Jazana Goolsby - 2013 Program Participant

The Bastille overlooking Grenoble, France

At the Bastille overlooking Grenoble, France, a city surrounded by mountains. 

Why did you choose to study abroad in France? Why Grenoble specifically?

I chose to study abroad in order to gain new experiences with French food, language, and culture. Studying abroad also enabled me to speak French, my second language. I chose Grenoble, France specifically because it appealed to me as a small yet beautiful city where I could have these experiences without feeling overwhelmed. I also liked the idea of BU’s program there in the sciences which allowed me to keep up with my pre-med curriculum, and even do a little research.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning on the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

What was your housing arrangement in Grenoble? 

I had the pleasure of staying with a host family while in Grenoble. This allowed me to learn about French daily life first hand, and to practice my language skills often.

What was a normal day like as a student?

I woke up around 7 a.m., went to an Organic Chemistry lecture at 8 a.m. twice a week and lab every other week, or started the day a little later with a Cell Bio lecture and discussion. Fridays were lighter with a French Culture seminar from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and a free afternoon for cultural excursion, an early start to a trip, or homework. For lunch we dined at one of the small restaurants on campus or took the tram into the city to grab a baguette avec jambon (ham) or a panini from one of the street vendors. If we had some free time between classes we would study at the Université de Grenoble library, or one of the cafés in the centre ville with an espresso and pain au chocolat or even tartelette frambroise. Some days I went for a run around the park and track near my home on the outskirts of the city. At night we dined in one of the restaurants or fast food places in the city, or with our host families for a grand French meal with a salad, main course, cheese, dessert and plenty of bread! Then on weekends we went out to enjoy the night life.

Study abroad students on a Gondola Ride in Venice, Italy

Gondola Ride in Venice.

What advice would you give to other students embarking on the Grenoble Science Program?

I would advise students to expect to work hard and have fun. Orgo and Cell Bio are still challenging abroad, but there are also opportunities for excursions, so make time to see everything in your host city, as well in other countries. Plan ahead for travel by saving money before going abroad.

Would you recommend BU’s program in Grenoble to others?

Yes, because it is a great opportunity to grow as a person through independence, cultural interactions and adventures, and facing conflicts head on. Also, with this specific program, students can hone their French language skills while also keeping up with their science major curriculum. Therefore, I would highly recommend it to students studying health sciences.

Did you experience any kind of reverse culture shock upon resuming student life in the U.S.?

Definitely. I went from espresso shots, to “American” sized coffee, from bread and cheese at every meal to a variety of worldly foods, living on campus instead of commuting from my host family’s home, eating in the dining halls, and once again being in a giant lecture instead of my close-knit classes of 16 students or less abroad. 

View of the canals in Venice, Italy

Jazana enjoying a gorgeous view of the Venice canals.