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:
- We had a tour of our Beautiful city; the tour of Montpellier
I loved the trees and they wanted to say Hi (:—-By the Tram (train/light rail)
Le Centre ou La Place de Comédie (The Main Center or The Comedy Place)
Shopping area This is the more “risqué” part of town
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
The Kitchen/ Pantry Area
A view outside from the kitchen and living room balcony
The Living room Area
The Hall of Books- A lot of French Books, Literature, Movies, and Kids Books!
My Room and a view outside from my balcony
My Host parents; we were enjoying a pre-dinner tea and we were preparing on food another day (photo on the right)
Our usual Dinner placement and “Le Vin Rouge” (Red wine)
Me cooking oysters
!!!Me trying the oysters Raw!!!!! That was an EXPERIENCE
Jan 6 Thurs: Historical Tour of the city
Le trois graces (The three graces) statue
Photos of L’arc de Triomphe
Me on Top of L’arc de Triomphe
Views from the top of L’arc de Triomphe
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
Me at Le Pont du Gard
l’Amphithéâtre in Nîmes, France
Le Pont du Gard and the outside of l’Amphithéâtre in Nîmes, France
Inside of an old Temple and the Spring of Nîmes
Me under a golden gate
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.
The Night Light ME at a French Cafe; look at the background