A Paddle Down the Moselle

With its location on the confluence of the Moselle and Seille, rivers are as entwined in the history and culture of Metz as they are with the buildings downtown. Join Kaitlyn as she explores the heart of Metz in a way she hasn’t before — afloat. Read more in her latest blog post!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

What better way is there to spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon devoid (with the exception of the ECE homework I was avoiding) of responsibilities than on a trip downtown in Metz?

Since the French lockdown began, my friends and I have been looking for places to explore while staying within the allowed 10km of our dorms. Luckily, downtown Metz is within this radius, so when we discovered that a boat rental place downtown we set a plan in motion for an afternoon on the river. 

An image of kaitlyn and her friends reserving a boat at la flottille in metz. It is a small green shed on a dock.
Speak to the worker at the green shed to rent a boat!

The rental company is called La Flottille, and is only a few minutes walk from Republique Square, the center of Metz. La Flottile has all sorts of boats, but since there were four of us, we decided on renting a four-person paddle boat.  The worker brought us onto the dock and handed us each a bright orange life jacket. There’s no doubt in the world that we looked extremely goofy with the giant life jackets swallowing us, but of course, safety first. 

An image of Kaitlyn and another friend sitting in a bright yellow paddle boat on the river. Their backs are to the camera and they are looking to the right at the Temple Neuf from the water.
A brand new perspective of a familiar sight.

A few seconds later, and we were seated in the boat and already pedaling our way down the river towards Temple Neuf. It was really neat to see Metz from this perspective; we’d seen the city from our many walking tours, but never from the water! 

An image of three white ducks to the left of the yellow paddle boat on the river.
Don’t mess with the Metz ducks!

A brave family of three very large ducks came extremely close to our boat. It seemed like we were about to run them over, so we had to frantically change direction. Luckily, the ducks escaped unharmed and continued on their merry way to pester other boaters for food.

An image of a canal with a triangular bridge connecting two buildings.
Shh… the Venice canal system is actually in France.

Cruising our way down the river, we saw a small gap in between the buildings that we could enter via a narrow canal. We floated underneath a footbridge to check out the space; it felt like a quiet courtyard, but one filled with water rather than grass. I’ve never been, but the area gave me strong Venice vibes. Swap the fluorescent yellow paddle boat for a gondola and we would basically be on a canal in Venice, right? Due to the tight nature of the space we were in, it was just a little bit complicated to get out of there. We played bumper cars with the walls for a couple minutes in our attempt to exit the canal. 

We continued down the river, as far as we could go. The rest of our boat ride took us underneath three different bridges, one of which was so short that I was able to reach up and touch the underside of the bridge.

We had this view all to ourselves on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

There’s a lot more to discover; we didn’t have a chance to go in the opposite direction toward the Plan D’Eau, so we’ll probably be back soon after our legs recover from the slightly strenuous pedaling!

Dr. Birchfield’s List of the Best Bakeries in Metz

Boulangeries, patisseries, et fromageries, oh my! France is known for its amazing bakeries, cheeses, butchers, and markets and while studying in Metz all of these are a short walk (or bus ride) away. Join Kaitlyn and her friends as Georgia Tech-Lorraine’s Professor Dr. Vicki Birchfield shows them her favorite spots in Metz!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

*Disclaimer: Kaitlyn was not paid to endorse any of the businesses mentioned in this article, nor does Georgia Tech endorse any of these businesses.*

This past weekend, INTA professor Dr. Birchfield took a few of my friends and I downtown to check out some of her personal favorite bakeries, delis, and fromageries in Metz! 

Statue of Charles de Gaulle in Metz
Statue of Charles de Gaulle in Metz,
Photo by P.Gisselbrecht.

We first met at the train station, right underneath the newly constructed statue of Charles de Gaulle. Being an expert on all things EU, Dr. Birchfield regaled us with a brief history lesson on de Gaulle and his prominence in this area of France, specifically due to his history of being a colonel while posted in Metz. 

An image of pastries in a display case.
Le Moy Boulangerie, Metz

Across from the train station is Le Moy, a family owned shop specializing in chocolates and pastries. According to Dr. Birchfield, Le Moy has the best pain au chocolat in town, which is pretty high praise, considering we’re in France! My friends and I sampled the Paris-Metz, a cake that was created during a competition organized by the mayor to celebrate the opening of the TGV line from Metz to Paris. It’s a three-color macaron, filled with harlequin candy mousseline and raspberries. We all agreed that it was the most delicious pastry we had eaten in Metz. Le Moy is so close to the train station every Georgia Tech-Lorraine student should visit this exquisite shop, and try this classic Metz pastry.

An image of the Paris-Metz described above
The delectable Paris-Metz from Le Moy
An image of the exterior of Boulangerie Poulard.
One of the city’s most up and coming boulangeries.

Next up was Boulangerie Poulard, which was dubbed the “hottest new bakery in town”! This boulangerie has won several competitions for having the best croissants and baguettes in this region of France. In fact, it was a finalist in the competition for best bakery in France. The owner and chief baker, Seydou Diallo, has two shops: one on Rue du Grand Cerf, and one of Rue Perrat (just a block away from the train station). We picked up a classic, baguettes, from Boulangerie Poulard. It was pretty much everything a French baguette should be, so I can see why this bakery is one of the city’s favorites! Boulangerie Poulard is also a designated “Agriculture Biologique” boulangerie, meaning that it utilizes products from organic farming. This label  identifies a bakery as being respectful of the environment, animal welfare, and biodiversity. Boulangerie Poulard has award winning baguettes and environmental conscientiousness; what more can you ask for in a bakery?

An image of pastries in a display case at Boulangerie Poulard
Boulangerie Poulard, Metz
The exterior of Au Veau D'or
Au Veau D’or also known as Maison Heitzman

We took a shortcut through the city center to get to the other side of town, to a street called Rue du Grand Cerf. Dr. Birchfield informed us that this is “the best street for food shopping in Metz”. We first stopped by a deli, Au Veau D’or, also known as Maison Heitzman. They specialize in deli meats like sausages, but they also have charcuterie and roasted chicken for takeaway. They offer classic French cuisine in the form of a warm Plat du Jour for well under 10 euros.

an image of the rotisserie in the deli

 Directly next to Maison Heitzman is a small shop, Prime Primeurs, that sells the regional products of Lorraine. Here, you can purchase things like fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as French jams and beverages.

An image of the exterior of the prime primeurs store front
Prime Primeurs is a great place to get a true taste of this region of France.
An image of the exterior of Boulangerie Fort
Boulangerie Fort, Metz

Also along Rue du Grand Cerf is Dr. Birchfield’s second favorite patisserie, Boulangerie Fort (after Poulard). She recommends trying the pain tradition “la festive” and the quiche Lorraine from this bakery.

If you’re a cheese fan, you’re in luck. Also on this street (see how it’s living up to its reputation as the biggest street for food in Metz?) is La Fromagerie du Grand Cerf, a cheese shop run by a former pro footballer. He is passionate about sourcing his cheeses from smaller and more specialized producers. Not too far away, just off Place Saint Jacques is her other favorite fromagerie, Conrad, a very classic, family-run cheese shop with three locations in Metz that have been operating since 1920.

Our little food tour of Metz ended here, but it wasn’t the end of Dr. Birchfield’s recommendations. She suggests visiting the Marché de Saint Therese on a sunny Sunday. The market has stalls that sell warm meals (think roasted chicken, pizzas, calzones, and galettes), cheese, fruits, and vegetables. From there, on your way to the botanical garden, where you can enjoy your freshly prepared food at a picnic table, you can pick up baguettes and pastries from the fantastic L’Ecrin Gourmand.

Of course, this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of the amazing food options in Metz, but hopefully it inspires you to explore the iconic French cuisine that is practically in your backyard during your time at Georgia Tech-Lorraine!

Battle of the Dorms

Have you ever wondered what the residences at Georgia Tech-Lorraine are like? Well, here’s your chance to learn more! Read Kaitlyn’s latest blog post detailing the advantages of both dorms from a student’s perspective and get a glance at your future home away from home in Metz!

Friday, April 9, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

Lafayette or ALOES? Depending on the semester, you may be able to select your residence while at Georgia Tech-Lorraine. To help make your decision a little more informed, and give you some insight on where you’ll be living regardless of your choice; this post is about the differences between the two, so you can figure out which one suits your lifestyle better. As a resident of one of these dorms, I’m biased and inclined to believe that one is slightly better than the other *cough* Lafayette *cough*; but both residences are great and the decision of where to live is in your hands!

Location

There’s a few places you’ll find yourself visiting very frequently while in Metz. First, obviously, is the Georgia Tech-Lorraine building, where you’ll be spending most of your days during the week. Then there’s the two grocery stores, Cora and Auchan. Lastly, Georgia Tech-Lorraine students commonly frequent the nearby university cafeteria, CROUS, to take advantage of the student discount on meals.

Both the dorms are about a 10 minute walk away from campus, but ALOES is much closer to the large grocery store, Cora and CROUS. Lafayette is closer to the PAUL near the Georgia Tech-Lorraine campus and Auchan. ALOES also has a great view of the lake!

Dorm Room

ALOES can rooms differ greatly among themselves, but the standard is a bedroom with an attached private bathroom. You’re given a microwave and refrigerator, along with the standard bed, desk, chairs, closet, and shelves.

Lafayette rooms come with a bit more space and furniture: you’ll have a (admittedly tiny!) kitchen with a sink, cabinets, fridge, hot plates, and microwave. The main difference between the two dorms’ rooms is that Lafayette comes with a private kitchen, whereas you share a communal one in ALOES with anywhere between three to ten other students.

Laundry

Oh, the laundry situation… the bane of any Lafayette resident. Students have a lot of gripes with the washer and dryers here, mainly due to the fact that the dryers just don’t do their job of fully drying our clothes. Additionally, each wash cycle costs three Euros, and each drying cycle costs one Euro. At ALOES students are given two tokens a week, each one good for a wash cycle, and the dryers are free.

Wifi

Where Lafayette has its issues with the laundry, ALOES has its fair share of headaches with the wifi. In some rooms the connection is just simply unreliable, and goes in and out. Students in Lafayette have had the wifi cut out a couple times unexpectedly in Lafayette, but only for short periods of time.

Both dorms have advantages and are overall great places to live in Metz while at Georgia-Tech Lorraine. Hopefully this information will help you make a decision on where to make your home away from home while studying abroad!

Studying Abroad During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all aspects of daily life, and the experience of students studying abroad is not exempt from this. Read about Kaitlyn’s experiences with studying abroad this semester and how she feels it compares to a typical semester at Georgia Tech-Lorraine in her latest post.

Monday, March 29, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

For many of us studying at Georgia Tech-Lorraine this semester, our study abroad experience is, to put it lightly, much different than most of us originally imagined. Of course, I’m talking about the fact that there is a global pandemic taking place as we are studying in France. Things have been wildly different than a “normal” semester, but I believe I speak for all when I say that every student at Georgia Tech-Lorraine feels extremely fortunate just to be here during this time of crisis. 

For many of us, studying abroad has always been something we’ve wanted to do. It’s an integral part of our college experience, when we can learn to broaden our perspectives and expand our horizons. Thanks to the safety protocols and preventative measures taken by Georgia Tech-Lorraine, we’ve still been able to have that transformative experience while prioritizing the health of the community. 

What is different from a typical semester? 

  • When you throw a handful of young, ambitious college students into the heart of Europe, our natural instinct is to travel as far and wide as possible; however, COVID-19 has thrown a bit of a wrench into this plan. Travel restrictions and lockdowns in certain countries have limited our capabilities to check off every single country on our bucket lists. Since circumstances change rapidly, we’ve had to keep ourselves well-informed on the conditions in other countries. 
  • Fortunately, here at Georgia Tech-Lorraine we have access to free testing in France. One testing location is a short walk away from the dorms. It is quick, convenient, and free. We are encouraged to test as much as possible, and most of us do.
  • We are all doing our part to prevent the spread, and that means wearing a mask in all public spaces.
  • We have to set more realistic expectations for the semester. As much as we may want to travel to a multitude of countries, sometimes it simply is impossible. We are currently living through difficult circumstances where we cannot compare our experiences to previous students’, which took some time to get used to. It is a changed world and situations are constantly evolving around us.

Despite the challenges, there have been lots of positives!   

As an optimist, I couldn’t address the discrepancies of this semester without looking on the bright side.

  • We’re learning how to deal with unfamiliar situations, and how to be adaptable. There’s nothing like your plans for the upcoming weekend falling through because of a sudden lockdown. This entire experience has taught us how to be flexible and prepared for whatever the next week may throw at us.
  • Since certain countries are closed, we’re exploring more of our host country of France. The travel restrictions have made us stay close to Metz, and in some ways I am extremely grateful for that. We’ve ventured to many off-the-beaten-path destinations in France that have given us an authentic taste of the country’s culture. We’re seeing the less touristy and more real parts of France.
  • On a similar note, it’s not uncommon for us to be one of the very few tourists in a place normally teeming with sightseers. We can experience places like the iconic landmarks of Paris without the usual bustling crowds!

    This is a picture of a usually crowded street in Bellagio, Italy.
    It’s easy to photograph places when there’s no people! This is a picture of a usually crowded street in Bellagio, Italy.

In the end, the hallmarks of a study abroad experience are learning about a new culture, meeting new people, and dealing with unprecedented circumstances. We are very lucky to be crossing off all three of these items, even if they are not in the way we originally imagined!

If You Don’t Like to Cook…

… then this blog is for you! Read on as Kaitlyn details some of her favorite places to get food from at Georgia Tech-Lorraine when she doesn’t want to rely on her own culinary skills!

Friday, March 26, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

Like a good majority of college students our age, you are probably only just beginning to venture into the world of learning to cook for yourself. Luckily for us, we have an abundance of options of prepared meals here at Georgia Tech-Lorraine! Here’s a look at them; bon appétit!

CROUS Student Cafeteria

Thanks to our status as French university students, we have access to the student lunches at a neighboring college. For just one euro, we can pick from a menu that usually features warm sandwiches, pasta, and a chef’s meal of the day. For our sides, we are given fruit, salad, yogurt/compote, and a bottle of water. The panini poulet is always a popular choice with Georgia Tech-Lorraine students, but there’s plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too! The cafeteria is about a ten minute walk around the lake from the Georgia Tech-Lorraine building, so it’s a great option for a quick lunch between classes. 

PAUL and Aux Petits Choux

Another favorite with Georgia Tech-Lorraine students is the bakery chain, Paul. It’s an industrial bakery, meaning that it’s not an authentic French bakery, but that doesn’t stop it from tasting good. They specialize in breakfast goods, pastries, and sandwiches. Their prices are a little higher than most bakeries you’ll find in France, but you can’t beat the location, it’s about a three minute walk from the Lafayette dorms and on the way to Georgia Tech-Lorraine. If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable option, there’s another great bakery called Aux Petits Choux down the road from PAUL. It has a smaller selection, but they bake everything fresh daily! 

French Fast Food

Because of the local preventative measures for the pandemic, for example the curfew and restaurant closures, we’ve all become good friends with food delivery apps like UberEats and Deliveroo. Metz’s abundance of restaurants — Metz is the third highest French city in terms of the number of fast food restaurants per inhabitant — makes it really easy to order delivery! Some Georgia Tech-Lorraine students’ favorites are Burger Kebab (sandwich kebab shop) and O’Tacos (French tacos chain). 

Auchan & Cora

Of course, you can always buy premade meals from the grocery stores. There’s Cora, the superstore, but also the smaller, more traditional Auchan. While Cora has a wider selection, I and others have found ourselves going to Auchan more often for our weekly groceries. It’s closer to the Lafayette dorms, and set up more like an American grocery store. 

A Tour of the Campus

Even though this semester may look different in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgia Tech-Lorraine building serves as a home base for the students during the week! Take an inside look at the campus with Kaitlyn in her latest blog!

Friday, March 19, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

*With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the photos taken in this blog post reflect the way campus is set up to accommodate social distancing, so the campus may look a bit different from usual!*

Welcome to a small oasis of familiarity in the middle of Europe: the Georgia Tech-Lorraine building. 

The GTL Building from the front

The campus is a single building, but comes with everything you’d expect to find on campus in Atlanta. It’s comprised of four floors, six classrooms, two study spaces, and one very popular ping pong table. 

The first and second floors are home to the student lounge, staff offices, nurse’s office, computer room, and laboratories. Above that are the classrooms, which are great for a small stair-climbing workout session if you’re running late and your classroom is on the top floor… I speak from experience. Since Georgia Tech-Lorraine classes are relatively small compared to Atlanta ones, the classrooms are small and fit about 30 students. 

Each level of the building has a similar setup: the staircase and elevator take you out to a small seating area with a bulletin board showing information for things like emergency exits, class schedules, and upcoming Bureau des Étudiants (the BDE, Georgia Tech-Lorraine’s student government) sponsored events. 

Need a place to meet up with your group to discuss a project? Or do you have a train ticket you need to print out? Better yet, want to let off some steam by playing a quick game of ping pong or pool? Head on over to the Georgia Tech-Lorraine student lounge. It’s well stocked with computers, printers, stationery, and coffee you can purchase from a vending machine.

 If you’re the type of student that stays on task best when surrounded by others also doing work, the student lounge is an ideal study spot for you. If not, there are quieter areas in the building open to students; all classrooms are open after classes for the day have wrapped up.

For those without access to computers, or for those who just prefer to use a monitor rather than their laptops, we have a dedicated computer lab on the second floor. 

Lastly, outside the back of the building there is a large parking area where you can sometimes find food trucks, usually organized by the BDE. It’s worth noting that the entire campus is gated, has a security guard present, and only accessible with an ID; the location is incredibly safe. 

Despite this semester being a bit different, the Georgia Tech-Lorraine building is a fantastic place to study and hang out with fellow students!

picture of the back parking lot with a bike

Quick Tips for a Successful Start at Georgia Tech-Lorraine

Packing for a semester abroad can be mildly stressful and usually ends with several rounds of packing and unpacking to squeeze everything in (yet something important always goes forgotten). If only there was someone to give you tips on how to successfully pack for your semester at Georgia Tech-Lorraine… luckily for you Kaitlyn is here! Read her packing tips and tricks for successfully packing for your semester abroad on her latest blog post!

Thursday, March 4, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

After being at GTL for about a month and a half and talking to others about their adjustment to life in France, I’ve compiled a list of things that are useful to bring with you to GTL, or anything that you might be better off leaving at home. 

Buy the three month Global Eurail pass.

Personally, I spent a lot of time deliberating over whether or not to drop a large sum of cash on the three month Eurail pass, but in the end I believe I went with the right decision. The flexibility that the pass gives you is invaluable; plans change and emergencies happen. Additionally, Metz is situated in a location that can be awkward for plane travel, as the nearest major airports are either in Paris or Luxembourg (which you probably will have to travel to by, you guessed it, train). This makes train travel usually the most convenient way to get around. Many students also recommend getting the mobile pass rather than the physical pass, as it can be easy to lose the paper copy.

Bring waterproof clothes and shoes!

Metz can be very rainy, especially in the winter. It’s worth it to invest in shoes that double as rain boots and casual wear (so you don’t take up too much space in your luggage for a single-purpose item).

Research your favorite items that are difficult to get in Europe.

This could be anything that is something you simply can’t live without. For example, one of my friends is a huge fan of peanut butter, which she later discovered is rather unpopular in Europe. This led to a trip to the Costco in Paris, the only place where we could find large quantities of quality peanut butter. If you’re particular about your stationery, it’s worthwhile to note that notebooks in France are completely different from American ones. Additionally, some spices that you might like to put on your cooking might be hard to find in Europe.

Bring decorations or things that remind you of home.

While it may seem like GTL students are never in their dorms and constantly on the go, we actually still stay in our rooms for a decent amount of time during the week, especially now due to the pandemic. Since the dorms are pretty much barren, it’s nice to have a little something to put up on your walls that make it feel a little cozier.

Try to bring a contactless credit card.

It seems like contactless credit cards are a lot more commonplace in Europe than in America, and some places even only take these types of cards (most notably, Lafayette laundry). 

Don’t bring bulky items that could easily be purchased at Cora or Auchan.

For example, don’t bother bringing hair products like shampoo and conditioner– these can all be bought very easily once you get to Metz. Along the same line, at the beginning of the semester you’ll have access to a donation pile of goods left by previous students, so save your shopping for larger items until after that.

Hiking, Colmar & Mulhouse

Last minute decisions are sometimes the best ones. Join Kaitlyn as she hikes around Metz, visits the fairytale city, Colmar, and takes a brief stop in Mulhouse!

Thursday, February 25, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

FRIDAY

Mont Saint Quentin Views

As an avid fan of hiking and the outdoors, I was looking for places to hike in and around Metz long before I arrived. This past weekend I finally had a chance to venture to the nearby natural wonders with some friends. Gone were the characteristic limestone buildings of downtown Metz and the hullabaloo of the city center; and even though we were still technically in Metz, it felt like we were much farther away.

I got a picture where it *almost* looks like I’m actually doing a pull-up

We peeled ourselves away from the narrow cobblestone streets and toward a dirt path that lead us into the hiking trail system of Mont Saint Quentin. The trails even took us along an exercise course, where we had fun trying to figure out how to use the miscellaneous gym equipment.

SATURDAY

The town of Colmar

I’ve come to realize that I’m a sucker for quite a few things and small, picturesque towns in Europe are quickly earning their place in that list – alongside other things close to my heart, like Krispy Kreme donuts. This past weekend I fell absolutely in love with the town of Colmar, France; a city, funnily enough, my group didn’t even originally plan to visit. A last minute decision led to us hopping off of our train a few stops early in Colmar on our way to our originally planned destination, the town of Mulhouse.

This turned out to be the best decision to make. We spent three hours walking around the “Little Venice” area of the town, appreciating the unique architecture and ducking in and out of open shops. Colmar is nicknamed as “a fairytale village”, and it is often said that it was the inspiration for the setting of The Beauty and The Beast. Walking through the streets certainly felt like I was traversing the pages of a storybook. 

Just your average brunch date in Colmar!

 

We passed by a cafe with the doors wide open. The scrumptious smell wafting through the air was the first thing to capture our attention, but the second was, upon closer inspection, we realized that the seats in the cafe were filled entirely by teddy bears. They ranged in size, color, and age. Seeing teddy bears propped up at the seats of the cafe as if they were on Valentine’s dates just further cemented the whimsical setting of Colmar, and was a bear-y good opportunity for some puns. 

The town of Mulhouse

Feeling content with the delightful scenes we had seen in Colmar, my friends and I returned to the train station to set off to our intended destination, Mulhouse. Mulhouse had a much more industrial vibe than the whimsical streets of Colmar. The main square of Mulhouse was as colorful and picturesque and the streets were teeming with fashionable shoppers walking in and out of the multitude of clothing stores. We did some window shopping until the clock struck 5:30PM, which was our cue to head to the train station to return home. On our ride back to Metz, I was surprised with a small treat: a view of the sun dipping below the mountains with hardly a cloud in sight.

Things to Do in Metz

Metz may be known for being in the heart of Europe, where it is easy to travel between many countries, but the city itself is a fantastic place to visit! Join Kaitlyn as she catalogues some suggestions of things to do in Metz while visiting Georgia Tech-Lorraine in her latest blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

While at Georgia Tech-Lorraine, you’ll probably find yourself on one of the following extremes at some point in your semester: either fervently researching far-away places to get away to, or longing for a weekend where you don’t have to worry about traveling after a chaotic school week. This post is for the times when you feel like having a calm weekend, or just for when you find yourself with extra time on your hands. Below is a list of things to do and places to go, all in the amazing city Metz that I hope you enjoy!

Hiking Mont Saint Quentin

Views from Mont Saint Quentin

Any observer looking northwest from downtown Metz will see a mountain sticking out like a sore thumb among the flat plains that surround it. This is Mont Saint Quentin, and it has an abundance of trail networks all over it. To get there, my hiking buddies and I took the C15 bus to the Plappeville bus station, which drops you off 5 minutes from one of the entrances to the trail system. I recommend walking around the neighborhood a little before you begin your hike; the quaint streets and views of Metz below are worth seeing. The mountain itself has even better views of the city!

Strolling Around Downtown Metz

A view of the Moselle River

Even though I’ve been here just over a month, every time I head downtown I find myself pleasantly surprised by a new discovery. Metz is such a charming city and is rich with history that practically oozes from the architecture seen downtown.

View from the Rue des Murs

 

A great place to see an example of this is Avenue Foch, where you can walk through a park in the middle of the street, surrounded by buildings on either side. As I learned in my INTA class, the  the architecture on Avenue Foch is so drastically different from the rest of the city due to the area being constructed during the German annexation of the city. Another incredible view of the city can be obtained along Rue des Murs (which I also discovered through our INTA class – shoutout to Professor Serafin for writing the guided tour!). From the street, you’re able to gaze above the rooftops of Metz.

Plan d’eau and Other Parks

The plan d’eau

Metz has been praised as one of the greenest cities in France, and for good reason. There is an abundance of parks and green spaces located within Metz that are perfect for a stroll or a picnic. Some of these are the Plan D’eau (you can see the cathedral from here), the Esplanade and surrounding gardens, and the Parc de la Seille. Each of these offer a welcome escape from the busier aspects of the city.

Biking Metz

During the first week of classes, a local bike rental company visits GTL with a special discounted rate for students to rent their bikes for three months. I believe any students with even just a slight interest in this should take advantage of it, just because it’s so inexpensive and opens up possibilities for trips around Metz. A friend recently rode his bike to Pagny-sur-Moselle, where he was able to tour the town. He recounted how immersed he felt in the small village, as opposed to the more touristy cities he’s traveled to so far. He recommends checking out other small towns around Metz by bike to get a better feel for the French way of life.

Meet the Bureau des Étudiants!

The Bureau des Étudiants (BDE) is the student organization on Georgia Tech-Lorriane’s campus responsible for planning student socials! Meet a few members of this semester’s Bureau des Étudiants (BDE) as Kaitlyn reports on their hopes for the rest of the semester in her latest blog.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | Written by Kaitlyn

This past week, students at GTL cast their vote for the Bureau des Étudiants, nicknamed the BDE. Despite certain restrictions we might be facing this semester, its officers are off to a great start on planning exciting activities for the students at GTL. Read on to see what three BDE officers have in mind for this semester!

Pranav Sreedhar (Treasurer)

PranavPranav is a first-year electrical engineering major originally from India, but currently living in Paris. As treasurer of the BDE, he plays a major role in allocating funds towards student events. 

 

 

What do you hope to accomplish in your position as treasurer?

With the budget in mind, I hope I can prioritize the events the majority of the student body wants. I hope to also create an efficient system of managing funds and keeping track of invoices. Hopefully, my fellow students feel comfortable coming up to me and sharing ideas on making this a semester to remember!

Any events you might want to make sure Bureau des Étudiants does?

Given the current pandemic, it has been hard for students to meet others, so as a BDE member I would like to organize events where people come together, enjoy and meet new people while keeping in mind the current regulations to keep everyone safe. The first of those events that we plan to organize is a ping pong tournament, and we really hope that people participate and use this opportunity to meet people. We hope to organize more events such as escape rooms and chocolate tasting as the situation improves!

Tell me a bit more about yourself!

I love to play sports, especially tennis and ping pong, so you’ll probably see me playing ping pong in the student lounge.  With the quarantine, I have been binge watching A LOT of shows. It’s hard to say what my all-time favorite show is but some that I really enjoyed were Better Call Saul, Friends, Jane the Virgin, and Attack on Titan. I love listening to music. You’ll probably see me vibing to some Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Juice WRLD, or The Kid Laroi, or relaxing to some classics or Bollywood. As an EE major you’d probably expect this, but I love working on robotics or coding in my free time too.  I also have a twin brother, Vignesh Sreedhar, who is also at Tech and a member of the BDE. I hope to get to know all of you and have a great semester despite the current pandemic!

Amanda Wang (Secretary)

Amanda is a second-year civil engineering major from Lilburn, GA. She is excited to fulfill her role as secretary for BDE by ensuring smooth communication between the board and the student body. 

 

What do you hope to accomplish in your position as secretary?

I want to make sure communication about events flows smoothly to keep students informed about any activities that we might plan. I’m also hoping to create meeting agendas that will keep the BDE organized. 

Any events you might want to make sure BDE does?

I think painting would be a fun activity for students to participate in. We are also currently planning on getting some food trucks to come to the GTL building, which I think would be a great way for us to learn more about French cuisine while getting to experience it first-hand. Other than that, I am looking forward to planning the ping-pong tournament. 

Vignesh Sreedhar (Sports Coordinator)

Vignesh is a first year majoring in computer science. Like his twin brother, Pranav, he’s originally from India but is living in Paris at the moment.

 

 

 

What do you hope to accomplish in your position as sports coordinator?

The BDE didn’t get to plan much in terms of sports last semester due to the lockdown about a month and a half after the start of the semester, but hopefully we can accomplish a lot more this semester. We have lots of options for any sports events, especially with the ping pong table in the student lounge, and all the lawn space we have. I’m hoping to get students excited for any events we host! 

Any events you might want to make sure BDE does?

As sports coordinator, I’m working on planning a ping pong tournament. We have some fun ideas for it, like doing a competition between the Lafayette and ALOES dorms. Some other ideas I have are ultimate frisbee, escape rooms, trivia nights, and treasure/scavenger hunts around Metz. We have a pretty good budget for these things so we have a lot of possibilities.