Michael Williams

Overall Experience


Snowboarding, traveling, fishing

Lansing, Kansas

Where did you study?
Lyon, France

Name of program
Lyon Summer 2012

Why did you choose to study there?
I love the French language and knew the summer program to Lyon would be great.

What courses did you choose to enroll in?
History of Lyon During the Renaissance, Drama/Theater, Photo Anemee, and Rencontrer

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
My loving mother saved enough money to pay for my trip because she wanted me to be able to experience a study abroad program.

Did you use some sort of financial aid, scholarship or fellowship?

What was your living situation?
I lived with a host family in an apartment in the middle of the city of Lyon. The apartment was well-maintained, I had my own room, and it was only a five minute walk from the university. The family consisted of a single mother, two boys (12 and 19), and two girls (both 17). The family was really nice. They took me to their country home one weekend, and they helped me with anything I needed.

What did you do for fun?
I brought a fishing pole so when I could sneak off and do some fishing I would. The city has two rivers that run directly through it so a fishing spot was not hard to find. I also hung out with the other students in the program. We regularly had wine and snacks by the Rhone (one of the rivers).

Favorite aspect of your trip?
My favorite aspect of this trip was the ability to travel to other countries relatively cheap and quick.

Challenges you faced?
The course load was at times daunting, but the hardest part was the week of the 4th of July because I got really homesick and was only about half way done with the program.

Advice or helpful tips for future students?
Make sure you are prepared to work and do not be disheartened by the difficulties you will face.

What is one thing you would change about your experience?
I would have planned to travel with someone after the program. I did go to Barcelona for a week after the program but it could have been a lot better with another classmate or a friend from home.

Is there a funny or memorable story you would like to share from your experience?
I arrived in Lyon with about six hours to kill until we were to meet with our host families so I walked around the town a little and decided to eat at a cafe. Being tired from my travels and adjusting to the fact that everything was in French, I was confused about the menu and how to order anything. I thought I asked the waitress for a coffee and water to start, when she returned with a hot tea I realized I must not have ordered properly. With that under my belt, I was a little afraid to order food. Looking at the menu the only word I understood was boeuf (beef). So I decided I would order the boeuf. Turns out it was beef tartar, raw ground beef with some sauces and COLD. Needless to say, it was a rough first experience at a cafe.

Something interesting you learned about the town you lived in?
I learned Lyon was one of the first places outside of China to produce silk.

Would you be willing to allow students to contact you via email with any questions regarding your study abroad experiences?
Yes.  Email at mawnr5@mail.umkc.edu