1st Week in France!!

It has officially been an entire week since I’ve been in France and so much has happened in these short 7 days, I don’t even know where to begin and what to post. I am studying abroad this semester in France (SPRING 2016); more details in future posts.

Things continue to happen so, I will recap the first week with pictures and some words.

We arrived in Montpelier, France Monday the 4th of January Last week. Spent a Night in a nice hotel, the Ibis–which I’ve noticed is in a lot of different places in the south of France at least.

My First Days–Orientation

Jan 5 Wed:

  1. We had a tour of our Beautiful city; the tour of Montpellier

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I loved the trees and they wanted to say Hi (:—-By the Tram (train/light rail)

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Le Centre ou La Place de Comédie (The Main Center or  The Comedy Place)

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Shopping area                                                         This is the more “risqué” part of town

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Left: Photo of “Un Lycée” a Highschool  Right: In our program office, I decided to take a picture of a French Keyboard! It’s actually very different.

 2. Picture of the Home & Meeting my Host Family

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The Kitchen/ Pantry Area

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A view outside from the kitchen and living room balcony

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The Living room Area

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The Hall of Books- A lot of French Books, Literature, Movies, and Kids Books!

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My Room and a view outside from my balcony

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My Host parents; we were enjoying a pre-dinner tea and we were preparing on food another day (photo on the right)

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Our usual Dinner placement and “Le Vin Rouge” (Red wine)

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Me cooking oysters

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!!!Me trying the oysters Raw!!!!! That was an EXPERIENCE

Jan 6 Thurs:  Historical Tour of the city

 

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Le trois graces (The three graces) statue

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Photos of L’arc de Triomphe

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Me on Top of L’arc de Triomphe

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Views from the top of L’arc de Triomphe

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An Old Church; From Different Angles

Jan 7 Fri: Our first shopping experience

 

We went to a mall called Odysseum in Montpellier, France and these are the things that I bought. I walked around the mall with a friend, exploring the different attractions. Much like the U.S. they have different recreational areas; for example there was an aquarium and there was a laser tag place in the mall as well.

Being an education major; of course I bought childrens books…IN FRENCH. I tried to choose books that looked more French and couldn’t easily be found in the US. The book on the left is titled “Ti-Pirate ” meaning Little Pirate. Also the book on the right “Mes petites règles de vie” meaning My little rules of Life. This book is awesome; because it details how to live the “French” way for Kids. I thought it would be good for me as well! To learn the french customs.

I also bought a sweater and electronic goods that I needed. But the books were cooler to me. I still want to shop; don’t know when that will be.

Jan 8 Sat: Our First Excursion to Le pont du gard and the city of Nîmes

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Me at Le Pont du Gard

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l’Amphithéâtre in Nîmes, France

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Le Pont du Gard and the outside of l’Amphithéâtre in Nîmes, France

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Inside of an old Temple and the Spring of Nîmes

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Me under a golden gate

RECAP/SUMMARY:

Besides being sick having “Mal a la gorge” (a sore throat), this week has been filled with a lot of different great experiences and I’ve learned a lot about the french culture in this time. I’ve experienced a bit of culture shock, in feeling tired and a little overwhelmed or insecure when wanting to speak the language.

However; here is a list of the differences (or things) I’ve noticed.

Faire la bise– In my city, we do this three times ON THE CHEEK, NOT on the lip (you make the sound; you don’t actually kiss people on the cheek).

Dinner is Late– In my host family’s home, it’s 8:30pm

Everyone smokes– A lot of people smoke, everywhere outside, it’s strange for me

Store hours-Stores close during lunch time (when I want to run errands)

Wine and Cheese– Always/typically had at dinner; they’re staples

Dog poop on sidewalks– I haven’t had too much of a problem walking into it

Baguettes– Besides having a whole bucket full of bread, my host Dad bought 2 baguettes to freeze–just in case they run out.

Sales– Sales are after the holidays, but they are amazing like 50-60% off-REALLY

How I feel & My overall experiences,

I’ve gotten sick, felt very awkward when trying to speak and express myself in French, and felt the differences in the culture and way of life. However; looking back at the pictures and the things I’ve experienced in just one week, I can already tell that this is going to be a worthwhile experience. It will definitely teach me to adjust, accept things as they are, and to go with the flow (and that’s not my nature) . My basic goals now are to take in as much as I can, write a lot, and learn by reviewing the things I’ve learned.

School began this week, so I will be posting a week 2 update on my experience here on Sun the 17th of January. Let’s see what this week brings.

Other Nuggets/Photos:

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The Night Light                   ME at a French Cafe; look at the background

 

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