Katie' Pau Life En France

Ma vie En France

Interested in Study Abroad??? October 7, 2010

Filed under: Preparing to go abroad — katiespaulife @ 2:02 am

I’ve gotten a couple e-mails from people who have found my blog and are interested in studying in France. A new site just popped up where you can search programs and places that other students have been to and reviewed:


USAC sent all of us Spring students an e-mail asking us to review Pau. The site looks pretty new, but I haven’t had much time to check it out. Hope this helps someone!


Blog Squad Prompt 5 April 1, 2010

Filed under: Preparing to go abroad,Travels in France — katiespaulife @ 3:21 pm

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!


Funny Story about french men March 18, 2010

Filed under: Preparing to go abroad,Random Story — katiespaulife @ 7:05 pm
Tags: ,

Okay, this is completely irrelevant to my travels, but this is a great example of how sleazy French boys are (Courtney be careful next Spring!).


I may have told a few of you about my friend with both an American and a French boyfriend. We’ll call her “Valerie”, just to be safe (this blog is on my Facebook).


Valerie met her French boy back at the beginning of the semester when he had a girlfriend named….”Elaine”. He broke up with this Elaine mid-January and hooked up with Val when she was fighting with her American boy. Her and the American made up eventually, but she just couldn’t let “Fabio” go. She’s been torn btw the two all semester and I’ve been rooting for Fabio, urging her to break up with her American boy or at least choose one!


Fabio was a great guy at first, took things slow and kept telling her how he would move to the US for her, blah, blah, blah…


Then last week he took another friend of mine (who is French) out to dinner. We can call her “Becca”. He confessed his love for Becca and told her he just wanted to be with her. Using lines such as, “What would you do if I kissed you in front of Val and Elaine?”, ect.


This is a true story.


Becca made their friendship boundary clear, but told Val about the dinner.

Later that weekend Val gets drunk at a party at Fabio’s house and passes out in his bed. She wakes up in the middle of the night and he is next to her. Then he gets up to use the bathroom or something and Val sees Elaine is on the other side of the bed!!


She confronted Fabio about it the next morning and he just said, “Well she was drunk, I didn’t want her to drive home…”

“Then why not the couch?”

“Bed, couch, same thing!”


Needless to say that relationship is over. I feel bad for Val, but I cannot stop laughing – had to share!


Hostels December 28, 2009

Filed under: Preparing to go abroad — katiespaulife @ 4:19 am

“You’ve been going through all the steps to go abroad and, now, suddenly, it’s time to go! As you prepare to depart are you excited? Stressed out? Or maybe a little of both?

I leave in 3 days!!!

Plane takes off from Sea-Tac at 12:45 PM and arrive in Amsterdam at 7:45 am, then I leave at 9:30 and Arrive in Paris at 10:45 am!!!

My Hostels are Des Mines the first night, Vintage the second and overnight train to Pau my third night. Des Mines is very close to the famous Jardins des Luxembourg and the Notre Dame as well as St Michel!!!!  Vintage is on the opposite end of Paris, so I will cover a lot of ground my 3 days there!

At this point I’m mainly excited to leave so I don’t have to calm my mother down any longer! She has been nagging me about safety, getting lost, getting “taken”, my phone and my luggage since the day I got home. I would be freaking out if I were in her shoes, but I cannot take much more of it…. Plus today she google earthed my home and it is very very far from the University. Supposedly we can rent bikes while there to get to school, but this looks like a 20 mile bike ride…. I just keep telling mom it will be good for my character and physically prepare me for the STP ride this summer, but beyond that I cannot console her much. A daily 20 mile bike ride will suck!


Postcards December 18, 2009

Filed under: Preparing to go abroad — katiespaulife @ 1:00 am

I got my host family name. It doesn’t say how many family members there are. I’m assuming no Monsieur, so peut-etre pas des enfants? I really hope there are kids, I’d like some company my age.

This morning I met with my phil prof, who gave me some French philosophers to read over break. He recommended Beau de Laire (sp?),  Albert Camout and Sartre. I’ve read a bit by the last two; if you want to read a novel about a really horrid person read “L’etranger” or “The Stranger” by Camout. The main character is indifferent towards everything. It was probably even more depressing than “The Bell Jar”. I’m really not well read in philosophy, but as far as French authors go Voltaire is my favorite. He is witty and very sarcastic. My prof also gave me his address so I could send him postcards. There are a few ppl I already plan on sending postcards to, but if you would like a card from me while I’m in France send me your address and I’ll add you to my list.


15 days till Paris! December 16, 2009

Filed under: Preparing to go abroad — katiespaulife @ 3:08 am

Hey Everyone!

I just made this blog for people to follow while I am abroad in France. I plan on blogging every other day…we’ll see if that happens…

I am currently at school in Pullman, WA completing my finals. With 15 days left before I leave, the anticipation is steadily building. I’m torn between being extremely excited and frightened, but I suppose I’ll just suppress all my negative feelings until the night before I leave and have a big breakdown ; )

I depart on the 30th and arrive on the 31rst I in Paris to spend New Year’s Eve with my best friend Sarah! She is in Switzerland and I miss her desperately – cannot wait to count down in Europe!

I’ll probably write a few more lame blogs before I leave, but I promise they will be more interesting once I get there…..