looking for help with the local language, students that may be studying in Cannes from your area, and a little camaraderie on the weekends. For those seeking spiritual fulfillment as well, many churches and spiritual centers exist throughout the city.
If traveling with a study abroad provider, be sure to check in with them regularly. Odds are they're sure to have lots of group excursions planned, as well as local culture classes to help ease assimilation.
We're just scratching the surface of all the great study abroad scholarships available for studying in Cannes!
Jason Rogers is from Virginia and has studied in Paris and worked in China. When not wondering how his life got to this point, he enjoys playing hockey and writing. Check out his blog at Learning to Sweet TALK & follow him @HeyJayJRogers.
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