Remember when I went to Japan to study, and the first month I blogged every single day? And then something happened to my motivation and it just kind of….trickled away into nothingness?
Well tomorrow, less than 24 hours from now (yikes!) I will be on a plane and heading for France! FOR A MONTH!
So I am making it a goal to blog–or at least journal and blog later–every single day that I am in France. I am not sure if it will actually happen, but if I don’t make an effort and start now it definitely won’t happen. PLEASE HELP KEEP ME ACCOUNTABLE AND ASK ME TO POST MORE! IT IS FANTASTIC MOTIVATION! 😉
So here goes! Please check back in the next month frequently and find out whats happening with my exciting month abroad!
Here is more info on the situation:
I am going through a program called IFALPES–the Institute Francaise des Alpes–which is located in Annecy France. The program is super flexible, and you can choose to go for any length of time in one week increments. I decided to do four weeks, so that I can get enough of a taste of the language and culture, but isn’t a full blown semester.
Annecy, I think, is a great location to do a language intensive program. It is located in the French Alps in the Eastern part of France, and while it is not a tiny city, it certainly isn’t a huge international center like Paris, and will *hopefully* have less English around. The goal is to completely immerse myself in French 24/7.
I will be staying with a host family, which is as nerve wracking as it is exciting! I have only had one other experience staying with a host family, and while it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t the best either, so I am not really sure what do expect. All I know is that I have a host mom, and her son lives at home with her. I can’t tell if he is a child or adolescent or a fully grown adult, so I had trouble finding a present that would be adequate.
Speaking of gifts for my host family, I ended up with some great things. America–particularly Minnesota–is the worst place to give gifts from. It is a great place to buy things for yourself, but not so good when you want to get something small that is representative of your country and culture to give to someone of a different culture. (And don’t you dare suggest wild rice, because host families have literally told organizations to recommend not bringing it because nobody knows what to do with it T_T).
But there is a great new store at the Mall of America called Uptown. Everything is made in Minnesota and is very representative–in my mind–of life and culture here. I ended up with an adorable notebook covered in wood with a cut out in the shape of Minnesota, some Minnesota postcards, and also some chocolates with things like bacon in them because how more American can you get.
This is the third-ish time I have bought gifts of this sort for people abroad, and I must say I think I deserve a pat on the back because it was quite successful! (The first time I bought earrings from a Minnesota art fair…….but my host mom didn’t have her ears pierced….. epic fail).
As you can probably tell from my disjointed rambling, there are a lot of thoughts coursing through my head about the journey ahead. I am not quite sure what to expect–from culture shock, from the people, from the students, from the town, from the food…really from anything. So I am going to end with a video from my program that shows a little bit about the town and the school. In a few short days this will be my school too!!
If there is anything you want to hear about in particular or if you have any questions, please comment below!
Sorry this post was more informative than exciting, but come back soon for pictures and stories! ^_^