As I sit in my kitchen, I think of that day in January when I wrote my first blog post. I was thinking about how I just finished my first semester of junior year and how it seemed as though I just came from the airport. Now in the same house, in my mind, I see myself leaving Logan airport trying to find my mother’s car because after more than 10 hours of traveling I just wanted to be home.
And that’s just it, I’m home. My journey in Nantes wasn’t the perfect study abroad experience. I had ups and downs, I was frustrated, I was confused, and I was scared. But nothing is perfect. In my opinion, study abroad is going out your comfort zone and learning more about yourself. When you get home, you realize so much has changed within you although things at home may seem the same as you left them. You’ll never be the same again.
During our last “reunion” for IES, our director said that we would suffer from reverse culture shock. Coming from a big city and being able to take public transportation everywhere I didn’t think I would suffer the culture shock of having to drive again. I figured the only culture shock I would suffer from is the fact that everyone is speaking English and I was no longer able to describe people on trains without him or her understanding me. To be frank, I was wrong. On my first drive with my father out to the local convenient store my first comment was “ Why are there so many American flags everywhere?” to which my father responded “Alex, those have always been there… You know that”. It’s funny how you can leave a place for four and a half months and things that were normal suddenly appear strange. I counted about 20 American flags that day.
I lived and I participated but most of all j’ai profité.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alexandra is a junior at Georgetown University majoring in Operations and Information Management with a minor in French. After taking Spanish, Italian, and Latin in high school she decided she needed a fresh start and began French in college. Since she’s started to learn French she’s fallen in love with the language. She hopes to one day be fluent in French completing her life long dream of being bilingual. During her spare time she likes to read, practice her photography, and learn new baking and cooking recipes. Abroad she hopes to completely immerse herself in French cuisine, language, and culture.</span></p>