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Aix is Unlike Any Place I've Been Before

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July 2– Today is my first day with Abbey Road. I am left at JFK airport once I have found the group, and we all go with our Abbey Road group leader, Jen, to receive our boarding passes and check our bags. We arrived at the airport early enough to comfortably pass through security, get to know our fellow peers, and grab a snack before leaving on our nearly seven hour flight to Paris. The flight takes off and the trip is very smooth. I am able to entertain myself with a number of movies after failing in my attempts to sleep. July 3– By the time we arrive in Paris, it is about 9:30am local time. It is simply as though a night has passed and the dreaded “jet lag” does not seem like it will be an issue. Our flight, supposed to depart at 1:00pm, is overbooked and we are unable to attain seats. After a bit of debating with some airline and airport employees, however, Jen is able to get us a flight at 5:30pm as opposed to the one at 9:45pm that the airline tried to put us on. Despite fatigue from traveling and the slight hiccup in the plans, Jen handles the situation remarkably well. We arrive at the correct terminal after being transferred to another airport and our flight from Paris to Marseille takes less than two hours. There was an issue with some of our luggage since our flight plans had changed so I and another member of our group are left without our checked bags. The airline assures us that our luggage will be found promptly but that they might not be able to get it to us on July 4th because of the heavy traffic in Aix as a result of the Tour de France passing through. I am told by the airline to purchase any clothing or toiletry necessities and that they will reimburse me up to 100 euros. Initially a bit annoyed at the fact that I am left without the vast majority of my clothing and other belongings, I am now happy to know that I can go on a free miniature shopping spree. After the relatively short bus ride from Marseille to Aix, I and the other girl who lost her luggage go to our respective rooms, shower, and walk over to the nearby store, Monoprix. Fortunately we have arrived in France just as the nationwide sale season had begun, and I am able to purchase a substantial amount of clothing for less than the 100 euro budget I am given. After shopping, we return to the residence to have dinner and are then given a tour of the town, stopping for some ice cream and getting acquainted with some of the notable landmarks and streets. We are given our first taste of where we will be residing for the next several weeks, and I can honestly say that Aix-en-Provence is unlike any city I have ever been to. Though I, along with all of the students are eager to explore, we must return to our apartments at a reasonable hour. After returning to our rooms I promptly fall asleep, eager to recover from our many hours of travel. -Brandon

Abbey Road Programs in France

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