I think the part that any year abroad student dreads is the first time you need to phone a French person. I know it fills me with absolute dread, back at home I can phone people here, there and everywhere, speaking to complete strangers over the phone sorting things out is simple. Here it’s a different story.
The problem with using the telephone is that you can’t rely on using any body language, hand gestures or facial movements to help you get your point across, it’s simply the power of language and that comes with the potential problem of a huge language barrier. I think I’ve found the solution though.
Before any phone call I make I write down exactly what I want to say and then write down keywords that I might expect to hear from the other side and hey presto it’s almost as if I’m reading off a script. I’ve made 2 phone calls today to teachers and secretaries of the schools I’ll be at and am still in one piece with all of the information I need. Perhaps it’s not so hard after all. It’s all in the preparation and, relating back to my first post, feeling of achievement!