Blogging about French Culture – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Blogging about French Culture


While studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France, Gabriella Goodwin ’19 is using her passion for photography and travel to blog about French culture.

Through the program offered by the Institute of American Universities (IAU) and the HWS Center for Global Education, students pursue an immersive language experience, while taking classes in a broad range of disciplines and living with host families.

Goodwin, a media and society major pursuing a double minor in music and studio art, is taking courses in marketing, business, art, wine and French language.

In her blog posts, Goodwin describes her interactions with the cities and countryside of France, including the perfume capital of the world, Èze; the “foodie” destination, Lyon; and the fashion capital of the world, Paris – all seen through cafés, museums, her paintings and her camera.

A watercolor by Goodwin using the gouache method.
A watercolor by Goodwin using the gouache method.

“The purpose of my art and my blog is to reveal how I’m living with a “when in France” attitude during my time here. I’ve been trying to paint as much as possible in many different places,” she says.

A member of the William Smith cross country team, Goodwin is also training for her first half marathon in Nice, France this April. In her blog, she dedicates an entry to describing how she has explored the city of Aix by running through the urban center. “Exploring in Aix doesn’t really happen at the park,” she writes. “It happens when you embark on an adventure into le centre ville on foot and come across endless amounts of gorgeously designed fountains, old buildings, small hidden side streets, street performers and so much more.”

Each of Goodwin’s posts are intended to reveal a new insight to French life, fashion, art and culture. In previous entries she has discussed the importance of the perfume industry, the resistance she has encountered to fast-fashion, and on a personal note – what it is like to transition from speaking French in the classroom to using the language to communicate with business owners, friends and her host family.

“I want each of my articles to teach my readers something new about culture and to describe a unique experience,” says Goodwin. She will continue to update her blog throughout the semester.