Studying abroad is a rather big picture concept. First off, it usually happens after crossing a big ocean. It takes up several months, sometimes a year, to prepare itself. It’s something that everyone says will change your life forever. It’s big. That’s not really in question.
So what isn’t big about study abroad? The little things (you’re probably thinking “obviously, Sam”). Leaving everyone and everything that you know behind is a huge deal and a concept that is often hard to grasp and that is often hard to deal with, so the little things often get lost in the shuffle.
However, amongst all of these overwhelming ideas, concepts, distances, and lengths of time, I have found that the little things are what make me feel like I am at home, while over 4,000 miles away. Entering a café and ordering a coffee without confusion on either end of the conversation is one of the easiest (and most typical…Third Street Stuff, anyone?) things that I can do in America, but that isn’t the case here.
I’m in France to learn a language, a culture, a continent, and so much more. The little things, though, like ordering a drink without confusion, taking the right tram, or finding the bookstore I am looking for, are the little instances that’s truly integrating me into this crazy new place and making it a new home for me. Sometimes we have to take a step back and acknowledge our place in the big picture, while appreciating the small, unassuming, but often numerous victories that we have every day.
Now that I am into my fourth full week in Caen, it’s feeling like home. I’ve settled into my classes, made friends from all over the world (i.e. Sweden, Mexico, Morocco, France (of course), Armenia, and more). I’ve already eaten more than my fair share of cheese, and also getting to learn all about the daily habits of a typical French family.
Since my last blog I’ve seen and learned a lot more about Caen. I also took a weekend trip to Rennes with some friends. Below are some pictures from my trip, that I believe you all will enjoy.
If you want to see pictures from my trip, follow me on Instagram (@scranky) or check out my pictures below!
Here is half of my Aparta’thon group attempting to take a selfie!
We visited Parc du Thabor, one of the largest and most loved parks in Rennes, on a rare warm and sunny day.
Hannah J. ’16 and I went to Rennes with a friend and enjoyed the street art