That day started out the same as every other day — with my alarm blaring at 8 o’clock in the morning, waking me up for my daily exercise regime. But who was I to complain? Each morning, I got to run three miles around a beautiful lake complete with a swan and ducks near the Georgia Tech Lorraine campus in Metz, France. I studied there for the summer, and this is a little insight into what my life was like for those ten weeks.
After completing my workout, I went back to Crous, my apartment building near campus, took a quick shower and ate breakfast. Class started at 10:30 a.m. on the third floor of the GTL building, but it was such a relief to walk there since it is the only air conditioned building for miles, and we were in the middle of a heat wave in France.
As a chemical engineer, I took two courses during the first five weeks of the summer and another two during the second portion. My fellow chemical engineers and I had just finished our Thermodynamics II final yesterday and today was our first day of Transport Processes I, the class we would be taking for the remainder of the program. We were immediately thrown into learning about fluid dynamics.
The transition was pretty rough as our new professor’s teaching style was completely different and our homework almost doubled. Even in France, Tech is still Tech.
After a long week, we were itching to get out for lunch at 12:30 p.m. The Crous cafeteria has tons of options for students, if you can figure out what the options are (they’re in French). Every day, they offer a French lunch with bread, cheese, an appetizer, a dessert and a main course. After lunch, we made our trek back to the GTL building to work on our transport homework.
After a four hour effort getting work done for the weekend and my second class, an LMC course I was taking for my humanities requirement, I was done and went back to my apartment for dinner and to get ready for the main event of the evening.
Today was Fête la Musique, a music festival where performers play music in the city streets all night long. I put on my favorite summery yellow dress and headed to downtown Metz with all of my friends.
First, we stopped to watch the second half of the Croatia versus Argentina World Cup game at a sports bar. There were at least 40 Georgia Tech Lorraine students already there. We rooted for Croatia, and when they scored the roar we generated each time was unreal.
After the game, we all went out in the streets in search of music.
As the horde of Tech students moved through the dancing crowd, everyone was drawn to an EDM concert and we all joined in the dancing in the streets. We formed a large mosh pit and danced until we were out of breath.
All of a sudden, I got whacked in the head with something. French people were throwing flower crowns into the center of the pit. I caught two and gave one to a friend.
My friends and I decided to leave and find more concerts happening in the street. We saw rock groups and alternative groups, and then happened to stumble upon a French band playing classical dancing songs. My friend dragged me into their line dance, which seemed like a modified swing dance.
It went well until everyone started switching partners. The final dance started and I could see the annoyance on a older local’s face whose hand I held when the Americans tried to join in their dance. I think I got the hang of it eventually.
After a night on the town, we took the bus back to the dorms around midnight. It was only one of the many amazing nights we experienced during our magical summer in Metz.