Time Really Does Fly ByNantes, Spring 2011
Now that I’ve been back in Missouri for a week, I’ve had some time to reflect. Coming and being home was…weird. That’s the only word I can think of to describe it: weird. Everything felt surreal: hearing people speak English at the airport, not hearing French every hour of every day, seeing actual front lawns, driving my car, not drinking out of a tiny glass, noticing Americans using their forks as knives. The details I noticed (that I hadn’t before) were endless.
It’s hard being home. I didn’t realize how much I had adapted to the French way of life. I’m just now getting used to Missouri being my home again. It still feels like any day I’ll wake up in my bed in France. For the first few days, I kept referring to Nantes as home. I kept thinking of the time over there, what I would normally be doing, and my sleeping patterns were off.
When friends ask me how my semester was, I struggle to find a simple sentence or word to explain it. All I can say is, “It was incredible.” “Great” doesn’t even begin to cover it. The directrice at IES told us that our semester had changed all of us in some way. For me, the semester was such a life-changing experience that I can’t just describe it in a conversation. My memories and stories have to come out in small bits.
Studying abroad was possibly the best adventure of my life. It opened me up to a different world and culture. I traveled some parts of France, spent a week in Morocco, became proficient in a second language, formed close relationships, and learned so much that I can’t even explain. I feel like I’ve grown spiritually and mentally. Because of my semester, I want to pursue something that would lead me back to France. As the directrice told us, a piece of my heart, however small, will always rest in France.
A few of these pictures were taken as I was leaving France/arrived home. The rest are my favorites from the semester.
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