Well…sort of. Kind of. By which I mean, this post will be summary of the first few days of classes here in Tours. I think I mentioned this, but we have 2 weeks of light coursework before we get to Paris. Basically it’s the program’s safety net, insuring that we won’t flunk out of the Parisian universities, and it’s designed to build our French back up after the long summer (during which most of us didn’t speak/read/write/study French). We all have 2 classes: Oral Communication and French Language (focuses more on reading ability and grammar). Classes begin (for me) at 8:45 and end at 11:45 (next week I’ll have class from 9:45-12:45) and there are scheduled events in the afternoon – wine tasting, cooking classes, and methodology courses – that we can sign up for. Thus far, I haven’t experienced any of the afternoon events (check back next week), but my classes have been fine. I have lovely professors and don’t have an overwhelming workload.
So, I’ve been spending my afternoons as I like – predominantly wandering around the city, window shopping, and hanging out with fellow program participants. Also I inevitably make my way to Place Pluméreau, settle at a café and people watch/journal/read. One of my favorite things ever.
Another thing I love about classes? The excuse to use the fabulous new satchel that my mom gave me for my birthday:
I love this bag. It’s perfect for school, work, travel, you name it. It is a Cambridge Satchel Company satchel and it is perfect. Big enough for my computer or any books I need. And it is so pretty! I’m totally in love with my red one, but there are tons of other bright fun colors (green, yellow, purple, etc.) as well as the basics (black, navy, brown). I have gotten loads of compliments on it, and it makes every day happier. Here are some of the things currently in my satchel:
- a polka-dot umbrella (in case of rain)
- a sweater (in case of chill)
- a French novel (in case of boredom)
- wipes (in case of messes)
In other news, I bought a phone!!! This is really exciting since all my friends have bought them and I’ve felt a bit like I’m living in a black hole. It is even more thrilling, however, because I found a great cell phone plan (exchange students to France PAY ATTENTION) through my dear friend. It’s run through Bouygues Telecom, and is called the B&You plan, and as far as I can tell, it’s the cheapest cell phone plan you’ll find in France. Thus, I have successfully navigated numerous technological terms/websites to find the best deal! Yay! (If you have any questions, I highly recommend going to the Bouygues Telecom boutique and asking them. They were super helpful when I went.) Here’s my new phone, isn’t it cute?
I love everything about it…well, almost. The only downside is that instead of a QWERTY keyboard, it has an AZERTY keyboard (the French keyboard). Why the french decided they needed quicker access to the Q than the A, I’ll never know, but this is going to take some getting used to. I’m forever erasing words due to misspellings. But I got it by myself, it works well, and once I adjust I think it’s going to be great!
Hope you are all having a wonderful end of your weeks! Stay tuned! More to come on school, books, food, etc! But in the meantime, bonne nuit!