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Gabby Smith '25 Studies in Lyon, France to Build Confidence and Independence

November 09, 2023
By: Gabby Smith '25


As a sport business and French double major currently studying abroad, I chose to study in Lyon, France because I wanted to expand my French skills. I also love to travel, and wanted to experience a different culture for four months. I chose Lyon because I wanted to live in a big city that had many activities to be involved in.


The first month I was here I only had class two times a week in the morning. Now I have my language class four days a week for four hours in the morning. In our language classes, we focus on our reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. We are encouraged to only speak French in class because my classmates come from many different countries, and not everyone speaks English. My second class is travel writing which I have every Tuesday and it’s taught in English.

 Europe City scape


My schedule allows me to travel often, so travel writing is the perfect class to record my thoughts and feelings about my travels. So far I’ve got to travel to Annecy, Geneva, Paris, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Beaune, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. Even if you don’t want to travel each weekend, there are plenty of activities to do in Lyon. This year was the Rugby World Cup and I got to go to one of the games Lyon hosted. There are always morning markets to be explored, new cafes, soccer games, or just hanging out with friends during your free time.


Gabby Smith at Rugby game  

Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I could have made. I have been able to travel more than I ever imagined. I feel like I have also grown more confident and independent living in a foreign country. I didn’t know anyone coming into this program, and now I’ve made lifelong friends. If you even have a thought about studying abroad just do it!!! It’s the best decision you’ll make.