Where the Heart Is.

Katie Nodjimbadem
September 3, 2013

The lyrics from Michael Bublé’s hit song “Home” have never been so apt:

Another airplane

Another sunny place

I’m lucky, I know

But I wanna go home

I’ve got to go home.

I’m not your average study abroad student.  My study abroad program in Nantes begins in a couple of days and I’m not checking things off my packing list, printing out flight itineraries or saying goodbye to my parents.  I’m not doing any of those things because I already did them… two months ago.

My study abroad experience began at the end of June when I spent a month in the heart of the Loire Valley, studying at a language institution in Tours.  Following that month packed with intensive French, new international friends and possibly too many châteaux visits, I spent five weeks exploring the vast cultural richness of France. Armed with a hiking backpack and a train discount card, I visited 10 different French cities in the region of Normandy down to the Côte d’Azur.

Before I left the U.S., everyone kept telling me how lucky I was to have this experience of traveling and exploring for a couple of months. While it has been the greatest adventure of my life, I’m honestly thankful to close that chapter in my story.  After so many instances of finding myself lost or eating dinner alone in a café and unpacking my backpack more than 10 times, I’ve never appreciated the idea of “home” as I do now.

The program hasn’t even started but I don’t hesitate to say I’m ready to go home.  But I don’t mean my hometown in Texas or to Northwestern University, I’m ready to go home to Nantes.  See you soon!


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Katie Nodjimbadem

<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);">Katie Nodjimbadem is a junior at Northwestern University majoring in journalism and planning to minor in French. She enjoys writing about diversity and culture for North by Northwestern magazine and loves interacting with prospective students as a campus tour guide. Katie bleeds purple and loves to cheer on her fellow wildcats at varsity sporting events. As the daughter of two Francophone parents, she desires to improve her French to better understand her heritage and strengthen her ties with her extended family.</span></p>

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