Touring the Countryside of France through Eyes of Artists

Written by: Julie Landrigan, Paris, France spring 2013 alum

During the spring of 2013, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France. The Paris program really made me go outside of my comfort zone and provided me with numerous opportunities to explore the city and the country. As a program we took a few excursions together, of which my favorite was our weekend excursion to Aix en Provence, a city in the South of France. During this trip, we were toured around the city by a local guide who taught us about the unique history of the city. While we were there, we also studied the artist Paul Cézanne and the writer Émile Zola.

Aside from the many museums that can be found in Aix, we wanted to go where the artist and writer had lived and painted. Shelley Cavaness, the Paris resident director, had asked us what we wanted to do during our stay in Aix, and as a group we decided that an outdoor adventure would suit us well, since we had been spending a lot of time in the dense city of Paris. Cavaness led the group on a hike through the area surrounding Mount Sainte-Victoire, the mountain that inspired the artist and writer. While we were hiking, we came across the house that Zola grew up in and the dam that his father built. Because of this excursion, we really bonded as a program. Since we were such a small group we got to know each other very well and came to be very comfortable around each other, leaning on one another for support.

Interact with history in France on one of the many program excursions

From left to right: Resident Director Shelley Cavaness, Emily Hardesty (Valparaiso University), Bre Lewellen (Central College), Julie Landrigan (Central College) and Maryam Abdi (University of Evansville)
From left to right: Resident Director Shelley Cavaness, Emily Hardesty (Valparaiso University), Bre Lewellen (Central College), Julie Landrigan (Central College) and Maryam Abdi (University of Evansville)


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