Alumni Spotlight: Celeste Pompeii

Celeste is a senior at the University of South Carolina double majoring in French and Criminal Justice. Upon graduation in May, she hopes to work for a French company and to travel the globe to learn new languages. She is also a terrible cook and hopes that traveling will someday fix that.

Why did you pick this program?

Paris, France

  • Talk to the natives! This will give you the cultural immersion you want and it is the best way to practice your foreign language skills. I loved talking to the sweet lady who made what I would argue are the best croissants in France.
  • You will put sentimental value on things you acquire while abroad so it is a really good idea to collect something from everywhere you go. During my semester abroad I collected little things like pebbles from the beach in Nice and sand from Portugal which I placed in one glass jar. Since returning home, I see it everyday and am reminded of how much this program changed my life. Seeing my memories in a jar also pushes me to find a way to go back one day so I can make more.
  • What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

    One of the most beautiful aspects to southern France are the mountains. Luckily, the Mont Sainte-Victoire in specific was only a 20 minute bus ride from Aix en Provence. Me and five other girls studying in Aix climbed this mountain together and somehow ended up lost on top of it for five hours. Although it was a really long day, the view from the top was breathtaking and I would get lost again and again to be able to experience it. Since returning from France, my navigational skills have yet to be improved.

    Was there anything you did not do during your time abroad that you wish you had?

    When I left Aix for weekend trips I usually went by myself. In retrospect I wish I had gone with some other students from my program because I think it would have been more fun. I traveled to London and Paris alone which was great because I could go wherever I wanted when I wanted, but I did not really experience the night life there out of fear of going alone. If you generally feel comfortable traveling alone like I do, you may want to consider the more opportunities you could have if you go with friends!