Well, seeing as I’m finally home from my European adventures, I guess I can’t really put off this final blog post anymore…
My time in Provence can be summed up in the following words (sorry, they’re in French) that will stay with me for the rest of my life:
famille d’accueil: Though at times it was difficult, I’m so glad I chose a program that required a homestay. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to interact with more French people. Plus I got to see what living in a real apartment in France is really like!
les baguettes: I’ve never eaten so much bread in my life. But really, baguettes are a staple in Provence and basically all of France… the stereotype is definitely true. I’m prepared for weird looks as I carry one around campus this year.
le vin: Do I even have to say it? Wine is basically water to the French. And I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve totally adopted their ways. I also achieved my goal of learning to like red wine and now have an official certificate proving that I’m a wine snob! I’d say it was a successful semester.
les amis (français et américains): My experience in France would not have been the same without the people with whom I shared so many memories. My American friends from my program were a great support system when life abroad got a little too foreign or when speaking French all the time seemed impossible. I’m also lucky to have made a few French friends who were kind enough to show some Americans the ins and outs of Aix nightlife.
le café: The coffee in France was a little bit of a paradox. While all of our host families drank instant coffee in the mornings at home, the streets are lined with sidewalk cafés offering some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. I also drank the best cappuccino of my life in Italy. I don’t know if anything will ever live up to that!
le fromage: I will miss my 1euro round of brie from Monoprix more than you will ever know. My lunches were never complete without a little fromage!
le soleil: I have never experienced the sun like I did in Provence. It is strong and it is almost always out. The sunburns were definitely worth it and they turned into a tan eventually anyways!
les parcs/jardins: Living in host families and not having an actual place to have your friends over or hang out, we usually resorted to parks and gardens for hanging out, picnicking, and of course drinking wine. Some of our best memories are from those parks and gardens and when we traveled to a new city, we always made it a priority to find the nearest one!
le bus: I took the bus to school everyday. Though it was often the bane of my existence, it definitely taught this little suburban girl a little more about how to take public transportation and get myself around town. It was a good stepping stone from little Granville, OH to an actual city.
les marchés: Definitely my favorite part of life in Aix. Any day of the week you could find a beautiful market filled with fresh fruits and veggies, cheeses, olives, and the friendliest people on Earth! It will take some time getting used to living without those fresh markets at my disposal all the time!
After quite possibly the best semester of college yet and a whirlwind Eurotrip through Paris, Dublin, and London with Denison friends, I’m so happy to return home to my family and friends and am ready for a relaxing and fun summer. Aix will be in my heart forever but I know that I’ll be back assez bientôt so no worries! Thanks for following along with my adventures! I’m so happy to have this blog as a souvenir of my time in France!
Gros bisous pour la dernière fois,