Wow! I can’t believe this course abroad is coming to an end. This last day in Montpellier was very emotional for me. I have sincerely enjoyed everyday here and having to say goodbye to all the people I’ve met, especially my host parents, was tough. I will miss the pleasant, long meals I had with my family and the lively discussions we had over diner. I will miss my nice walk to school in the morning, going to the park after school, playing chess on the esplanade…There’s really too many things to list! For me, the best part of this course abroad has been getting to experience something new everyday and that is what I will miss the most.
Each day I’ve had the opportunity to learn a new phrase, meet a new person, discover an ancient building, try a new food, the list goes on. For example, during the first week I met a girl named Chloë who goes to high school in Montpellier. That day I learned countless new phrases including “Laisse tomber” which translates to “forget it” and “ t’inquiete pas” which means “Don’t worry.” I also learned that when greeting good friends, one gives only a single kiss on the cheek versus three when the person is a stranger. Through experiences like this my french has improved and I have grown accustomed to french culture. In addition, I have lived more in the moment and have maintained a more open mind.
As a quick side note, it has been interesting getting by with out cell service! Its been great not being glued to my phone, constantly checking snapchats and whatnot. Also, it actually forces you to build trust with others. For example, if you only have wifi in one place and you arrange to meet a friend somewhere else you have to trust they will get to the right place and on time. You don’t have the ability to check where they are or instantly change the plans. Although this may sound stressful it has done quite the contrary; overall my lack of internet accessibility has made me more relaxed and less anxious.
….ok back on topic: opportunities. You have to take advantage of them. When in a new country and environment it can be difficult to go out of your comfort zone, but doing so is extremely rewarding and it is what has made this experience so incredible for me. Time to end with a classic quote about opportunity: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Churchill
I must say: I am truly grateful for this trip abroad and will never forget the places I’ve been and the amazing people I’ve met.