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Archive for the ‘preparations’ Category

Well…I am finally home. Sitting here on my couch wrapped up in a tie blanket with sweatpants and a sweatshirt on, dog curled up at my feet. It’s good to be home.

It still hasn’t really hit me that I’ve left Cannes. Yes, I understand that I’m not there anymore…but it’s harder to realize that I’m not going to be back there anytime soon. I choose to not face the reality that it will probably be many many years before I’m back in France.

On a beach on the 9th of December!

The last week in Cannes was full of “last”s. The whole thing was very bittersweet and hard to swallow. Last grammar class, last time at the beach, last sunset, last time at Stations, last pause, last meal in the salle a manger, last everything. I didn’t do a lot my last weekend – did some “goodbye France” shopping on my last Saturday, where I spent over an hour in Fnac (kind of like Best Buy) picking out books and CDs, since it’s very hard to find anything in French in the US. I bought 6 books and 4 CDs – should keep me occupied for a little while. I wandered through the Christmas market – which was very surreal, having palm trees decorated with Christmas lights and fake snow.

Me and my roommate, Julie

The last week was “finals.” I say finals in quotations because everything was way easier than finals at CSB/SJU. No stress…it’s okay with me. We had a short test and scene analysis for Cinema, which we had done the week before and it was pretty easy. Tuesday was the final class and exam for Societe Francaise – 5 general questions and a final essay of comparing the average American life to the average French life. I wish finals were like this at home. I also had to write a final paper for Beth’s French Revolution class, talking about the significance of the French Revolution today. That was probably the most academic paper I have written the whole semester, but it wasn’t too bad. I also had my final day of tutoring, where Eva and I finished up Oliver Twist. Now I can kind of say I have read that book. I’ll miss tutoring and seeing the family, they were so good to me! We exchanged emails though, so I’m sure we’ll keep in touch – I’ll have to write them to keep up on my French now that I’ve left France!

Eva, Me, and Sarah

Both evenings of the play went really well! We had minimal mistakes (a couple forgotten lines, word fumbles), but nothing we couldn’t manage. The audience really seemed to like it, and we had tons of fun being on stage and having all our hard work and hours of practice pay off!

Friday night, the second night of the play, was my final night in Cannes. I had to pack up everything and finished packing after the play – and began my all-nighter before my long journey home. My flight was at 6:40 in the morning on Saturday, from Nice, and I could only take public transport to get there so my only option was to take a 2:30am bus…which meant an all-nighter for me. Hung out with everybody until it was time to go – said goodbyes that still don’t feel like they actually happened – and was on my way to Nice.

My flights were fine, from Nice to Amsterdam and then onward to Minneapolis…where there was an ongoing blizzard! Of course there had to be a blizzard the same day I was coming home after 3.5 months abroad. We were in holding for a while, waiting to see if MSP would be able to clear off the runway for us to land, but we had to reroute to Detroit. Well, at least I was in the states…just not the right one. I had to wait in the longest line I’ve ever seen for about 4 hours to be rebooked…and spent about a half hour at the desk once I actually reached it. I was one of the lucky ones – fortunately, my final destination wasn’t Minneapolis so I knew I had a small chance of still getting home that night. Luckily, they had a direct flight to Duluth leaving at 7:30 – and I got a seat!! I made it home at about 8:40pm – and was welcomed by below zero weather. Oh yea, I’m home.

The past couple days at home have been great – still adjusting to the time difference and a new schedule. Only a little reverse culture shock so far – mostly that there is so much SPACE here! You can see the whole sky, the buildings are so low to the ground, sweatpants exist, people wear tennis shoes and snow boots, and the cars are huge! I helped put up the Christmas decorations and have been enjoying mom’s food! I still have to unpack…and I can’t believe that 13 days from today…I’ll be in India! Too weird. For now, I’m just going to enjoy being at home.

Tout homme a deux pays - la France et le sien. VIVE LA FRANCE!

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I can’t believe it’s already here. The Big Day.

Tomorrow.

The last few days have been busy – trying not to forget something important, saying goodbyes, and packing like a maniac! So far I’ve managed to stuff everything into my 55L backpack and carry on – but it’s still a tight squeeze. Have I always had this much stuff??

It’s still not real yet. And reality probably won’t sink in until I land in France, settle in, and slowly realize “oh yea, I’ll be here for 4 months…” I’ve been preparing for study abroad for so long that it’s a bizarre feeling to finish preparing, and just be ready to leave….

J’ai hâte, mais aussi, je suis un peu nerveuse. Je serai en FRANCE – et je dois parler en français. Je ne suis pas prête pour parler en français tous le temps…mais je n’ai pas de choix ! Et pour cette raison, je suis confiante que j’apprendrai rapidement. Mais alors, je suis prête pour mon voyage ! Ce sera une grande aventure de ma vie…

Click here to check out my first story for The Lost Girls! :)

Am I nervous?

A little.

Excited?

Incredibly.

Ready for this crazy journey to begin?

Absolutely.

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ten days.

I am now only 10 days away from the craziest year of my life.

What am I getting myself into?

For those of you who don’t know what’s going on, here’s a brief overview:

  • I’m about to spend my junior year of college studying abroad. I’ll be in Cannes, France from August until mid-December, and I’ll be in Kolkata (Calcutta), India from December until May.
  • While in France, I’ll take classes and live at the College International de Cannes with 10 fellow CSB/SJU students. All of my classes will be in French, and I’m even going to be in a play! When I’m not in class, I’ll travel around France and the rest of Europe, drink a lot of wine, sample a wide variety of cheese, and soak up some of that Mediterranean sun. Life will be rough, I know.
  • I’ll be back home in Minnesota in the middle of December, and will be home for about 2 weeks, just long enough to be home for Christmas. Shortly after Christmas, I’ll head to India.
  • While in India, I’ll live in Kolkata with a host family and attend St. Xavier’s College with 12 other CSB/SJU students. My classes there are not necessarily linked to my majors, and I’ll learn about Indian history and culture, Indian literature, and the Bengali language and culture (Bengali is one of the main languages in Kolkata).
  • One of my classes in India will involve volunteering at Loreto Day School, where we will work with the “rainbow kids,” who are underprivileged children, typically from the nearby slums, and attend the school for free.
  • The details for India are still yet to be confirmed, as I am going on the first semester-long trip! In any case, I should be back home in Minnesota in early May 2011.
  • Throughout my travels, I will also write some stories for The Lost Girls, a travel website for women. I will post the links to those upcoming stories on this blog.

(Et aussi, pour mes amis qui peuvent lire français, j’espère avoir une petite partie de chaque blog post en français ! J’ai besoin de pratiquer et maintenir mon français durant mon voyage, et ça sera très utile, spécialement quand je serai en Inde ! J’espère que je ne fais pas beaucoup d’erreur)

I’m only 10 days away from beginning this amazing year! Stay tuned…

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