Alumni Spotlight: Ariana Limoges

Hello, I am Ariana Limoges and I go to South Dakota State University! I study Global Studies with minors in French and Advertising.

Why did you choose this program?

This program was perfect for me because it would fulfill my credits needed for my French minor! I also needed to have a study abroad experience for my major so it got two things done at once!

Not only was this perfect academically, but it was perfect for me personally. I love to travel and Europe was definitely on my list of places to visit!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I had help all along the way! I never really struggled with the process because both the program runners and my university were helpful. My advisor for my major and my advisor for study abroad were both so helpful. I also had a friend who did the program previously and she was really helpful with the application!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I think the only thing I wish I would have known was how hot it got. For some reason, I had assumed it would be as brisk as it was in the beginning of the program and realized about halfway through that it really does get hot in the summer! Advice for others would be to do your research! Learn how to be respectable in your surroundings and prepare yourself for things that may shock you (good and bad). Traveling overseas is always nerve-wracking, but once you get comfortable, it flies by so smoothly. Also, do not be afraid to put yourself out there. I have made some amazing friends in the program!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day would consist of waking up in the morning and getting ready for the day. Then, eating breakfast before getting on a public bus to go to school. I start classes at 9 and work until lunch (we do have a tiny break in between 9 and 12). I go to lunch with my friends for an hour and then, depending on what day of the week it is, either go to class again until 2:30 or do an activity with the group until 3.

After classes, I usually hang out with my friends and go to a café or patisserie. Then, I'd head home and do homework and wait for dinner (France eats dinner later than in America). Finally, I get ready for bed, sleep, and repeat!

Of course, there are things that change day to day but typically this is what I do.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was not making any friends. I had already had friends from my university attending, but I was afraid I wasn't going to branch out. I overcame it by just being myself and talking to people around me. I always feel like I should wait until others approach me, but this study abroad experience has taught me to be more forward and comfortable.

Is the French food as good as people say it is?

Yes, it is! French food is so good! I think the thing I like the most about French cuisine, is that it is always fresh. The fruits and vegetables are always so fresh and current. Also, their cheese is so good - well, the ones that I have tried are! (There are over 365 types of cheeses, so I didn't get a chance to try them all, haha!) Bread and cheese are, of course, a necessity. The desserts are as good and fancy as I had assumed they would be!

France knows food. I may not agree with believing stereotypes, but they have that on lockdown!