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Kayla Famolari

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Advertising and Public Relations
Program: UNC in Montpellier
Location: Montpellier, France
Term: Fall 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I've taken French since middle school and I always knew that I wanted to study abroad to further develop my language skills and be able to travel around Europe. I chose the Montpellier program because I thought it was the perfect opportunity to be fully immersed in French culture!


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned how to embrace the uncertainty of situations and accept when plans don't work out the way I expected them to. Whether it was running through international metros to avoid (unsuccessfully) missing your train or scrambling to figure out delayed flights, I learned to stay calm in stressful situations and come up with new solutions to get where I needed to go. I also earned how to try new things, specifically new foods, and discovered that I liked more foods than I originally thought!


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory was when me and the other students in my program decided to have a beach day. It was one of our first days in Montpellier, everything was still so new and we didn't really know each other yet, but we gathered food for a small picnic and took the long tram ride out to the beach. We spent the day eating, swimming, laying in the hot sand, and getting to know each other. It was my first real adventure in Montpellier and it gave me a glimpse of what my semester would be like- full of fun, new experiences, and making new friends!


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
One of my biggest pieces of advice would be to not feel as though you constantly have to be doing something during your time abroad. While traveling on the weekends and exploring your new home is encouraged, it can get tiring and you don't want to burn out! Be sure to take the time to fully enjoy your time abroad and remember that it's okay to take a day and just watch movies or read a book in a cafe!


Would you do it again?


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
The biggest difference was that all of my classes abroad were in French with French professors. Although this aspect ended up benefitting me in the end, it was very scary at first. Additionally, the classes I took at the university (Paul Valéry) were different in that they did not have much outside work, my grades were based almost exclusively on exam grades.


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