Monday, March 24, 2008

Kari G. - St. Etienne, France - Spring 2008

So, it has been a while since I wrote my last blog, BUT I can definitely say I am really enjoying myself here. I struggled when I got here to understand things. Luckily, there was a another American girl who understood well. I have made amazing progress, though, over the past two months if I do say so myself. I actually have people tell me I speak well...even though I sincerely doubt that haha. BUT I have no problems understanding everyone now. There are, of course, the times when I'm like, "Can you repeat that please?" But now I understand so much better. I can express myself a little better now, as well, which is really nice. It's hard to not be able to say what you want to say. However, I have found that people here are extremely nice as long as you try. It's really true--contrary to popular belief, French people are not rude and do actually like Americans and are very helpful if you ask.

There are some small things, though, that I have had to adjust to here as well. I will make a little list of things because these are things you wouldn't know until you came. Coffee TINY. They drink little expressos, not our big Starbucks coffees. It is also really normal for men to hit on women here. Women expect it; you just don't acknowledge it. It's a compliment, though, so it is nothing to be offended by. EVERYTHING stops at lunch time from 12-1:30. NO ONE works during lunch unless its a big mall or store. NOTHING is open on Sundays either, which is very different then in US. WELL, that is enough of the list. BUT yes, I definitely suffered a little culture shock, but it just takes adjusting and now it seems totally normal.

I love speaking in another language. It's something that not everyone can do and its a lot more fun to learn in the country then in a classroom in US. I also love that the program I'm in in the university here is for exchange students so its like its own little world. I have Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Sudanese and Russian people in my classes--and that is just my class. It's amazing to meet all these people. It's interesting, too, because French is the one thing we have to tie us all together. WELL, that is all. If you guys have any questions go ahead and ask, and I'll try my best to answer!


Blogger Danielle Farrell said...

I have questions about choosing classes abroad. Do you recommend taking some fun classes that I wouldn't be able to take here in the states? Should I be worried about the difference in education system if I want to take a higher level class?


12:27 AM  
Anonymous Kar said...

Hey Danielle,

It's hard for me to talk about classes because what you take and all that depends on where you go I believe. As far as here in St Etienne you would not even have the option of choosing. It depends on your level as well. If you came here you would most likely be in the same program I am which if for exchange students and you take three hours in the morning and then you can choose two modules. They are not even full classes and definitely with those I just chose what interested me. I take history of france and reards on french society. The only way you choose classes here is if you're at the fac, which is the real college and then I couldn't really begin to tell you but I'd reccomend things that will help you here and count here as well as something that interests you. The education system is definitely a little different as well but it depends on where you are. My classes are quite a bit easier here and more relaxed but at the same time I love them and I have learned A LOT. SO I dno if you are coming here I can definitely help you with courses but as far as another school and if you're at the fac I'd say take what will get you credit here and something you'll enjoy as well because it all will count towards your minor/major anyway. hope that helps!

2:17 PM  

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