Elyse: faire la fête!

September 20, 2010
People hang out all the time here. It’s something that I’m unaccustomed to at Northwestern, where it’s really difficult to find time for anything other than school or work during the week. Here, I’ve spent time with my host brother and his friends almost every single day, which is awesome, because it means that I have a lot of opportunities to practice actually having real-life conversations in French. The picture is with my host-brother, Clément (left), and his friends Pauline and Lucas. We were at the Féria, a huge festival in Nîmes, which is maybe a half-hour drive from where we are here in Montpellier. I’m so lucky to have a host-brother my age who’s super-nice and willing to bring me along to hang out!

In between all the afternoons at cafés, evenings lingering over dinner, and nights exploring Montpellier’s many student-friendly bars and discothèques, I have also been going to class (don’t worry, mom and dad!). I’m taking five classes: grammar, phonetics, conversation, translation, and history. Though I’ve had just a week of class so far, I’m already enjoying all of them. The best part is that everything I’m learning in my classes is immediately applicable and/or relatable to my life outside of class, which is something I never really experienced with my French classes in the US. Here, when I learn about 18th century France in my history class, I can walk down the street and see the buildings that were built then. I can study a certain type of sentence construction in grammar and then use it when I’m chatting with my host-mom at home. And vice-versa: all the practice I have speaking French and being immersed in the culture also helps me get the most out of what I’m learning from my professors. It’s awesome, and already I can tell that I’m learning tons.

It’s just about time for dinner here (it’s 8:30 pm…) so I’m off to enjoy some quiche, veggies, fresh bread, and cheese… YUM

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