Whew….I have so much to blog about. Just returned home from Ireland and Brussels today and am heading off again to Toulouse and Carcassone tomorrow. I don’t know how much writing I’ll do before I pass out, but I suppose I should start with my blog prompt.
#5 Cross-Cultural Learning & Integration
Perhaps by this point in your education abroad experience you are
beginning to recognize that studying abroad provides a different
experience than merely traveling abroad as a tourist. The reality is that
sometimes leaving and studying in a foreign country is not easy!
Take a few minutes and make a list of different things you’ve had to learn
or adapt to that the average tourist wouldn’t need to deal with. Some
examples might include understanding how to set up a bank account or how
to pay one’s rent or electric bill, recognizing how much work professors
expect, and so on. In your blog describe something that has been
especially challenging to adapt to in your new culture (the lack of fresh
vegetables, the relative inaccessibility of the professors, or the
extremely crowded subway that you have to use to commute, etc. about how
this learning has impacted your personal growth by giving examples of
things you’ve had to learn.
1) Buying and using my bus pass – I had to do this the first week in Pau. Shelled out 55 euros for a 3 month pass to the crappy bus system in Pau. I think the usage of the bus system may have made me more homesick than anything else. All the little issues such as running to catch my buses, stressing about the time, waiting in the cold and rain for late buses, dealing with strikes, hobos and not being able to stay out after 7:30 on my own have made me miss my car and parents very much. I cannot wait to go home and drive to where I want to be when I need to be there. Unlike Pullman, Pau is not a 20 minute walk everywhere, so this semester has been rough, much rougher than Freshman year without a car. It isn’t nearly as cold, but my chances of seriously being stranded somewhere without a phone make it a bit more of a serious problem for me. I can’t wait to drive my Jeep across the state when I get back…
2) Professors – My profs were strange. Each one very different, but overall not awful. I really disliked one of them, but the other 2 were pretty nice. They all were very different from the US profs, mainly because they don’t seem to have a sense of what is appropriate in the class room. This contributed to my education here, because I feel that my profs taught me a lot about French culture without even meaning to. Does the term “Politically Correct?” even have a translation in France?
3) French and American cultural differences in privacy
4) The Service Industry – I know I’ve blogged about how much I hate that here.
hmm….think that sums it up – Happy April!