Everyday Things

January 7, 2010

I was so excited during my first few weeks in France that I was blogging about everything, all the time! Now my weeks are fairly consistent and I usually focus on my weekends instead, which have lately been a lot of travel! I realized today that I haven’t spoken about normal things in a long time, and lest you all think my life is one glamorous weekend after the another, I thought I would write a bit about some daily events. So here’s the “real everyday life” update!

~First, I am unfortunately still not fluent in French. My language level apparently varies based on how much time I’ve spent with my American friends or reading American books. I always wish I spoke/read/studied more French, but the in reality I frequently lapse back into English, just because it’s so much easier. I am feeling motivated to really make improvement next semester though, and part of this includes trying to go out with my French friends more often!

~As far as French academic life, I am struggling a bit. We’ve all had a hard time getting used to their university system, and there are also so many distractions from my work! I have started to learn what things need to be done in order to succeed academically in France, and I hope to apply that next semester. Right now I am writing the last essay for this semester, planning my schedule for next semester, and preparing to start the process of writing an Honors Thesis for Sweet Briar!

~My host family and I are becoming much closer. I am emotionally attached to all of them! Talking to Madame about school and life and chatting and joking with Ariane are two things that I look forward to each day! The whole family takes really good care of me, and I feel included in more and more things. Speaking with my friends who have had horrible host family experiences (it’s been a strangely cursed year) makes me appreciate how lucky I am. Doing things with my host family is such an important part of my experience here! Just last night I went to an Art History lecture with Madame and Ariane about Giacometti and Warhol that was very interesting…

~Lastly, I am in love with Paris. It’s funny how comfortable I am here, even going home at night I feel much more at ease than I ever thought possible. I find Paris endlessly beautiful and interesting, and the people here are my favorite! Coming “home” to Paris after a weekend away always feels so good. Just walking amongst the buildings, hearing the clipped Parisian French, and admiring the evasive Parisian style of dressing makes me feel happy and light inside, as if in a funny way I almost belong here. This is a feeling that I hope to carry for the rest of my life, because what could be lovelier than that?  (Don’t worry though, I will come home to the States eventually!)

If you ever have any questions about my life here in Paris let me know, I’d be happy to answer them! Oh, and just as a note I threw off my usual schedule and updated twice this week, so there’s a long entry about my trip to Brussels dating from the 6th! A bientôt!


2 Responses to “Everyday Things”

  1. Jo Tudisco-Guntert said


    As you might have guessed from the email (if you can see it) I’m a Sweet Briar student. I’m actually going on the JYF program next year which is why I’ve been looking around for blogs from current students. (Caroline and I were in a class together last year but I don’t know if she remembers me or not.) I am a little worried about becoming fluent since I am most definitely not at the moment. And after reading this blog I have a couple questions about Paris and what to expect if you don’t mind answering them. Let me know!

    Jo Tudisco-Guntert

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