I can’t believe that I have already finished over a month in France! I have been to France once before, but this was my first study abroad experience. I am choosing to write this reflection of my trip as my first blog post because I felt that I would not have as many of the usual culture shocks and adjustments because I have been here before and am a little familiar with the culture. It will be much more of a shock when I travel to Denmark to start my second study abroad soon!
Let me first say that I had an amazing time in France. I absolutely loved the language institute, my host family, and the city of Tours. From the first few days of my trip I felt like I had been living there for years. Every weekday we had French classes at the Institute and each week I went to optional “ateliers” about various subjects such as gastronomy, business, and fashion in French. In addition to classes, I participated in many excursions to castles and other historical sites. It was crazy to have the opportunity to see things that are older than my country!
Through my classes, excursions, and living with a host family, I have become very comfortable with speaking and hearing the French language. In Paris there are many people/tourists that speak English on a regular basis, so it was very odd to hear more English than French after living in a small town for so long. I think it will be a big shock not hearing French in daily life when I go to Denmark and eventually return to the US. French comes so naturally to me now that sometimes I forget words in English and have to say them in French!
All in all, the amazing experiences from my study abroad trip definitely out-weighed the mishaps, and I am already missing France. Maybe I will find someone to speak French with in Denmark. I hope I will be able to come back soon!