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Alex Learns About Living with a Host Family in France

To prepare for my trip, I focused on experiencing modern French entertainment and pop culture for the past months. These are my favorite discoveries:

Music:  La Femme

Macintosh HD:Users:alexwagner:Desktop:la-femme-deux.jpgLa Femme [The Girl] is by far my favorite modern French band. Their alternative/indie music is so fun and catchy. My favorite songs are La Femme Ressort and Où Va Le Monde.

TV Show: Les Revenants

Macintosh HD:Users:alexwagner:Desktop:lesrevenants.jpgLes Revenants [The Returned] is a show I found on Netflix. The plot surrounds dead loved ones who come back to life in a small, rural French town. The show is a little disturbing, but also so addicting and well made. I can't wait until Season 2 is added to Netflix!

Book: Le Petit Prince

Macintosh HD:Users:alexwagner:Desktop:51364NhwLoL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgLe Petit Prince [The Little Prince] is a very popular children's book in France. It is about a tiny alien prince who jumps from the world, discovering new ways of life and making new friends. Although it is a children's book, it has so much depth that it is hard to forget this book after you finally put it down.

Interview

Rachel
I also conducted an interview with my friend Rachel. Although she lives in Germany, Rachel speaks fluent French, did host family programs in France, and will be attending the French University, Science Po, next year. I asked her questions about her experiences in France and what I should be expecting.
Me: What is your favorite part(s) of French culture?
Rachel: Although I attended classes in the mornings and afternoons, my host family always made it a point to have at least one meal together as a family. This was really great because it gave me the opportunity to learn more colloquial French.
Me: What about your least favorite part(s)?
Rachel: By the time I felt completely comfortable in my new environment and family, it was almost the end of my stay. It would have been nice to have another few weeks.
Me: What do you think is the main difference between American and French culture?
Rachel: Transportation! For Europeans in general, but specifically in a city like Paris, using public transportation as well as walking is much more common than in the U.S.
Me: Where are your favorite places to go in Paris?
Rachel: My go-to spot in Paris is sitting on the grassy patch at the base of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, with some good food and friends. Whether it is really early in the morning or late at night, and despite the crowds, the view is always gorgeous.
Me: What is your main advice for anyone doing a host program in France/new to living in France?
Rachel: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!!! It took me 2 host-stays to get this one down. Even if you are shy, make the effort to speak as much as possible with everyone you meet.
Overall, I am super excited for the ANDEO program I am doing. I am a bit nervous about having to speak French the whole trip, especially in the beginning when my French is not even close to fluent. I am worried about simply forming sentences when I struggle with even finding the right verb conjugation during French class. I think the parts of my immersion that I am looking forward to the most are meeting and connecting with my host family, becoming more familiar with current events in France, and of course, eating tons of food! I can't wait for June 25, when I step off of the plane and start my adventure in a completely new country.

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