Wednesday, January 13, 2010

La vie en France

These past few days have been exciting and frustrating. We've been trying to get our classes figured out because so far we've been in France a week and we're not even registered for the university here. Our contact in Tours has not been in contact with us since about a week before we left the USA, but luckily I got some names before that and so far, besides Aaron, I'm the only one with my classes almost set up. The class here is very different from that in the US. All the courses start on different days and every international student gets a whole week to decided if they which course they like. So I could take 7 courses this week and decide on one at the end that I like the best, and continue with that one. So I'm trying 2. French>English/English>French translation with other Université de Tours students, or translation English>French with other international students. I think I'd like to try a class in the "main stream" non English speaking crowd for a while but I'll have to try out the courses. Then I'm also taking a Spanish>French translation course which I have a meeting about tomorrow with the professor. So I'm pretty much set up, and not too worried. Everyone else is a little on edge though, becuase they're not set up and classes start next week!

I started choir today. I didn't have to try out afterall, I think they really like having international students be a part of their choir. We're singing Verdi's Requiem - an hour and a half song. I really love it so far. It's not only students however, but I met some really nice girls from England (Wales and Liverpool) that I'm going to meet for coffee on Monday night at a café that you can speak any language at. People go that to speak different languages...just my kinda place!

So some interesting/random things I've noticed about French life that are different from the states are:
Fire hydrants- they look like something out of a space movie here!
Cars- they are sooo small here. And every street is a one way. Every single one.
Shopping- Everything is really expensive. How do people live here?
Children- Parents are so strict to their children here. We would think it was rude to treat children that way but here it is normal.
School- No homework. Only one big test that determines whether or not your were taking notes in the class the whole semester.
School- No one knows when or where classes are or begin. The prof decides most of the time, not the university.
Strangers- People don't smile at strangers. You are considered weird if you do.

Just some things I noticed so far! À bientôt!


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