An Expert at Getting Lost


Everybody expects to get lost a few times when moving to a new place. But this was much different than expected. On my first and second days in France my friends and I managed to get ourselves lost not once but twice. Now the first time really wasn’t too bad. I was able to ask a very nice (very intimidating) police man for directions. We had only managed to go about a mile out of our way. The second time was much worse.

We were scheduled to be at our orientation our first full day in Besançon at 10:30am. A nice late morning compared to my typical life of 8am classes in New Paltz. We all woke up at 8 and gave ourselves plenty of time to eat our breakfast and take our quick 20 minute bus ride to the main campus in town. We only glanced at our bus schedules thinking that we had it down pat with us being so familiar with the city. Wrong! We approached the bus stop closest to the campus restaurant. We proceeded to wait on the wrong side of the street for our bus and realized this only after it had driven past us. We crossed the street to wait for the correct bus only to have it pull in front of us, let passengers off, and drive away without even opening the front door for us! We knew we had to make a transfer from one bus to another so we decided to follow the bus that snuffed us on foot until we found our transfer stop. Only after almost walking into the middle of a major highway did we realize that was a terrible idea. We took a look at our maps and decided to catch the first bus at a different stop. We trekked over ¾ of a mile before realizing we had actually been holding the map upside down, and were heading totally in the wrong direction. The bus finally came and picked us up (even though we were very far from our intended stop). We rode the first bus and missed our transfer stop not by one, but two full stops! At this point we were over 45 minutes late for our orientation and expected a very angry staff to be waiting for us upon our arrival. We finally caught the correct bus and rode it all the way to the main campus without any further hiccups. After a little exploring of the campus surrounding our dorm we realized we didn’t even need the first bus at all, and that the stop for our correct bus was a short 3 minute walk away from our building, just in the opposite direction. If only we had read our schedules more closely…


I am a French major with an undeclared minor. I've traveled to Europe three times in my life and always find myself wanting to go back so spending a year here is a great opportunity for me! I love travelling so be prepared for a lot of travel posts. I will be studying at the Université de Franche-Comte for one academic year.

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