Skip To Main Content
Les Vacances de Paques

Stella M. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Saint Mary's Hall in Texas.


It is April 13th, and we are currently on “Les Vacances de Paques”, which is pretty much the equivalent of Spring Break. We said goodbye to the picturesque village of Sète this morning, as for the first week of our break, we split up into two groups; one in Sète and the other in Carry-le-Rouet. In all honesty, I’m pretty exhausted, but in a good way. Our days were very packed, and as I looked back through my camera roll on the train earlier, I realized just how much we saw and experienced.

I wanted to share some of my favorite and most memorable places we visited.

  1. Pont du Gard

Prior to coming here, I had never heard of the Pont du Gard. It is an ancient Roman aqueduct crossing the Gardon River that was used to supply Nîmes with water. It was such a beautiful day when we went, and simply exploring the surrounding nature is something I will always remember. Standing on a historical monument is truly remarkable and serves as a crucial reminder of what came before you.

2.  Hiking the “Le Cirque de Navacelles”

Yesterday, we went on a very lengthy and rigorous (in my opinion) hike that was definitely worth the soreness of my legs today. The Cirque de Navacelles is in the Massif Central mountain range. The weather in our favor again, we set out as a class and hiked to the peak, where we took in the inexplicable beauty of the landscape, eating our packed picnics. France is a beautiful country, and I am so glad we have the opportunity to explore both the natural and the man-made wonders.



3. A Vegan Lunch in Montpellier

While this one is not particularly “French”, it was nevertheless an unforgettable couple of hours. We were in Montpellier for the day, visiting the Musée Fabre and all that one of France’s major cities has to offer. I, along with a few of my friends, had a certain craving for healthy and plant based food, so we took the suggestion given by Google Maps and went to a vegan restaurant. During the past seven months, I have consumed a lot of brie, butter, bread, and sugar. I am surely not complaining, but the vibrant colors that were brought before my eyes was heavenly. It tasted heavenly. I felt as if I was in California, visiting my family, taking advantage of the fresh and organic ingredients that seem to dominate the food industry there. We had a really nice conversation with the waitress, who was interested in learning why four young Americans were in Montpellier.

I am currently in Toulouse, discovering “La Ville Rose”, and in a couple days, I will be in Barcelona for the rest of the break. I have probably said this repetitively in past blogs, but I truly feel so lucky to have done SYA. It is the best decision I have made in my life thus far, and I can’t believe there is only one month left. I can’t even imagine leaving at this point; as my friends I have made and my incredible host family have become family. Rennes is my second home.

I want to try my very best to live in the present for my remaining time in France. I am anticipating lots of tears boarding the plane back to Texas, but as the saying goes: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

À bientôt!


  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA France
A New Normal

Annika compares her new normal to her life in Rennes in her last blog.


Luke recalls a recent memory that encapsulates the lessons he learned from SYA.