Reflecting on a Fabulous Semester

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Grace Heaton
May 10, 2024

On the second to last night of the program, some of my friends and I rented an Airbnb on the coast for a night as a way to spend a wholesome night reminiscing and mourning the end of a great experience. We laughed, we talked, we cried, we felt all the emotions possible.

Spending the night the four of us was a lovely way to encapsulate our experience in France, and make the most of the little time we had left together. We all come from different parts of the country and go to different universities, so after this semester, it will become increasingly difficult to see each other regularly. I’m lucky enough to be traveling with two of them to a few different countries after the end of the program, but that doesn’t mean that the other goodbyes weren’t excruciating.

The people that I have met during these four months have made such an impact on me. I feel that these will be friendships that I will keep for the long run, not just until the end of the semester. We’re already planning trips to go see each other and talking about all the fun moments we’ll spend together in the future.

The friends that you make abroad are people who have seen you change dramatically as a person. I’ve become more independent, more courageous, and more ready to take on challenges that arise. I know that the person I was before studying abroad in Vienna is drastically different than the person I was when I got back, and my friends who studied with me in Vienna saw that growth and that change. It’s the same thing with Nantes. I don’t feel like I’ve changed quite as much as I did the first time I studied abroad, but I am coming back to the United States as a changed person with new experiences under her belt and plenty of great memories.

So, thank you to everyone I have met, I can’t wait to stay in contact and see where all of our future plans take us. This semester has taken me new places, opened my eyes to new people and new aspects of French culture, and greatly improved my French capabilities. I will be forever grateful for the new friendships formed, the new places explored, and all the knowledge gained. Salut, la France, tu vas me manquer.

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Grace Heaton

Hi! My name is Grace Heaton. I am thrilled to be studying abroad in Nantes in Spring 2024. I am a junior at Duquesne in Pittsburgh, PA studying Marketing, French, and German. I enjoy traveling, learning languages, and adventuring with friends.

Home University:
Duquesne University
Portland, OR
French Language
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