A Day in the Life of American Students in France

A Day in the Life of American Students in France

31 Jan 2022

Jalen & Maria

What’s it really like to study in France? We are American students in Reims currently completing the second year of our master’s degrees at the Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne. While appreciating the broad strokes of moving abroad for your studies is important, getting a peek into our day-to-day activities will give you a more concrete understanding. Here’s a glimpse into what a day in the life of two American students in France entails.

Maria’s Day as a Public Law Student

I’m in the second year of my master’s degree in Public Law with a specialization in European Integration and Global Governance. In addition to my classes, I’m also working on a master’s thesis. Read on to learn about a typical day of school for me.

Getting Ready for the Day

Classes start as early as 8:00 AM, which means that I often wake up, eat breakfast, and head to the bus stop all before 7:30 AM. I live about 15 minutes away from the Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne by bus and exclusively use public transit to get to and from class.

Going to Class

Once I arrive at school, I hang out near the classroom and catch up with my classmates. When it’s time for class, we all head in together. I usually have two to four classes per day of varying lengths. In general, classes last anywhere from one to four hours each.

Studying at the Library

Sometimes I have a break between my classes, which I often use to get some work done in the school library. I like to clean up my notes from class, check my student email, and conduct research for my master’s thesis.


If I have both morning and afternoon classes, I stay at school for lunch. I either eat in the dining hall with my classmates or find a spot on campus to eat a packed lunch.

Heading Home

After all of my classes are done for the day, I catch the bus to head home. I usually take a few minutes to rest and recover from the long days before linking up with Jalen to plan our evening. One of my favorite things to do together after school is get a treat from our local bakery.


Once we’re home for the evening, we always take the time to prepare and enjoy a meal together.

Studying at Home

Next, I get out my computer and work on upcoming projects, continue my master’s thesis, and study my notes.

Hobbies and Social Time

After all of my school obligations are fulfilled, I like to work on content for The Francofile’s blog, YouTube, and social media. I also enjoy chatting with my friends and family during this time.

Off to Bed

Finally, I get everything ready for the next day and head to sleep for the night.

Jalen’s Day as a Logistics and Supply Chain Student en alternance

I’m in the second year of my master’s degree in Production, Logistics, and Procurement Management with a specialization in Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Moreover, I’m completing my degree en alternance, which means that I rotate between one full week of classes and one full week of work during the school year. Read on to learn about a typical day of work en alternance for me.

Getting Ready for the Day

Work starts at 9:00 AM, and I generally wake up around 8:00 AM to get ready. I usually use public transit to get to and from work, but if the weather is nice, I sometimes walk there.

Going to Work

Each work day lasts eight hours, including a 45-minute lunch break. Once I arrive at work and clock in for the day, I get started on the daily tasks of my job as a logistics assistant while simultaneously working on my long-term work project and my alternance report.


I always bring my lunch to work and like to eat outside in the city.

Homeward Bound

When the work day is over at 5:00 PM, I catch the bus back home to meet up with Maria and decide what we’re going to do that night. I personally love taking walks around town together.


Once we’re in for the night, we like to cook and eat dinner together.

Homework Time

After dinner, I spend some time working on the following week’s homework. One of the hard parts of alternance is keeping up with school assignments after a full day of work, so I have to stay organized and motivated.

Hobbies and Relaxation Time

When I’m finished with my schoolwork, I usually watch YouTube videos or Netflix shows, scroll through social media, work on The Francofile, and study foreign languages.

Ready for Bed

Lastly, I prepare for the next day and go to bed.

No two international students in France have exactly the same experience, and our routines prove just how varied student life can be. As you can see, no matter your interests or preferences, there’s an appropriate program in France waiting for you! How do our daily routines differ from yours?