Before the program started you had to fill out forms for IES Abroad and one of the forms was housing. IES Abroad gives you three housing options, homestay, apartments, and international house. When filling out my form I knew right away that I wanted to stay in a homestay. I knew wanted to stay in a homestay for three reasons: to have that home away from home feel, to learn about the french culture and to improve my french language skills. After three weeks of being here I can say that I made the right choice for me.
Home Away from Home
My homestay is located on a beautiful, small, private street in the 14th arrondissement. Walking down it is very beautiful and sometimes long since my homestay is all the way at the end. The house itself is a cute, white house and inside, I have my own room. My room is actually more spacious than I had expected it to be. When I imagined Parisian homes, I always thought they would have small rooms just big enough to fit a bed and dresser, however I have a normal size room, it fits a bed, dresser, and a desk. And to my surprise the dresser is a huge white dresser that looks similar to the one I have at home, so now it feels even more like a home away from home.
The people I live with are also great. I live with a host mom, two of her friends and another girl, from the IES Abroad program. Living with so many people has already taught me a lot, especially about food. One thing I learned about the french culture is the time they eat. When we have dinner together it is always at 8 or 8:30 pm, which is very different from my 6:30 dinners at home. Dinner food has also been different for me. At home I normally eat chicken and roasted vegetables. And here so far for dinner I have tried a crepe (the savory kind), a tart (again the savory kind), and Moroccan food (one of the friends that lives here is from Morocco). And tonight I tried a dish from the alps called, Raclette, and it was so good. This dish consists of melting cheese on a hot plate and then putting that on top of a potato with ham. Food is not the only thing I am learning about from my homestay, however it is very important to the culture. My host mom also has a big map of France that she hung up in the kitchen so whenever we eat dinner and talk about a place in France she will show us where it is located and what it is known for. I am also learning about politics in France as it is very big here in Paris and they are currently in the middle of an election.
My host mom has also been teaching me new french words. At dinner she will write a few words down for me to learn, and then I will say them out loud to make sure I have the correct pronunciation. Here is my vocab from tonight: recipe- recitte, carrots- carottes, meat- viande, and vegetable- legume. I’m excited to continue expanding my french knowledge and hopefully be able to speak a few sentences in french with my host mom by the end of the program. And I will keep you all updated on my progress.
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<p>Hi! My name is Katie, I am currently a junior at Penn State University majoring in Marketing and minoring in International Business. I love running, photography, cats and dogs, and exploring new places. This semester, I could not be more excited to study abroad in Paris. And I cannot wait to share all my experiences with you.</p>