Even as I start to write this my brain is thinking and translating everything into French. I can already tell the difference in my skills and understanding after one day of immersing myself into the language. Maybe I'll write a few blogs in French, but for now let me tell you about my first two days in France!
Le Voyage - The Journey
The first new work I learned in french is "le décalage horaire" which means jet-lagged!! I was very jet-lagged after my flights. I checked in at the airport at 2pm to start my long day of travels. My first flight was to Amsterdam, it was about 7 hours long. We took off at around 6pm and when we arrived in Amsterdam it was 7:30 am (we are six hours ahead from the US). The time change really confused my body, but luckily I slept during the entire flight.
Next, I flew from Amsterdam to Montpellier. As we landed, we went to baggage claim, exited the airport and there was my host mom holding up a sign with my name.
Just like that, the conversations in French started, even though I was so tired and jet-lagged I still understood most of what she said. We arrived at her beautiful house and I unpacked into my room for the next three weeks.
It's a nice room with a great view of the garden! My host family is very nice. They speak a little english, which is helpful when I don't understand a word and are very patient with me. The two kids are very funny and are very interested in learning about life in America. It's very different from life in France.
Mon Premier Jour à L'école
Today, I got up at 6am to get ready for my first day at ILA! I headed out the house to take the tram to school in the unfortunately rainy weather. The tram is very easy, I was so happy with the public transportation here in France. It is so easy to get around without a car. I arrived at ILA, my school for the next three weeks. Today we had a short orientation, then I was put into my class and school began.
In my class there are students from Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. It was so amazing to see so many nationalities and backgrounds in one room and for us to all learn french together. After introducing ourselves, we went over some grammar, some vocabulary, and some cultural information. During our break in the middle of class, I stopped at the café next door for some "pain au chocolat" (a chocolate croissant). After I'm done with this blog I will be starting my french homework for this evening!
Le Voyage Organisé - A Tour
After school, we went on a guided tour of the city. I was amazed at how easy it was to walk around and find these amazing monuments and sites. The city is so beautiful I could hardly believe my eyes. I felt like pinching myself I just couldn't believe that it was real life and that I was really in France! Here are some pictures of the sites:
After the tour, I ran some errands around the city then hung out with my friends for the rest of the day. We walked around the city until we were almost lost, but we found our way back!
I am so in love with Montpellier. Speaking french all the time has been a little intimidating but it is so worth it! I am so glad I was blessed with this opportunity.
I hope you liked the first study abroad blog! I will be posting more!
Also check out the "Maryland in Montpellier" blog. My group will be documenting our time in the city here. https://lemarylandmontpellierain.wordpress.com