Friday, September 12, 2008


I made a decision today after I was FINALLY able to use the Internet at Lyon Bleu (the establishment where we will be having our French classes): I’m not that homesick anymore. Just being able to send out an email and inform at least one other person that I’m still alive was enough to make me finally feel at home here in Lyon.

Although French life is most definitely different from the lifestyle I have as a female, American college student, I can’t deny that I’m gradually getting accustomed to it. Of course, that’s not to say I’ve entirely accepted all of the differences or become devastatingly unaware of them. On the contrary, I still notice the little dissimilarities such as how, in general, the French seem to speak more softly than Americans (even when they are found in large groups!). Instead of attempting to stand out by shouting, making a verbal scene, or laughing hysterically in rather high pitch tones, they stand out in other more subdued manners. It’s all in the way they hold their postures and the clothing that they choose to wear, and strikingly, these simple tools speak louder than I believe that words ever could.

Now, this isn’t to say that the French aren’t conversationalists. They’re always talking! Even French music and films, Wendy has informed us, pack in more lyrics and conversation than instrumental sections or suspend inducing action. Plus, considering how many times the members of our group, whether individually or together, have all been approached by others in French, my experience proves the conversational nature of them to be true. Everyone always seems willing to make a new friend, share a smile, or assist us in any manner possible. It’s absolutely lovely. I don’t think I could ask for a better location to study abroad in, and all of those individuals who informed me that the French tend to be rather snobbish couldn’t have been more off. Although they may have truth to their opinions (for France does claim to be the culture capital of the world), the people of Lyon most definitely do not live up to that description.

Now, since I’m finally feeling at home, I can officially declare that I’ve actually “moved into” my residence. I tacked up images and words to my wall, rearranged some of my books to suit my needs better, and even fixed my bedding to keep me more comfortable at night. I’m no longer counting on things to remind me how many days I have left before our flight back (such as the number of vitamins in a bottle and the amount of days I could check off of the schedule Wendy handed us at one of our first café meetings… yes, I gave into that previous desire*). All in all, my feelings of anxiety and fear are wearing off. I can do this! I can study abroad for a semester, and I can love it. After all, it’s my opportunity; it’s my experience, and it’s my adventure. I’m not going to let anything stand in my way, especially when I’ve never let anything stand in my way before. I’m seizing the moment. Taking advantage of all possible excursions. This is going to be one of the most amazing semesters of my life. It’s going to be unforgettable… and right now, I’m ready to take you (vicariously) along for the ride. Are you ready for it?

Avec l'Amour,

*See last paragraph of 9/2 – INTERNET CONNECTION… FAILED

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