So I’ve been in France for about a week now and it’s been hectic. These past few days have been all about becoming adjusted to a new environment and university, trying to speak french as much as possible, taking care of a lot of paperwork that is still not 100% done and of course socializing. There is so much to see and so much to do that I don’t want to take time to rest (Don’t worry mom, I do).
Flying away from home and studying at a foreign university for a few months was something I dreamed of for a few years. From a different language, approach to life, busy bus stops and libraries to finding open restaurants early in the afternoon and baguettes at HyperU, France feels a little more sophisticated. It might be a bit of an exaggeration to some, but to me it’s true that it is all very surreal. These past few days have shown me that change is possible and that it’s very easy if you’re willing to take a risk. Some decisions might seem terrifying at first. However, after making them and especially when you’re living their aftereffects, it might be very well worth the risk.
I am not going to lie and tell you that it is all sunshine and rainbows; because it’s not. There are many times when I find it difficult to understand the language or struggle with things that seem like a breeze back home. Also, making new friends and starting over is very difficult, taking into account the language barrier. I have to say though, that I’ve been very lucky to have awesome people around me from the start that make everything easier than it would be if I was all by myself.
What I’ve realized these ten days is that when there is a will there is a way, especially when it comes to communicating with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Because, even though getting used to a completely different mentality appears extremely challenging, living this experience is already one of the most refreshing things I’ve ever done. It’s a privilege to be able to live in a continent that encourages living, travelling and working in a foreign environment.