The Montpellier program provides many meals during the trip. Breakfast is served every morning, which usually consists of croissants, pastries, breads and fruit. For lunch, we are given access to the University of Montpellier cafeteria on campus. This cafeteria has a plethora of options and is of a higher quality than most of the university cafeterias that I have experienced. We are offered two side dishes. The offerings for the side dishes usually consist of salads, cheese, ham wraps, a bowl of apricots or a dessert. We are also offered a main entrée. Typically, fish or meat and a vegetarian option are available for the entrée portion. The entrée also comes with a side, usually French fries or vegetables, rice and miniature baguettes. We are also offered water, coffee, wine or another drink of our choice. These lunches are offered on all of our school days, Monday through Thursday. While a significant amount of food is offered to us, we are on our own for dinners and weekend meals. After spending a good deal of money on food in Paris, many of us decided that we would go grocery shopping for food to prepare meals for the rest of the week.
So, on Monday we headed downtown to Monoprix to grocery shop. Monoprix is comparable to the American Walmart or Target. It is a major grocery store in France. At the store, we bought ingredients to make sandwiches, chicken, eggs, pasta and other essentials. In our dorm rooms, we have a kitchenette. The kitchenette consists of a miniature fridge, a stove and a sink. This makes our ability to cook quite limited. However, it is still a functional cooking space.
After returning from the Paris trip, most of us were exhausted. On the Monday and Tuesday following our return, the majority of us had class from 9 am until 4 pm. On Wednesday the entire program went on a field trip to a local beach, which brought a much-needed break. The beach that we went to was called Palavas. We took a coach bus to get there and it took around half an hour. To reach the beach by public transportation, it takes about an hour and a half. This is likely how we will get there on future trips. The beach was beautiful and the water was particularly warm. The trip was a bit short, so I am excited to spend more time there later in the program.
Additionally, on Tuesday of this week, France made it into the finals of the World Cup. This was an amazing accomplishment for France as they have not won a World Cup final since 1998. The excitement that ensued following this victory is hard to encompass in words, and will be better portrayed by the included photos.