So you may or may not have heard….since I tell everyone from my close friends to the barista at my local coffee shop, chances are yes I’ve told you a million times already…but I am going to France! No scratch that, I am MOVING to France. For 8 months!
This will be the longest, and probably most important, time I will have spent abroad so far, so naturally I am as excited as I am nervous. Around this time last year I was preparing to spend a month in France, which was basically a trial, see-how-I-like-the-country/learn-the-language/experience-France-before-I-make-a-life-changing-decision kind of trip. I spent a fast and lovely month in Annecy, France, and came to the conclusion that I should go forward with my plans–that I should apply to pastry school in France.
Last summer I spent time researching potential programs and applying to schools, and in the end I ended up with my first choice school; a little school aimed at non-French international students with the desire to learn French Pastry located in the south west of France called Gastronomicom. The school is located in a little town called Agde, is on the coast and is all but in Spain it is so far west. (Which will be a completely different experience from the nearly-in-Switzerland Annecy and my one days worth of experience in Paris).
The school helped me to get a visa and I am all set to spend three months studying intensive French pastry and French language followed by a four month internship at a pastry shop in France.
My flight is booked, my clothes are packed, my emergency/I-don’t-really-speak-any-French phrases are starting to accumulate. I’m ready to go.
Well, besides the crippling fear that I have no idea what I am doing with the rest of my life or that this could be a huge, terrible, expensive mistake. But as a recent college grad that is a fairly normal feeling right? (Thats what my friends have been assuring me over many “This is the last time I’ll see you for a year/maybe five years/maybe ever!” dinners. You may think I’m being dramatic about not seeing my friends for many years or maybe ever, but I have highly ambitious friends, and when I return at the end of November it is highly likely that there will only be a handful left in Minnesota).
Anyway, not to get sidetracked from the main goal of this post, I wanted to lay out what I will be doing and my *realistic* goals of blogging while I am in France.
I leave in TWO WEEKS and when I arrive, I will arrive in Paris to meet a lovely friend from my university who has been in Europe for almost two months now. We are going to explore Paris for three days and then take a train down to Nice to explore some more before she has to fly back to the states, and I will take a train by myself on to Agde. The goal is that after a week of walking a million miles a day and stuffing myself with coffee and macarons while catching up with a friend that I will be more acclimated to France and I will be over my jet lag.
Because as soon as I arrive at the train station in Agde I will be picked up by someone whose name I don’t even know from the school and brought to my housing situation…to probably meet my roommate for the next three months.
Then one day later (I assume because I actually have no information on my schedule beyond a vague outline) I will start my classes–at a school that is supposedly a 10 minute bus ride from my apartment/condo/dorm situation. I’m clearly well informed. Thats fine. I’m not stressing out about that.
As far as I can tell, Monday through Friday I will spend mornings in the kitchen learning about French pastry, moving through a fairly standard module of beginning, intermediate and advanced courses. Then in the afternoons I will go to a classroom to hopefully learn as much French as my brain can absorb.
The covert wording on the website makes it sound like my housing will have no wifi but that the classrooms at the school will, and I plan to get some sort of French sim card for my phone so that I can communicate and more importantly not get lost in the city.
So realistically, I would like to post a new blog post once a week, but I have the feeling that it will be more like every other week–particularly if I don’t have internet in my house. I will do my best to keep everyone in the loop with posts on Facebook and Instagram, and I am also going to try to take videos of my adventures in and out of the kitchen. But just in case, have low expectations. I may just upload mass amounts of pictures with no words. Prepare yourselves.
And thats really all I know for now…. I will be updating my blog with things I have baked over the last few weeks, but after that my next post will be coming to you from France! On March 28th I will be on a 6 hour train ride between Paris and Nice, so I will probably crank out an update then (if I’m not sleeping :P).
So wish me luck! ^_^