Before my trip I had taken three years of French. My knowledge of the language was well but definitely not perfect, so I was very nervous to meet my host family. However when we did finally meet, I had nothing to worry about. When mistakes were made we would simply laugh about it and move on. I remember one time when I was shopping with my host mom and I accidentally said I knew her mother. She was obviously very confused and a little concerned. But we laughed about it then and later on at the dinner table. I’m the youngest in my very small family and my host family had three children; Camille, Clement and Celestin. This was so exciting for me, because I always wanted to have little siblings. I adjusted quickly and every night all four of us would go in the backyard and play soccer. I have to say it was one of the highlights of my trip.
My host family was also family friends with one of my fellow student’s family. So on the weekends we often got to see each other. On the first Saturday of my stay both families got together and had a barbeque. All the kids were outside playing basketball, while the adults were talking while sipping their wine. When it came time to eat, I never would have guessed what I would be eating. We ate escargot, blood sausage, and elephant intestine. Now I know everyone says this but the intestine truly tasted like chicken. After we ate, we walked down to this huge bonfire the town was having. It was the largest fire I had ever seen and definitely would have been illegal in the United States.
Something I miss is simply walking down the old stone streets, with the morning sun warming my face, speaking a beautiful language with my friends, and watching the workers opening their little shops for the day. There are no words to explain the feeling of peace and pure happiness this gave me.
After my friends and I got our morning cup of coffee, we would walk up the old wooden staircase, laughing until we got to our classroom. Some of us were split into different rooms but most of us stayed together. And our class was certainly the best. Our teacher taught us things we would need to know in real life, like slang, sayings and some history and politics. The other classes focused on grammar and worksheets. Our teacher encouraged us, inspired us and laughed with us. It was one of the best parts of the trip.
My trip to France was incredible. I’ll miss the lifestyle the most. The only thing I wish I could change was the length of the trip. I wish I had never left. Being able to go on this trip changed my life and my view on the world. A person doesn’t need much to be happy, but you have to be able to see the beauty in the little things around you. Thank you for giving me this scholarship and helping me have this amazing experience.