A new adventure

Signing up for a study abroad is obviously signing up for an adventure, however I will admit that I wasn’t planning on this big of an adventure.

May 30, 2017 - Author: Emily Kittendorf

Village in France

Signing up for a study abroad is obviously signing up for an adventure, however I will admit that I wasn’t planning on this big of an adventure. France has the fifth largest economy in the world, a pretty good feat for a relatively small country, however strolling through the cities or exploring the countryside would make you feel as if you went back a century. Not one house looks like what we are familiar with in the United States because they believe air conditioning is a waste of energy and therefore, their homes are built to accommodate the heat.

While I have effectively navigated my first plane ride, my first public bus ride, and my first public train ride to get to my destination in Toulouse, France, the adventure has just begun. I just completed my second day of university, and French Culture class and French class are well underway. I officially know ten sentences in French, however my throat is sore because of the different part of the mouth that they speak with than what I am used to.

This pattern of unfamiliarity continues too as it seems that everything I was accustomed to in the United States has been turned on end. I am living in a residence hall at Purpan University that doesn’t have air conditioning, has shutters as curtains, the windows do not have screens, the showerhead does not have a holder to continuously spray on me, and the milk is not refrigerated. I go out to the town and nobody speaks English, public transportation is the main method of getting around, bars and cafes are combined as one location, water glasses are similar to the size of a shot glass, and nothing is open on Sundays. The surprises keep coming with every new day.

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