Student, Backpacker, Foodlover
Anshul, EDHEC Business School, France
I am a masters student but would like to introduce myself as another Indian backpacker in Europe with love for food. Before reading this I must warn you, you might not enjoy studying in any other place in the world. I am located in the northmost city of France, Lille. History buffs will love the city which borders Belgium and is equidistant from Brussels, Paris and London. The Flandres (pronounced as /flondre/) region is famous for its architecture, history, food and wine. Once you cross the borders (there aren’t any however) and reach Belgium, you could smell the Belgian waffles.
I am a vegetarian which makes it hell lot difficult to find food. This is something which I regret, not being able to experience local delicacies in Europe. If you love different cultures, you’ll love to travel across Europe. In the past 7 months, I have been able to travel to 7 countries and wish to cover a few more before leaving. I don’t like to rush while travelling and I am content with the amount of time I have spent during my holidays.
During December, I was in Italy for close to 17 days. And if you love pizza, Italy is the place to be. There are numerous famous restaurants in Italy, thanks to Hollywood where you can enjoy the fresh pans and sausages. First place on my mind would be Naples which is supposed to the place of origin of pizza. Other than food, my travel strategy relied heavily on Airbnb and Blablacar. If you travel alone, hostels are usually the cheapest option. But staying with someone in their home with Airbnb was a different experience altogether. I must admit that I can cook food all by myself and I love doing so. Mostly when I do not travel, I and a few Indian friends of mine cook regularly together and I can say that I haven’t missed Indian food even once. When I travel, it becomes difficult but I do cook sometimes, even with the hosts and the experience has been good so far.
Easily the next topic in this blog should be desserts. I live in France and if you love desserts, this place is heaven for you. From éclairs to mousse and from tartes to croissant, it is impossible to have just one dessert when you hit the nearest bakery! During winter, nothing can be more soothing than a plate of hot chocolate-honey-caramel crepes. The soft crème core of Religieuse and the simplicity of pain au chocolat cannot be missed. Thanks to my French flatmates, I now know how to bake few of these items as well!
The beaches in Europe are pure bliss and the worst part is to choose a destination amongst the soothing French Riviera, the happening Spanish coastline, the magnificent Italian shores or the unexplored shingles of Croatia and Greece for your next weekend. Most of us think that it is expensive to travel in Europe which is surprisingly wrong. Ryanair sells flight tickets for as low as 5 euros and megabus offers tickets for as low as 1 euro, from Lille to Paris which is 10 times cheaper than traveling from Jaipur to Delhi in a luxury coach.
Other than travel, I enjoy attending industrial exibitions in Germany, or startup events in Amsterdam. Around two third of the world’s leading trade fairs happen in Germany and it stands out in the sheer amount of facilities provided to the visitors. The outstanding feature of German trade fairs is their international character: more than half of the exhibitors come from other countries, and a third of those are from countries outside Europe. For the religious friends of mine, I must admit that I also got a chance to visit a temple after coming to France and have celebrated most of the important festivals in the best possible way!
Overall, Europe provides an exhilarating experience, which changes the way you see the world.
My two cents to people who might plan to study anywhere in Europe except UK, focus on your language skills if you really want to work long term.