Seven days and counting!! Oh wow, seeing it on paper, well…screen, is a little nerve-wracking. Thankfully I’m already in Oxford with my family, so I’m looking forward to not having jet lag after I fly (for just over an hour) to Nantes the second of September.
I was very lucky that my dual citizenship exempted me from experiencing the hell that the visa process seems to be. Although that freed me from a lot of stress, I have not completely avoided sources of anxiety. After I finished performing with Ohio Light Opera in Wooster (below is a pic of me posing as Christel in 'Friederike'), I had to pack up my summer dorm, drive to Bloomington, and basically live out of my suitcases for a week. Then I had to pack up everything again and drive to the airport, which was the moment when I began to doubt myself: Did I pack too much? Do I have enough warm clothes? Do I have all my chargers? And of course there were panicking moments when one person in the car would check for his/her passport, prompting the rest of us to scavenge furiously into our carry-on luggage and breathe a sigh of relief when finding them.
I bought a few new things before I left the States:
-Rain boots: Nantes is supposed to be extremely soggy, and of course I broke my boots last semester.
-Luggage tag: I’m a sucker for freebies from Shutterfly.
-Luggage: including a 29” check-in suitcase, which may have encouraged me to over pack a tad.
-Food. Lots and lots of it…unfortunately I wasn’t able to revisit all my favorite restaurants, but I know that after eating food in Nantes, I won’t miss them quite as much.
(I don’t consider myself materialistic, but I think most of us can attest to the fact that it is quite exhilarating buying new things for a huge event. Like France. For a semester. WUT.)
Before I left Bloomington, I spent most of my time out and about with friends I won’t see again for at least a year, and this week I have been spending time in town, as well as soaking up my last moments with my cat Ollie (below). It may be more difficult to leave him than anyone else in my family…
IES suggested I create a list of things I hope to do while abroad: I want to do everything. Travel (within and outside of Nantes), meet new people, watch local performances, spend time getting to know my host family, eat, eat, eat…and of course, attend classes. I selected the cooking course in my pre-registration form, so hopefully I’ll be able to take that class. I love to bake – I actually enjoy baking more than I like eating the finished product.
ANYWAY, I’ve visited France a few times, and even lived in Bath my sophomore year of high school with my parents, but this is different. I will be living, breathing, eating, studying, singing…in France, on my own, with host parents who already seem wonderful. I don’t think it can get much better than that.
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<p>Bonjour! I'm Laura Schneider, a junior at the cozy College of Wooster, majoring in vocal performance and minoring in French. Apart from immersing myself in these two fields, I enjoy baking - while occasionally tweaking recipes, riding my bike, reading (especially outside), and playing (and watching) tennis. I lived in Bath, England with my parents my sophomore year of high school, and am so thrilled to be abroad on my own this time! After college, I am hoping to further my studies in performance somewhere in Chicago!</p>