It is the beginning of my final week in Europe. It is a bitter sweet feeling; I am excited to return to my home, friends, and family. However, I also know I will miss certain aspects of Europe and the friends I have grown close to along the way. Since I come from the plains of the mid west I will miss the rolling hills and green mountains of France and Spain. I appreciate the variety of plants and trees in the southern European region. I enjoy taking in the architecture and admiring history in the places where it took place.
Most of what I have learned from this journey is from personal experience. Priceless life lessons that other wise would not have been learned. I have learned a lot about people and how they react in different situations; at times this may be difficult to deal with. I feel like being forced to deal with different personalities in group settings is preparing me for my future career.
I spent this past weekend in Barcelona. It was magnificent. I went with one other girl and we had a ball. Every other trip was with a large group. I felt those trips wasted a lot of time figuring out what to do. This one was simpler, we did what we wanted to when we wanted to and didnâ€™t feel obligated to wait on others. I definitely relaxed more than I would have if we were large in number.
Barcelona was beautiful. The Spanish people were warmer and more welcoming than the people of the other places I have visited. I received considerably better service at restaurants and felt like I mattered to the waiters. The food was great. But what I loved most was the combination of palm trees, mountains, and blue skies. I was in paradise. Despite the fact that Air France lost my suit case on the return flight, I still had an amazing experience.
~ Kanisha Childs
I love Roma! I greatly enjoyed visiting all of Italy, but Rome was the icing on the cake. It surpassed my expectations and left me wanting more. We only spent two days there. If I had it to do over I would have spent a long weekend there. I was in awe of the grandeur of the buildings and how old everything was. It is hard to understand how long the city has been in existence when our country has barely been around a fraction of the time of Rome.
We took a tour of the coliseum and the forum. I felt like my sophomore year history class had come to life, but I was standing where it happened. I loved it! We took a hop on-hop off bus tour of Rome and literally sat on it for hours, snapping pictures in every direction. Each corner we turned held something beautiful and new to us. I plan to return to Rome one day, and when I do I will make sure that I have enough time to see it all!
~ Kanisha Childs
This trip to France has taught me a lot. One thing that stands out is that Americans and the French have completely different standards when it comes to service. At home customer service is a top priority, but here you are left to fend for yourself. This isnâ€™t so hard to adjust to in a store but when eating at a restaurant and your drink has not been filled it becomes more irritating. In class this morning we discussed stereotypes and culture shock. This discussion has allowed me to look at situations in a new light. Just because things here arenâ€™t done the way Iâ€™m used to doesnâ€™t make it wrong or negative; just different.
I spent this past weekend in Paris. Paris is lovely! I enjoying climbing to the top of â€œle tour Eiffel,â€ the view was magnificent and what a workout! I am enjoying taking in the European architecture. I am preparing to leave France; we are visiting Amsterdam this weekend. I am curious to see how the culture of the Netherlands compares to that of France. This experience is opening my eyes to how norms between cultures can vary. I had a sandwich and a beverage in Subway and went to refill it, at the self service fountain, and was told that refills are not free. I didnâ€™t even think about it beforehand, the self service fountain communicated to me that I could help myself, like at home. Iâ€™ve been learning a lot and am becoming more cognizant of how the world views our behavior. Perhaps I appeared to be greedy for trying to steal another drink, when in fact I thought I was behaving in line.
In the upcoming weeks I plan to visit Brussels, Italy, and Spain. I know when I leave the comfort zone of languages I speak or am at least familiar with the cultural differences may be more difficult to understand. Despite this fact I anticipate the journey. I meant to mention before, I have had technical difficulties uploading photos; I would love to share them with you!
Bonjour tout le monde!
Hello all, I am so happy to be in France. Thank all of you that helped make this possible! My journey here has been adventuresome to say the least. I am already learning a lot about myself. On this trip I have rode a train for the first time and alone! I share my host family with another student, Ashley from Cincinnati. We get along well and are having fun already. We are planning to go to the beach for our first trip this weekend. I am proud of my sense of direction. We have been navigating the tram and bus lines already. Before you know it weâ€™ll be pros!
The first difference I noticed between our culture and the French is that the French refrigerators have no freezer. This means there is no ice in our drinks here; this will take time to get used to. The biggest shock so far is that during the summer the sun doesnâ€™t go down until 11 p.m. The birds donâ€™t stop chirping throughout the night either. But donâ€™t get me wrong, I have had no trouble sleeping. The shops all close for lunch for a few hours in the afternoon.
The first day of class a tour guide showed us the city and shared some of Nanteâ€™s rich history with us. The city is so beautiful. I have studied French for years, but am having difficulty understand the rapid speech here. Hopefully over time I will get better. Classes started today; it was difficult to get up so early and pay attention. My classes were always in the afternoon, but Iâ€™m sure it will get easier each day. We have plans to explore the city more, Au revior!