Passport? Check. Visa? Check. Acceptance? Check. Proof of birth of mother’s first pet? Check. Traveling is not as simple, or relaxing as people think. And more so, when its a place you’ve never been to that speaks a language that isn’t yours.
It’s 8 am and its dark outside. After 7h inside a Boeing crossing the Atlantic, I finally find myself in French soil. CDG is a giant maze. Est-ce que l’escalier mécanique fonctionne? Non? Great. Where do I pick up my luggage? And where is the metro?
I finally get to Reid Hall, home of Hamilton in France, around 10 am. Around 35 students, all looking as tired as me, are sitting down. Parlez en français entre vous, c’est le seul manière de améliorer. And even though I know it is true, the idea of only speaking French is scary. How will I make meaningful friends? Or express my knowledge about a subject, when I am limited by a rather modest lexicon?
Around 6pm, I get to go back home and meet my host family. Hamilton did a good job matching me, and I think I have a lot to talk to with my host mom. And the neighborhood, the 10th arrondissement also has a lot to offer.
It’s only been a couple days since I have arrived, but enough time to get excited about what the semester will look like. Cheers to that!