For Cassandre Tissot, a sophomore marketing major and Spanish minor, global travel is fairly common. Growing up, Tissot split time between France, Argentina, Brazil and now the United States. Her hometown of Bordeaux, in the southwest region of France, is known as the city of wine, and is very different from New York City. Bordeaux lies one hour from the beach, and only two hours from Spain. The city is also listed as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site.
While fashion is important in New York City, Tissot said that in Bordeaux “it’s like a runway when you walk around.” Teeming with architecture, history and cafés on every corner, the city of Bordeaux is a place that is quintessentially French. The small cafés that line the streets are always filled with people, and there is an incredible emphasis on sitting down and really enjoying a break during the day.
New York is much more of a melting pot of language and culture, which is something Tissot noticed soon after stepping foot in the big apple. “That’s what I love about New York … everyone is different,” she said.
For Tissot, a perfect day in Bordeaux would be spent with her closest friends, walking along the carless streets, shopping and spending hours talking in a café. Since Bordeaux is famous for its wine, the day would probably end with a glass of red wine as well.
Tissot’s favorite place in the city is “Le miroir d’eau” opposite “Place de la Bourse.” The water mirror is a public space, where a thin sheet of water creates a reflection of the surrounding buildings. Along the river in Bordeaux are also docks flanked by dazzling buildings.
When Tissot returns to her current home, in Brazil, she feasts on typical Brazilian barbeque and spends time with her family. Her family still owns a beach house in Bordeaux so she is also able to visit the city where she grew up from time to time.
Tissot had high expectations when coming to the United States for the first time.
“Since I was eight years old I was obsessed with America” she said. “Around [age] twelve I started to watch American movies and [television] series.” Luckily Tissot was not disappointed upon her arrival. “America’s not like it is in the movies but I love it so much,” she said.
After finishing high school, Tissot spent five months volunteering in Brazil with her parents, followed by six months at an English school in Florida. The school in Florida had a partnership with Manhattan College, and the choice became obvious to Tissot. “I really wanted to go to New York…I got here and it was awesome,” she said.
Her experience in an American college has also been nothing but positive.
“I love the sense of community [here], I really feel like a Jasper,” she said. A similar experience may not be as common at a college in France.
“It is important to have a great relationship with a teacher and know I’ll succeed” she said. “It is not the same in France.”
For anyone visiting Bordeaux, Tissot said “you absolutely have to sit in a café.” “Peace Camille Julian” is filled with small cafés and “Rue Sainte Catherine” is worth strolling down. Rue Sainte Catherine is one of the largest streets in Bordeaux. It almost crosses the town and is ideal for walking and shopping, as there are no cars. “La Grand Theâtre” is also worth a visit, as it is a theater in the city that holds plays and musicals.
When Tissot graduates in 2016 she plans on staying in the United States, but hopes to still have the flexibility to travel.
“[Travel is] the best thing a human being can do, I just love it so much,” she said. She hopes to find a job in either marketing or event planning with an international company.
“In terms of politics and the economy, I want to stay out of France,” Tissot added.
Also, the work ethic and American way of thinking really appeal to Tissot, who believes she is a better fit in American culture than any other culture of the places she has lived. With the opportunity to travel when she was young, Tissot was able to see and experience different cultures, and this has made her surer of where she wants to live. “I know America is the one for me,” she said.
While Tissot could not be happier to be living in the United States, she does miss her family, friends, French food and French wine. Her favorite French meals include Fois Gras de Canard, duck liver, and Escargots, snails. But if she could bring back just one thing from France, it would undoubtedly be the baguette. “The bread is not the same [here],” she said.
Since leaving her family to attend college, Tissot will admit that she has changed a lot.
“I gained confidence because the teachers focus on the positives here in America,” she explained.
The most significant difference she noticed was the American attitude that everyone starts at 100 percent, and points are deducted accordingly. In France, the opposite is true, everything must be earned. “For some people that system works,” Tissot said, but she finds that for her the American way is a much better fit.