5 days in Marseille and a lifetime of exploring later…

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One of the many beaches strewn on the coast of Southern France. We stopped at this one for lunch during our halfway point.

 

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A shot of espresso with milk and sugar at a very nice (and expensive) restaurant whose name I conveniently forgot….

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Tram tracks in Castellane, which we crossed multiple times to reach our final shopping destinations.

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I’m interning at the KEDGE Business School in Marseille, France for about 7 weeks this summer. This internship consists of introducing Marseille and the KEDGE School to the many thousands of French students who will come from all over France to see if KEDGE is the university for them. I will be working with an entourage of French counselors to make their experience in Marseille with KEDGE one of the best experiences they have ever had (at least, this is the hope). Since I love to meet people and explore places with them, I knew this was the right internship for me. This is my 5th day in Marseille, and I have only yet begun to explore the surrounding cities and beaches. There is so much to see in Marseille. From the exotic looking trees that seem to differ on every block, to the intimidating cordillera that make up the “Massifs des Calanques” which we kayaked through on my 3rd day here, southern France has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, relaxation, and cultural distractions. My most recent excursions include shopping for necessities in Castellane, a commune in Marseille that is full of cafes, bakeries, restaurants, shopping plazas, and supermarkets that are all teeming with life, and also a trip I just made to Eglise orthodoxe Saint Hermogène, which is a Russian Orthodox Church that is very close to the KEDGE dorms.

As an intern with KEDGE, I hope to become as fluent as possible so that I am able to come back to France anytime to continue to understand France and its people. I believe that getting to know a culture is a lifelong process, one that takes time and dedication. I consider this internship in Marseille as the first step in this lifelong process. Specifically, I would like to become familiar with French slang, and to speak a little faster than I do now. I find it quite difficult to understand French when someone is speaking it really fast, and so I definitely need to increase the speed at which I speak to really be a part of the conversations.

My greatest opportunity (other than discovering a culture and language that I have been learning for quite some time now) is the chance to meet as many students and interns as possible, and to learn more about them with each passing day. I love meeting people from all around the world, and KEDGE has set the perfect environment for doing so. A few challenges that I foresee my internship presenting include understanding the other interns when they speak French as well as communicating in a way that people can understand me. I am currently working on building my vocabulary, since there are a lot of words that I don’t yet know, and afterwards I will focus on more difficult grammar so that I can say more complicated sentences (ones that flow together, for example, instead of choppy ones).

5 thoughts on “5 days in Marseille and a lifetime of exploring later…

  • May 15, 2018 at 6:01 pm
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    Sabrina,

    Thank you for sharing your reflections (and some photos!) on the beginning of your adventure in Marseille. I am so glad that you are finding some great spots in your area!

    I want to commend you on your determination in wanting to gain fluency of another language – I am glad that you distinguished language from culture in your final paragraph – while language can certainly help you discover and learn about culture, it takes much more than being able to carry on a conversation to understand the nuances of culture. As you begin your internship, I would challenge you to maintain and translate that curiosity into an examination of the culture at work as well. How does working with a French organization differ from working in an American one? What sorts of nuances exist in communication/work styles?

    I am so excited for you to begin your working experience with KEDGE. Few experiences can match the transformative learning that can occur during a global experience, so I again commend you on your willingness to explore and seek out such an awesome opportunity!

    -Josh

    Reply
    • May 21, 2018 at 8:21 pm
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      Thank you, Josh! I will most definitely be on the lookout for French/American contrasts in cultural, and integrate them into my next blog posts.

      Reply
  • May 21, 2018 at 8:50 pm
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    Hi Sabrina! So cool to hear about your first week in Marseille! I just finished my first week in Nice, and could definitely relate to the language transition. We are not so far, would love to meet up sometime if it’s possible! You’re welcome to Nice anytime!

    Reply
    • May 21, 2018 at 8:57 pm
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      Hey Anna! Nice sounds lovely. I would love to visit, and I’m sure my friend from UMich doing the same internship would love to visit as well 🙂 We can practice our French together!

      Reply
  • May 21, 2018 at 8:59 pm
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    Ouaaaais let’s do it 🙂 A bientôt!

    Reply

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