For our first week in France we had the opportunity to spend the week in Paris and pass the time as tourists. Of course, the main purpose of the trip is education, so our professor spoke with us only in French, and our activities were in French as well, but during the week we got to have so many incredible experiences. We visited the Louvre, the Sacre-Coeur, the Eiffle-Tour, and even took a night-time trip to the Opera. I think my favorite thing in Paris was visiting Saint-Chappelle with its huge stained-glass windows. It honestly took my breath away. After our week in Paris it was time to head to Tours to settle in with our host-families for the remaining 4 weeks of the trip. While I was sad to leave Paris I was very excited to meet my host family and get to experience some everyday French culture. Thankfully, my host mom was really nice, and the first night I met her she introduced me to her two cats‒ Chanel and Tom ‒showed me where I would be staying and left me to unpack. That night, I had dinner for the first time with her and the other student staying in the house, Vali. Vali was from Switzerland, and we’ve become pretty good friends living here together. It’s really cool to have another student from the Institute with me. At the Institute they’re students from tons of other countries that are here to learn French, which makes it an incredibly unique and interesting learning environment, so far, I’ve loved it! While in Tours we also have excursions, usually to Chateaus in the surrounding area on Wednesday’s and on longer excursion or personal travel on the weekends. So far my favorite excursion, and possibly my favorite experience of the entire trip, was when I got to visit Normandy. I didn’t have a ton of time there because we had to be back for classes on Monday, but I got to visit the Overlord Museum, the American cemetery, and Omaha beach. Getting to step foot on Omaha beach 75 years after D-day was an incredible experience I am so grateful I got the chance to have.

Me on Omaha Beach in Normandy