Posted by: Brad | February 6, 2011

From Versailles to Gyms

Hey everybody! A lot has happened since I last made a post to the blog. I went to Versailles, FLANNERY GOT HERE!!!, classes started, and I joined a gym so I don’t have to run outside in the freezing cold haha. We’ll go in that order. Versailles was amazing!!!!!! I’ve never seen so much gold in my life. Everything from the banisters of the king’s bedroom to the front gates is covered in gold leaf. I was kind of dumbstruck. We were fortunate to have a guided tour of the palace, and we got to go into some of the rooms that were off limits to the other guests. My favorite room was the chapel where Marie Antoinette got married NBD. It was so beautiful with all of the marble and artistic detail. (There are pictures on facebook) I learned that they actually still hold services in the chapel, and they recently replaced the pipes on the organ in the chapel. It is apparently used quite often for music concerts because there is marble everywhere, and the acoustics are amazing. In fact, there is French marble throughout just about every room in the palace. According to the tour guide, all of the marble is French marble that comes from the Pyrenees (the mountains between France and Spain). This is because King Louis XIV wanted to push towards being completely independent from Italy and that included competing with Italian marble. I thought that was cool. I’m definitely planning on returning to Versailles when it warms up so that I can tour the gardens! I got a brief view from the hall of mirrors (my favorite part of the palace) and I can’t wait to see it when everything is in bloom.

Following my weekend trip to Versailles, Flannery arrived in Paris (as she explained in her blog) and I started classes. Classes are an interesting one for me. I decided that it would be “culturally enriching” to take classes at two places, three with my program IES and two at an international business school in Paris. My classes with IES are wonderful! They are very straightforward and similar to those I take at home as far as how they are managed. My favorite is a luxury marketing class that includes a field study.  I can only imagine that the field study will include looking at some really cool expensive things that nobody in their right mind should ever buy! I’m excited to find out what they are when we go next Friday. My classes at Negocia on the other hand have given me my first moment of culture shock since I have been in Paris. Upon arriving in Paris, I learned that Negocia is more or less a three year French business school for French and international students. The French government runs all universities, and Negocia is no exception. That means there is a large building with a lot of amenities, but that also means things are very “French.” Classrooms and class times change every single week, they have no syllabus, and even though classes are in English many students are not fluent. I feel for the French students because it is advanced English. There are many business terms that would be difficult to understand if English was not your first language. My personal favorite thing that has happened at Negocia was in my international marketing and communications class. The class was originally scheduled for three hours a week on Tuesday. Upon arrival on the first day the professor says, “This class is too big. We are making two sections. You are in group A. The class is now just an hour and a half.” I about passed out. Where in the world is it acceptable to get the same credit for a class when you are going to it half of the time that was originally scheduled? Apparently in France haha, it should be interesting to see how it goes! We start presenting a project that is 40% of our grade in two weeks. (should be easy as most students can’t speak fluent English). I’m excited to experience all of the other little differences that come with studying at a French school.

Ok finally I’ll end this post. I know it’s ridiculously long, and I’m sorry about that. I joined a French gym which was funny because I had to go to a French doctor to get a document saying I wouldn’t die if I worked out. (it’s called a “certificat medicale”) Of all my French speaking tests that whole doctor/ signing up process was a real gem. Let’s just say I feel comfortable speaking poor French to just about anybody now haha. You can communicate quite well with pointing and facial expressions if you have to! So in summary: I love all of my classes, and I’m excited to see how all of them turn out. FLANNERY IS HERE! And I can’t wait to explore the city and travel with her. We are planning to take a Parisian wine and cheese class within the month =D. That’s our latest plan. We also plan to go to Italy for our second spring break since we have two of them. Ohh and as she reads this blog she is actually finding out for the first time, along with everybody else, that we are going to London in a week to see Wicked! SURPRISE! So be on the lookout for a post about that!! Until then! Thanks for reading.






  1. Brad – so happy you all are having such fun. Seriously, u did too much for the anniversary, trip to London and Wicked! What a treat! Be safe until we see you again – love, Sandra

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