Okay so at this point I’ve officially had time to adjust to living abroad. A few things I’ve learned while in Tours, France…
- French students talk during class.
- Tax and tip are included in the price.
- Not everyone speaks English here.
- Big breakfast meals and brunch aren’t common in France.
- The French consume a lot of bread. A lot.
Most of my classes aren’t anything like classes at USC. The schedule isn’t consistent throughout the entire semester and there a lot of breaks. However, when I do have class it tends to last all day, very much like high school. Homework can vary by class and final projects or tests are completely up to the professor. The French grade out of 20, but unless it’s a multiple-choice assignment no one ever gets a 20/20. Overall, I would say college is done very differently in France (at least in Tours), and school definitely has its pluses and minuses. Did I mention French students go to college for free? Definitely a system America could consider evaluating.
Outside of class, I’ve had the chance to bond with some friends, eat some good food, and see some breathtaking sights. The first destination I traveled to was Paris. Luckily, I was able to bond with some good people in my exchange program, and we planned a little weekend trip together. If you’re looking to save money and didn’t plan enough in advance for an Air BnB, staying in a hostel is a good idea. We stayed at Generator Hostel, where we got to mingle and meet other traveling people our age. Highly recommend if you're traveling with a group, just remember to bring your own towel. Of course we made all the stops while in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe on Champs-Élysées, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and plenty of shops and restaurants. Paris reminded me a lot of New York (minus the English-speaking people), in that there are a million different quality places to eat throughout the city. After Paris, I feel like I’ve gained a good sense of France and am ready to venture outside to other countries. Check back in to see where I go next.