I love the town of Tours. Although home to a similar population size as Tuscaloosa, everything in Tours is built close together, allowing you to walk everywhere. I walk from my host family to school, from school to lunch (there are so many options!), and after class I can walk all over, from different shopping areas, a movie theater, or the river adjacent to town. I love this convenience. Another bonus of walking everywhere is that you often see locals walking their dogs around town. Really, it’s hard to take a 15 minute walk in town without seeing a dog! As a dog lover, this is great. The only negative I’ve experienced so far here in France is the smoking. Smoking is very common here, much more than in the United States, and people smoke all over, at any location. So that has taken some getting used to.

The institute here where I am taking classes is so diverse! There are students here from all over the world! In my class alone are students from Spain, England, Germany, Jamaica, Thailand, and Canada. Our professor is from Poland, and two new students just joined us from Russia and Portugal. I’ve met people from Belgium and Saudi Arabia. Students have come from all over to learn French here in Tours, and it is fascinating discovering different countries, perspectives, and experiences. It’s also interesting to see and hear the differences in our French abilities, namely in that people have different accents when they speak French depending on where they are from, which I suppose is a no brainer, but it’s not something I’ve experienced much in my classes back in America.

Mt first real photo on French soil, taken in the town of Tours, depicts a passing tram.