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Why Grenoble?

December 05, 2016
by Isabel Kinsolving

Choosing where to study abroad is no easy choice due to a variety of factors: which classes are going to transfer back? Where are your friends going abroad? How safe is the country? What language do they speak? The list goes on. Choosing Grenoble was one I struggled with largely due to the classes that transferred back to my home university. Ultimately, I felt like I was throwing myself into something that I had no knowledge of, but I could not be happier about my decision with the experiences I have had here thus far.

 View of Old Town Grenoble from the 9th floor of an apartment building.
 Farmers Market underneath the railroad tracks.

I was sold on Grenoble because of its location, nestled in the French alps, close to Switzerland, and a quick train ride to Paris and other well-known French towns. The school, Grenoble Ecole de Management, is a triple-accredited school, making it one of the rare business schools in France to achieve such a prestigious ranking. I had no ties to the city prior to studying abroad in Grenoble, and that was my favorite part. I wanted to test myself by putting myself in a completely foreign environment and fully immerse myself in a new culture. The fear of it all has led to me to meet the most international, outspoken, creative, and extraordinary group of individuals. I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone from California, let alone America, and I am pleasantly surprised that almost exactly that has happened. Studying international business in an international setting feels too good to be true. I am lucky enough to have found a select few individuals who have lived in the same part of the world as me. Having these close ties to home curves the home sickness, but the relationships I have made here so far distract me from even thinking about homesickness.
 Farmer's Market underneath the railroad that runs everyday from 9am-1pm.
 View of the Isere towards the west.

One thing that exists in California is something called bubble tea, which is essentially tapioca balls in a milk tea drink. I was ecstatic to learn there was a bubble tea place in heart of Grenoble, so I sought out to find it one day. I expected the person behind the register to speak French to me, then find out I was American, and roll his eyes a little knowing he had to speak English to me. However, I found that the guy behind the register spoke English, and we had a long conversation about our love for bubble tea. I have been twice now and every time, I'm happy to see him behind the counter making the bubble tea. He knows my order after just the second visit, and he kindly gives me a student discount.

Although I was initially intimidated by Grenoble, I have fallen in love with just about every aspect of life here. The location, people, culture, environment, food, and lifestyle is not one that you can jump into, but have to adapt to slowly, and makes the experience abroad so incredible.

 The view behind my homestay
 View of the Isere towards the east.

Isabel K. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in the French Alps, France. She is currently a junior studying International Business and Computer Science at Chapman University.

Isabel Kinsolving is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in French Alps: Grenoble, France, and is currently studying at Chapman University.
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