My Experience Studying Abroad
This summer, I studied language, culture and history in Lyon, France through NC State. We spent the first 10 days of the program traveling through three different regions in France. We started off in Lyon for a few days to get the feel of the area and do some sightseeing. We then went to Tours for two days and saw a lot of castles and old cathedrals. The last stop was Paris, where we saw all of the top things to do in Paris, along with getting to do some of our own personal sightseeing in our downtime.
Once we returned to Lyon to begin our studies at CIEF, the Centre of International French Studies. We took a placement test so we could be placed into three
classes appropriate for our language level. One class was a language and linguistics class and the other two classes were project classes. We had classes from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day, with an hour between 12:00 and 1:00 to eat lunch. Even though we spent a long time in classes, it went by quickly.
We were given the option to live in a dorm or with a host family and I chose to live with a host family. This helped me improve my French listening skills a lot, along with my speaking skills. My host family was very kind and excellent cooks. I was able to learn a lot about French food and culture from them.
I made a lot of new lifelong friends from study abroad, we still talk every day and are very close. Aside from making friends, there are also opportunities after studying abroad, like the PackAbroad Ambassadors program, which is a group of students that encourages others to study abroad by writing blogs, sharing their experiences, and giving presentations.
I also feel that I grew a lot personally from my experience. I noticed that after returning from the trip, I was more open to doing new things by myself, and also more responsible and mature as a whole. I felt like I had become a lot more independent. Another personal benefit would be that I was able to learn about cultural differences between France and America and become more understanding of these ideas. I was also able to add studying abroad to my resume, which will be a great resume booster.
Overall, the study abroad program was fantastic and it is something that I would highly recommend to any student, especially if they are pursuing a major or minor in a language.
Kaitlin Davis, Parent Ally