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!
One of my collegiate goals was to study abroad and do something that not many of my peers have accomplished. Through the very generous help of others this dream was able to met. For Bregenz, Austria i can honestly say its one of the most beatiful place ive ever been, between the mountaints of the Pfander and the bodensee lake it will surely not be forgotten. Me and one other student from Murray State lived with a host family for the whole month of June will we attended classes. The host family was very nice and helpful in any situation that would arise, for example the language barrier with not understanding any german got to be kind of difficult at some points.
On the weekends we were able to travel basically anywhere in Europe as long as it was covered by our eurrail pass. Our excursions covered Munich, Amsterdam, Vienna and last but not least Rome, Italy. I took alot of good pictures and made some great friends on this trip. My time here in Europe will certainly be missed but definatley not forgotten.
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!