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Posts Tagged ‘Year abroad’

I have been here, in Carcassonne, for 93 days – that doesn’t sound too long to me until I put it into context in that it’s been almost half of my year abroad. Wow!

It has taken a while but at the moment I feel an incredible sense of belonging here, I no longer feel like this is a place I HAVE to be, it’s a place I WANT to be – well for this week anyway!  I still, of course, miss my family, friends and English way of life, but  I am enjoying myself here.

I’m not sure what has suddenly flicked a switch in my head to make me realise that this isn’t as bad as I initially though but I’m glad it has. Maybe it’s the fact that I know people here, I feel involed, for instance, I was in the pub last night with people from my foyer and saw the secretary from one of my schools who in turn saw me and there was a nice conversation before she wished me a “bonne soirée” and “à demain!” It felt like seeing a friend in a bar back at home… but, of course, it was in French. It’s the same with the people here in the foyer, we’re all becoming more familiar with each other and it’s easier to just drop round at the room of someone for a chat. Homely! 🙂

Tomorrow morning, 9:45am, I have an inspection from my responsable – she’s coming to see how I’m getting on, observe me teaching and give me any tips she thinks I need. J’ai peur. I’m scared. I know that I in theory I have nothing to worry about but the worry comes with the fact she’s observing me in my CM2 class – the oldest. The very CM2 class that asked me to explain the difference between “a bitch” and “a beach” the other day. What a cauchemar! O well, bonne chance à moi!

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Commencement.

Pont Vieux

Pont Vieux

So I’ve been toying with the idea of making a blog documenting this year, my year abroad in Carcassonne, France and have finally set my mind on doing it so here we are! I figured a blog would be a way to show friends and family all about my year whilst I’m here and also provide a way for me to be able to look back either in nostalgia or to help me with reflective assignments for uni this year.

So far I’ve been here in Carcassonne for 11 days and there have been so many ups and downs in those 11 days that it feels like I have been here for an eternity. My first 3 or 4 days were so rocky that I was constantly checking the ryanair website for cheap flights home asap. I cried down the phone to my family at every given opportunity, even managing to find my responsable’s office wasn’t enough for me and I convinced myself there’s no way on God’s earth that I can do this… & then on the 5th day God created that amazing feeling of achievement.

After a pep talk down the phone from my mum I was convinced that I should give up my, so far seemingly, hermit lifestyle in France and get out and do something so I set myself a task of opening a bank account. After reassuring texts from my best friend that it is in fact not as ‘difficile’ to open a French bank account as I was expecting I headed out to find a bank and stumbled across Crédit Mutuel and thought “hey ho let’s do this!” I sauntered through the door and asked the lady at the front desk “Puis-j’ouvrir une compte bancaire s’il vous plait?” and she told me I needed an appointment but seeing as it was early and I had all the documents I needed she’d see what she could do, and within seconds I was being directed to the office of her co-worker up the stairs. As quick as a, bilingually mishmashed, flash I had an account! Acheivement! I pretty much skipped out of the bank and headed back to my logements to inform the parents of my amazing experience and ability to communicate with a fully functioning, pretty important French area of life! That was the turning point.

After this turning point I felt the only thing I was lacking was a friend so I headed off to the British shop up the rue from my accommodation and asked the girl behind the counter if she knew where I could meet people. We formed a bond as we realised that we go to/went to the same university and clubs. Et voilà a friend since then we’ve been on many nights out and have become pretty loved in the local Irish bar, resulting in free shots! So it’s like a night out in Hull but with nicer surroundings and different culture/language. Already I’m feeling at home. My friend count is mounting by the day, I now have 4 real life friends and feel like I’m getting somewhere with my life here.

Today I had a small moment where I had an odd feeling which was explained to me, by a friend, as “You’re in a different country with a different language; you want to be there, but you haven’t started doing what you’re there to do. You’re basically in a weird holding pattern where you’ve accomplished part of what you want but haven’t really done it yet. At the End of the Beginning, but barely at the Beginning of the Middle. That’s a confusing and odd place to be. Makes sense you’d feel that way.” Makes perfect sense, so I guess all I need to make this place feel amazing is for me to fulfill what I’m out here to fulfill!

À bientôt.

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