Life In ‘Glamorous’ Monte-Carlo
Where is Monaco again? Did you say Monaco or Morocco? Oh! Isn’t it that place with James Bond and Casino de Monte-Carlo? These are just some of the responses I get when I mention where I am from. Although Monaco is a dot on a map that could easily be overlooked when looking at France and Italy, this country has given me differing experiences as a high school student.
In some ways, we are similar to other countries, in that we have to go to school at 8:00 in the morning and our day is filled with courses, student activities, and homework. A positive aspect is that the everything is within relatively short distances. After school, I can walk to beach, listen to live music, and still have enough time to do my homework due to the short distances between different locations.
Our classrooms are typically filled with a wide variety of students from different countries. Russian, English, French, and Italian are a few of the different nationalities we mix with. We also learn to speak these languages fluently, which allows us to interact with these people on a deeper level.
School days for us, however, are quite long. We finish by 6:00 in the evening, therefore making it difficult to play a sport outside of school. U.S. students, for example, are able to partake in competitive sports with other schools, creating team spirit that seems to bind students to their school experiences, which is what we wished we had.
Overall, Monaco is a principality. We have a prince and a government, therefore, it isn’t exactly democratic. We reside here, but we have no voting rights or a representative body that could petition for change or hold office. Instead, one joins groups or clubs in order to bring together people for social and economic reasons, rather than political.
The city’s entertainment is generally based on major events, such as Formula One Racing, tennis, and equestrianism, but is rather expensive for most individuals to participate. However, seeing the work and business it brings, it helps in stimulating the economy. More accessible activities come during the holidays in the form of fairs and circuses.
My overall experience being a teenager living in Monaco has the put the places I travel to into perspective. I seek to relate cultures together rather than define them by their differences.
(Photograph courtesy of Sonia Visone)