Studying abroad in Grenoble, France, might be a great opportunity to earn valuable degree credits while simultaneously immersing yourself in the unique culture of the alpine countryside. Continuing your academic pursuits might just be a bit more fun when you’re drinking the wine, enjoying the view, or parlant en Francais with the locals. Don’t worry, that last bit might make more sense after you Study Abroad in Grenoble!
The Important Part: Your Education
Studying abroad in Grenoble, France, could present a lot of opportunities to study a multitude of academic concentrations alongside the picturesque French Alps. Students studying the French language especially may find plenty of programs. Not only could you obtain formal instruction from a native-speaking professor, you could also fully immerse yourself and practice your new skills while living (and sightseeing) in Grenoble.
The city is not limited to the humanities, though. Those studying STEM topics such as physics, computer sciences, and nanotechnology might also find notable programs of interest. These courses are often offered in English which could make transitioning into the new program easier for study abroad students.
Many of these programs may also plan excursions to other parts of France throughout their curriculum. You could visit cities such as Nice, Strasbourg, Lyon, or even Paris as part scheduled program. These trips could help ensure that you’re balancing school work with exploration of your new, temporary home.
Where is Grenoble, Exactly?
Grenoble lies in the southeast corner of France. If you’re unfamiliar with that section of the Rhône-Alpes region, this places Grenoble directly up against the French Alps. Due to its closeness to the renowned mountain range, it is often called the “Capital of the Alps.” If you’re living and studying in Grenoble, you should definitely make time to go skiing on those famous slopes!
The city of Grenoble subscribes to many French habits. If you find yourself out and about in town, here a few rules to help you blend in with the locals:
You may be used to smiling at passerby on the street, but in France this is perceived as an invitation to talk. Many locals keep a straight “poker face” while in public.
The French have a different eating schedule than many other parts of the world. Many kitchens close between 2:00pm – 7:00pm, so be sure to have a full belly beforehand.
Don’t tip after meals! Many internationals may be accustomed to tipping their server, but the French build gratuity into their menu prices. If you receive exemplary service, though, feel free to leave a euro or two!
Everything but Homework
While class time could make up a large portion of studying abroad in Grenoble, you should head out and explore the gorgeous city you’re inhabiting at your first chance. Visiting La Bastille – not to be confused with the Bastille in Paris – is two excursions in one. The building itself is a fortification built into the Alps themselves. Getting there is half the fun! You have to take les bulles. In English? Cable cars! Taking the slow trek up the countryside could give you a 360-degree view of Grenoble.
Once you’ve had your share of sightseeing, it’s time to sit down to an authentic meal. As part of the Rhône-Alpes region of France, Grenoble taps into the area’s deep love of charcuterie. Try regional sausages and cured meats – available at many restaurants – as part of an afternoon snack or a light, late-night meal. Don’t forget to try gratin dauphinoise while in the city. This side dish is a rainy-day comfort food: it’s very similar to rich, mashed potatoes.