The Last Week in Nantes and Final Goodbyes

Eleanor Desing headshot
Eleanor Desing
April 22, 2023
A picture of my friends and I on a boat trip on the river

And so we’ve arrived. The final week in Nantes. I really can’t believe it. Everyone told me how fast time would fly by, but I really didn’t believe them. But these past four months have honestly felt like one. In this final week, I’ve been trying to just take everything in and appreciate this amazing city. Luckily, there have been a lot of different events this week that have helped with that.

The Friday night before our last week, IES Abroad took us on a river cruise at night on the Erdre. I walk past the boat that runs these cruises every day when I go to my tram stop, so I was so excited to finally experience it. And it was definitely worthy of the anticipation. For one, the views along the river were beautiful: all the houseboats, birds, plants, and old houses made for amazing scenery. And of course, the meal was delicious as well.

The next day, we spent some more time on the Erdre in small motorboats. We had a beautiful day with lots of sun. We got to see the same boats as the night before but with the new perspective of daylight. Though there were some stressful moments dodging the rowers in the river, it was really nice to spend the day with our class of 30 together in Nantes.

I was also able to cook a meal for my host family on Saturday. I wanted to make them an “American” meal. It was really hard to pick, but I ended up making breakfast for dinner. I made pancakes (which the younger boys were especially excited about), an egg bake, breakfast potatoes, and an apple pie. It was really nice to be able to make them a meal after they have been so kind to me. I am going to be giving them a book with these recipes and some of my other favorites.

The last week of the program was also finals week, so unfortunately we did have to study. But we had been group study sessions both at IES Abroad and outside in Nantes’ beautiful parks, trying to take advantage of our last moments together.

On Wednesday, there was a reception for everyone with food, drinks, and games to play (we got to try and match everyone with their baby picture—so cute!). Our host families and professors were also invited. This was a great opportunity to have some delicious French food, but also to say goodbye to everyone I had gotten to know over these past four months.

This last week has been so much fun, but of course, there has also been an element of sadness. We’re all sad to leave behind the city that we have learned to call home. I’m excited to go back to the U.S.: to see my family, friends, and my dog. But I have also loved every memory that I’ve made here in Nantes. It’s all very bittersweet. Right now, I’m just trying to take it all in.

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Eleanor Desing headshot

Eleanor Desing

Hi, my name is Eleanor! I am majoring in French and Psychology, and I am so excited to be participating in the Nantes immersion program in order to improve my language skills and immerse myself in French culture. I love to read, cook/bake, and spend time outdoors. I can't wait to share my experience with all of you!

2023 Spring
Home University:
Loyola University Chicago
French Language
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