lfEver wondered about how is it to study in a holiday destinatio? This article from Hindol, and another one about students living in Nice from Hindol will surely give you a better idea! Thanks guys.
Contributor: Duy [Vietnam]
The MathMods semester in Nice isn’t exactly the fun semester one would expect after two exuberant semesters in Italy and Germany. That’s mostly due to the outstanding reduction in the batch strength. Usually you’re down to 8-9 students at most. Now it might not seem to be a big deal when a student is in L’Aquila or Hamburg, but it almost hits you immediately once you reach this city for the first time. You realise that those late night basement parties in Pizzoli and the barbeques in your residence backyard are things of the past. For most of the time you’re on your own to figure out paperworks and all kinds of official clutter. Not to mention the meteoric rise in study pressure, which keeps you grounded most of the time.
Nevertheless, I’d say you’ll still be able to enjoy a lot in Nice once you settle in. It takes a bit of time to embrace this city. But once you’re there, you’re in for a treat. I just completed my semester in Nice last month, and I’d say that my Erasmus experience would’ve been incomplete without these six months. So quite briefly I’ll try to share my experience with you guys. This post is primarily targeted to those who’re going to join the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis for their third semester in MathMods. Hopefully it’ll be helpful for all of you.
Groceries is about 30-40 % more expensive than in Germany. Carrefour is the cheapest of the supermarkets available throughout the city. And if you’re looking for regional stuff, you can check out a few small Indian, Asian, Russian, Portuguese and African stores near the Gare de Nice Ville (central train station) which are pretty cheap in my opinion. Single bus/tram tickets to anywhere within the city cost 1,50 €. You can get a monthly pass for 30 €, or a 10-journey pass for 10 € based on your need. But it’s such a small city that you can literally walk from one place to another if you have the time. This way you get to save some bucks and get to see more of the city, so it’s highly recommended.
Make no mistake, it’s gonna be the most intensive semester that you’re going to face in the whole program. You can find the complete semester curriculum here. Throughout the semester, the focus is more on the theoretical premise more than applications. Hence proving theorems and solving lengthy problems are integral parts of this semester. Unfortunately, the exams are not as interactive as in Hamburg, and you don’t have a lot of retakes as in L’Aquila, so you should really focus on finishing your assignments in time, solving whatever problems you get in the internet and studying past question papers intensively. You should definitely check out this web page, which was designed by one of our seniors, for past question papers, solved assignments and lecture notes. That said, the professors here in UNS are the best I’ve had so far. They’re friendly, encouraging and knowledgeable. They’re masters of their own craft, so you’ll never be lost if you follow the lectures regularly. Plus given that it’s gonna be a small classroom, there’s more student – teacher interaction than you’ve ever had in any of the previous semesters. The program coordinator in Nice will support you through all kinds of difficulties that you might face: from coping with the study pressure, to recommending for PhD’s or jobs and helping you find an internship; which brings me to the most dreadful issue of this semester …
Restaurants, pubs, tours & party life.
Nice, being the quintessential beach city, has a lot to offer when it comes to city life. The night life here is quite vibrant. There are numerous options for eating out as per your palate. Most good restaurants and pubs are located in the old town of Nice, which is easily accessible via bus or tram. Savoury food might get a bit more expensive than you’d imagine, but I guess the occasional eating out never hurt anyone. The Erasmus society organizes student parties which are pleasant retreats from the usual study cycle, and are highly recommended. Nice is an old city with a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, encompassing illustrious cathedrals to rich museums. One should also make it a point to visit neighboring tourist attractions like Monaco, Cannes, Grasse etc.