My friend just stayed with me for a couple of days last week. We walked around to explore the town and tried a few restaurants and bars in downtown. There wasn’t a lot going on since I guess most students were still on school break. This week, thank God, everything is back to normal and I see students and people everywhere!
My second week in Reims is going great. I must say the town surpassed my expectations. I was worried it would be such a small town that wouldn’t have a lot to do. However, since it is a college town, it is actually very lively (but if you do get bored it is only 45 minutes away from Paris with the high speed train). I see people drinking champagne everyday and everywhere, but I think that was expected-it is the Champagne region. That is pretty interesting since I am used to only see people drinking champagne for celebratory purposes. I guess they are just celebrating life 🙂
This week is the orientation week at Sciences Po. It is a little tiring, since we have to be on campus everyday from 9am until 6pm. We just go over the expectations on our schoolwork, tour around campus, register for classes, and then the students have to do presentations to make sure we are ready for the semester (an oral presentation and a written book review). Nonetheless, it was great to meet all the exchange students. People were so friendly! I quickly bonded with a group of people coming from Mexico, Australia, and Colombia.
I really suggest doing the orientation week. It is optional, but it’s a great way of meeting people and getting to know your way around campus. The campus may be small, they only have around 700 students, but the buildings are similar and it can be very confusing to find which one you are supposed to go. What I liked the most about campus is that it is located in what used to be a Jesuit college, so it has a lot of history everywhere you go. They have one library that was just recently restored that dates back from the 17th century. The campus is also bilingual, so if you speak little to no French, Sciences Po Reims is a great option.
Weather in Reims has been pretty cold lately. It snowed (a little bit) the other day. At least most of the time the sun is always out so it doesn’t feel that bad. Another great thing about Reims is that you can do almost everything by foot. From Sciences Po to the city center is about 15 minutes walking and you can literally find everything you need in between the two places: from pharmacies, supermarkets, post office, restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, stores etc. It is a great way to keep in shape while eating everything you want 😛
Overall, I am really happy to be here and I am enjoying every minute of it. I can already tell that this will be one of the best experiences of my life!