I’m not dreaming in French yet…
Well honestly, I never know how much in depth to go into with these blog posts. I haven’t blogged for over a week (sorry about that) but I hope you assumed it’s because I’m having a good time! It turns out that I am enrolled in a combination of first year, second year and Master’s level classes. Context: in France there is only three years at the university. Every two credits here counts for only one credit at home, therefore I am enrolled in 10 courses (6 in French and 4 in English) and it’s kind of insane. I go to each class once a week. The first year courses are in a big lecture hall with approximately 500 seats, though they’re not all full. Part of the teaching style in these courses is the professor dictating sentence after sentence for the students to write down. There are some important things on the PowerPoint but I guess this is part of the way to motivate students to go to class?! I don’t really know. There’s a lot that I still don’t know.
But fear not, folks, one thing I do know is that I’m making friends. I have met some great people in my dorm as well as in my classes. I’m still far more timid than my normal self because my French is quite sub-par but I can also sense my improvement. I also have a few different friends whose English is better or equal to their French so from time to time we speak in English. I have only met one other American besides the three Americans who are studying here through the same exchange program. I don’t mind that at all because at least I have a few people to relate with on that level but I’m still getting to know French people and other international students. On a similar note, it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that I’ve met a bazillion and one Italians here. Nice is very close to the border of Italy and I guess this is a popular place for them to come study!
Since arriving I have been looked after by some wonderful Americans, Ann and Al. I met them because Ann has endowed a scholarship in honor of her parents (Hamline alumni) for Hamline business students studying abroad. They are vacationing in Nice for 5 weeks, and this is the 7th year in a row that they have spent an extended vacation here. The list of what they have done for me goes on and on and on, including: washing and ironing my laundry, lending me money when my ATM card wouldn’t work, taking me out to eat, showing me the best stores and introducing me to their friends. I’ve included pictures below with both of them. I also included a picture of my 20€ sandals that I’m am extremely proud of.