Vive la france!

While you probably know all about InterStudies programmes in the UK and Ireland – did you know that we also offer programmes in other countries? Ingrid sent us this report from her first few weeks living in France! 

Hi! My name is Ingrid, I’m 15 turning 16 in one month, and I am currently on an exchange year living in France. I live in Precy sur Oise near Paris with my host family, who is super kind, and I’ve currently been in France for one month now. I am very thankful for my host family, and how they’ve welcomed me into their lives.

My host family has shown me different cities and their cultures, they’ve taught me how to cook some french specialties, helped me get better at french and much more. They’ve been a big help to me which I’m so thankful for.

A week after I arrived my host family made me go to a “boulangerie” after school to buy a baguette. After I bought it by speaking French I was very proud of myself. It's stuff like this that makes me happy that I've moved to France.

I go to a French school in the area which is very different from the schools at home. For example, at the start of the class we have to stand up until the teacher says that we can sit down. In the first couple of weeks I forgot to do this so many times, but the teachers are very understanding that I’m an exchange student so of course they don’t get mad.
Some other things I noticed about the school is that they have different grading systems, they have a huge cantine, and in the lessons we write everything by hand. This was especially a bit hard for me to get used to, because in my school at home we do all our assignments on our computers.

It has actually been easy to make friends in school. They’ve all been very sweet and interested in the different cultures from where I come from. Therefore they’ve also helped me translate what the teachers are saying in class, and helped me understand how the French school system works. I don’t have to worry about grades in school because that won’t matter to me since I’m going back home, and that has made my school day in France much easier.

In school there is a class called arts plastiques, which is an art class. I love museums, paintings and art. Because art is international we don’t have to speak the same language to understand the work of art, therefore arts plastique is by far my favorite class in school.
After school I also do ballet in a French ballet studio. This I am super happy for. I love that even though I’m in another country right now, I still have the options to do the things I love most like ballet and art.

It has definitely been exhausting and difficult the first couple of weeks, but I've been so busy with all of the new expressions so I actually haven't had time to miss my normal everyday life at home.

The cultures here are completely different from what I’m used to, but it is exciting to have a change in life and try something different from what I’m used to. Of course moving to another country is completely out of my comfort zone, but I know that this experience is something that I will cherish and appreciate for the rest of my life.

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