Lauren Schneider rss Nantes, Spring 2009

Lauren is a junior at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington with a passion for learning languages. She is a double French and Spanish major, but has also dabbled in Arabic and desperately wants to learn Korean, Portuguese, and Italian (because hey, why stop with just three?). After spending the fall semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she is very excited about spending the next four months in Nantes to get up to speed in French… although a little worried that it's going to be hard to make the transition from one language to the other after five months of speaking Spanish!

Lauren's Posts

  • Study Abroad- One Year Later

    To those of you about to embark on your semester abroad, good luck on all your adventures, and enjoy every minute of it, because as Ferris Bueller once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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  • Chez moi encore…

    I was so sad to say goodbye to my host family. They stood on the platform and waved to me as my train pulled away, and I nearly cried because at that moment, it all hit me: the semester was over, my life in France was going to be gone, and I might never get to come back and see all the people who meant so much to me over these last few months. And I didn’t want it to end.

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  • De retour

    This is it – my last day in Nantes. I can’t remember if this is how I felt on my last day in Buenos Aires. All I know is that I feel deeply saddened by the prospect of leaving. It’s more than just the feeling that I will miss Nantes, and I suppose it’s more [...]

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  • Last Tango in Paris

    Ok, so really the title of this blog doesn’t make very much sense as a complete phrase, since I’m not yet in Paris, and when I get there, I don’t think I’ll be dancing the tango. But I really liked it because it’s the name of a song that the Gotan Project plays, and plus [...]

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  • Three Days in Paris Just Isn’t Enough…

    As soon as I got to Paris, I knew that three days would not be even close to enough to get a true taste of life in the heart of the cultural capital of the Western world. And by the time I left, I knew that no matter how much time I spent in Paris, [...]

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  • Eurotrip 2009: A Pretty Crazy Ride

    So even though I got back to Nantes about a week and a half ago, I returned not to the calm tranquility of early spring days with time to wander in the park in the gorgeous sunshine… but to the grim prospect of three major papers due within a week of each other. So although [...]

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  • Eurotrip 2009: Phase 1 complete

    It’s the 8th (or 9th, maybe… I’ve kinda lost track) night of traveling, and we’ve decided to have kind of a quiet night tonight in Prague to do laundry/recuperate before getting up early tomorrow to get to Vienna, Austria. And since this hostel happens to have internet access, I thought I’d go ahead and write [...]

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  • Eurotrip 2009

    It’s Thursday night, and I just finished packing my suitcase. The plans are set, the tickets are all in order, and now all I have to do is calm myself down enough to sleep. Before I travel, I always feel like I’m going to forget something/mess something up, but this time, I feel even more [...]

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  • If You Give the French a Pancake…

    So awhile ago, at a crepe-making party, some of my French friends asked me what I normally eat for breakfast. Apparently, (and this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this misconception abroad—the Argentines asked me this, too), many people from other countries are under the impression that every morning, all Americans wake up and eat [...]


  • Buenos Aires Meets Nantes: I ♥ Tango

    It’s now been just over nine weeks of living my new life in Nantes, and I love the fact that it’s starting to resemble an actual life- plus, I love pretty much every component of it. I’ve settled into a nice routine as far as classes go (well, except that I would like to actually [...]

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  • Greyfriar’s Bobby, Half-Hanged Maggie, and the Stone of Skune: Part 2 of February break in Edinburgh, Scotland

    Scotland was my favorite of all the places I’ve visited so far this semester. For some reason, I find the idea of the untamed, sparcely populated, wind-battered Scottish highlands incredibly romantic, and although I’m sure Edinburgh is hardly comparable to the more savage north, I still got the feeling that its medieval history was quite [...]

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  • Traveling with flowers: Part 1 of February break in the United Kingdom

    So last week (from the 13th through the 21st) was our week-long February break, pretty much the first time we could do what many of us came here to do in the first place—explore Europe on our own! Personally, I’ve only been to Europe once before this semester, which was a 10 day vacation in [...]

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  • Faire du velo: my new favorite thing

    So this Sunday, which is the day I usually spend the most time with my host family because everybody’s at home and Roselyn always prepares a big Sunday lunch, I did three new things I’d never done before in my life: I fed the swans that live on the river Erdres (which runs literally right [...]

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  • The France of yesterday: my host grand-mother

    A few days ago marked the one month mark for being here, and life is starting to settle into a little bit of a routine, especially in terms of the family life. I haven’t written much yet about my host family, which is strange since, in my opinion, it’s an indispensable part of studying abroad. [...]

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  • La vie d’etudiante [on strike]

    The university classes are—well—interesting…so far, not so much in the content of the class itself (although they’re pretty good), but rather through seeing the distinction between the American and French university systems. First of all, and I believe this is the primary reason for a lot of the disparities, the French public universities are practically [...]

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  • IES classes versus l’Université de Nantes

    It’s the end of the first week of classes, and I think that overall, the classes are going to be really good. This IES program is a little different from some of the others, because it’s linked to the University of Nantes, in which we can actually enroll and take classes with other French students. [...]

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  • The French So Far: Les Grands Chateaux, Mediocre Bathrooms

    Surviving the first week of study abroad is probably one of the most difficult periods. Everything is overwhelming and exhausting, from hearing/speaking a foreign language all day to figuring out essential details like how to work the heater in a hotel room. Add to that the initial fatigue of having traveled 24+ hours while recovering [...]

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  • En route

    For awhile now, I’ve been used to having to keep several different and entirely separate lives straight. My first life, the one I’ve led the longest overall, but that to which I return less and less frequently and for increasingly shorter intervals is my hometown life where I grew up- Southlake, Texas. Major components of [...]

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