Here's what you get when you study abroad with CEA in French Riviera:
While CEA highly recommends that you choose one of our French Riviera housing options provided, you also have the option to arrange independent housing. If your ideal housing scenario includes living in a particular neighborhood, having specific amenities or living with a specific person as your roommate, then independent housing could be just the ticket for you.
Use the online housing application form to request permission for this option no later than the application closure date. If your request is approved, you will receive a rebate for your housing payment, however CEA will not provide you with any assistance setting up independent housing. Keep in mind, rebates are not granted to students who move out of their CEA housing or choose to pursue independent living arrangements after the application closure date.
One of the benefits of studying abroad is the ability to venture outside your host city and explore the surrounding area. Excursions are offered for all semester, year, and summer programs. Semester students are typically offered between two to three excursions and summer students are typically offered between one to two excursions. You will receive a calendar of the specific CEA excursions offered for your program during orientation. To give you an idea of the possibilities, we have collected typical experiences from some of the day trips and weekend tours offered to our students in the past.
CEA staff will take you on a tour of this tiny independent state. Nestled between the French Alps and the Mediterranean, an impressive 30,000 people live on only .7 square miles, making Monaco-Monte Carlo the second smallest European state. We’ll take a spin around the Monaco Formula I Grand Prix circuit (by bus, of course) to see the famous Casino and Belle Epoque district, the opera house built by Charles Garnier, and the Hotel and Café de Paris. Next, we’ll drive high above the Mediterranean along the Moyenne Corniche to the medieval village of Eze, where you’ll discover exotic gardens and breathtaking views of the Riviera coast.
Grasse, the perfume capital of the world since the Renaissance, is located high in the hills above the Mediterranean. This unique medieval site is recognized by the Caisse National des Monuments Historiques as a city of art. Surrounded by jasmine and roses, Grasse has retained its narrow winding streets, cobblestones, archways, medieval squares, and market places.
Today, three-quarters of the world’s essences are produced in Grasse, at chez Fragonard. Many designer perfumes, such as Chanel n°5, are still produced here. We’ll tour the Fragonard factory and observe the procedures involved in creating and producing perfume, followed by a visit to the "Musée International de la Parfumerie" where you’ll learn about 3000 years in the history of this extraordinary art. Finally, finish the day at the Fragonard factory shop, where you can browse a large selection of well-known perfumes at discount prices.
Cannes & St. Marguerite Island
In 1834 the Lord Chancellor of England, Lord Brougham, spent the night in a small fishing village en route to Nice. Since that fateful night, Cannes has been synonymous with glamour and glitz. The star of the French Riviera, Cannes is world-renowned for its International Film Festival, yachts, cruise ships, designer shopping, palatial hotels, belle époque architecture, and golden beaches.
We’ll explore the Tour de Mt. Chevalier. Located in the narrow winding streets of the old town known as "Le Suquet,” this fortress from the 11th century houses an amazing collection of archaeological and ethnographic exhibits in the Musée de la Castre. The tower and the 12th century Notre-Dame-de-l'Espérence church add a touch of medieval flavor to the town.
From the port of Cannes, we’ll take a boat to beautiful St. Marguerite Island, known for its crystal clear water and untouched nature. Also included: a visit to the fortress where the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask was held prisoner.
Biot and Vallauris
The glass factory of Biot is famous for its colorful bubble glass. Here, more than 30 glassworkers expertly blow, handle, and
conjure molten glass into works of art, producing beautiful carafes, vases, candleholders, and more. The factory houses a museum, showroom, and store, and offers glass-blowing demonstrations. The staff will pack purchases with great care, so you can safely ship gifts back to the U.S. Be sure to check out their "seconds" table for great bargains.
Next it’s on to Vallauris, where pottery has been a tradition since Gallo-Roman times. Picasso worked at the Madura workshop from 1948 to 1955, one of his most creative periods working with ceramics. His most famous works from this period are "The Man with the Goat" (L'homme au mouton) and the enormous fresco "War and Peace" (La guerre et la paix), which you can see in the chapel in the Musée Château.
In the 19th century, Provence's light and landscapes attracted illustrious painters such as Cézanne and Van Gogh. Our journey begins in Arles, where Van Gogh spent his most creative years. We’ll explore the city’s impressive Roman monuments, such as the arena, the theatre, and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries), which date to the 1st century B.C. On place du Forum, you will see the café that inspired Café de Nuit, one of Van Gogh's best-loved works.
Les Baux-de-Provence is a medieval fortified town with amazing views of Provence. From the top of the village, you’ll enjoy a 360° view over the Vallée des Baux, famous for its olive oil. We’ll visit the hilltop castle to learn about the music and songs of the Troubadours and life in Provence in medieval times.
No Provence tour would be complete without a visit to Avignon and a guided tour of the Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace), as well as the Pont Saint Bénézet, which forms the inspiration for the famous song, Sous le Pont d'Avignon.
We’ll also visit Pont du Gard, the world’s largest remaining Roman aqueduct, built shortly before the Christian era to allow the aqueduct of Nímes to cross the Gard River. Roman architects and hydraulic engineers created a technical and artistic masterpiece which is still stands today after 2,000 years. Finally, a tour of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape area includes a visit to one of the local vineyards. A local wine expert will explain how wine is made and teach you the basics of wine tasting.
St. Tropez, a.k.a. the Riviera’s most glitzy destination, became popular in the 1950s when movie stars, artists, and writers fell under the spell of this quaint Mediterranean fishing port. With the arrival of Brigitte Bardot in the 60s, the myth was installed for good. We’ll travel along the scenic Esterel Mountains to the beautiful bay of St. Tropez. Today, visitors to this lovely town still love to stroll through the market and sit in outdoor cafés hoping to catch a glimpse of celebrities like Brad Pitt or George Clooney. For the art lovers, a visit the Annonciade Museum is also included where you can admire works of Matisse, Signac, Braque and other famous French Riviera artists.
Take advantage of the unique flavors of the French Riviera. CEA offers a variety of local cultural activities to match your interests, whether you enjoy concerts, clubs, sports, cooking classes, language exchanges, or something entirely different, our resident staff can help you get involved in local culture. Here are a few examples.
French Cuisine – Cooking Lessons at the CEA Office
Enjoy preparing and tasting local dishes such as ratatouille, pan-fried vegetables with tomato sauce; farcis niçois, stuffed oven-baked veggies; pissaladière, onion pie garnished with anchovies and olives; socca, chickpea flour pancakes; and beignets de fleurs de courgette, zucchini flowers fried in batter.
SKEMA Integration Weekend
At the beginning of each semester, the SKEMA student office—BDE or Bureau Des Elèves—organizes a three-day Weekend d’Intégration for all new students.
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with other international students and local French students. In spring, BDE hosts a skiing trip to the Alps and in fall, you may attend a camping weekend in Provence. CEA students love Integration Weekend, noting that it’s one of the best experiences they have during the semester and that it really helps them make connections.
Develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of wine in the presence of a local wine expert, or sommelier, through tasting, wine and food pairings, and vineyard visits in the Var region of France, which produces delicious Cotes de Provence wines. When you return to the U.S., you can impress your friends with your new knowledge of oenology and viticulture.
Dabble in the secret art of the perfumer and take home your very own original French eau de perfume or eau de cologne. At one of the most renowned perfume factories of Grasse, the world’s perfume capital, you will create your very own scent under the watchful eye of a Maitre Parfumeur.
SKEMA Orientation Scavenger Hunt in Antibes
This lively event brings together new International students from all SKEMA programs. You will be challenged to find important places in the town of Antibes, all while learning your way around the town and making new friends.
CEA staff can arrange for you to be paired with language exchange partners to practice French in a real-life context. Most language partners are French university students who are studying English or other languages. Language partners also help you experience the French Riviera and its culture by providing tips on how to get around and where to find interesting sights and activities. This program is a great way to meet other students while enhancing your speaking skills.
Give back to your host community while gaining hands-on experience. Volunteering opportunities in the French Riviera may include:
Safety and Independence
We were given a lot of independence but if we had a question or needed help, CEA was there for us right away. We were looked after and the first priority for CEA was our safety, which gave me, as well as my parents, peace of mind.