April 8, 2014, by Guest blog

My curiosity for the world has been heightened even further, if that was even possible

Post written by Rosemary Ash.

As the first major part of my year abroad draws to a close I can begin to reflect on the experiences I have had and what they may leave for me even after I finish this chapter.

They can be seen as comprising of certain connections, the first unquestionably being with France. Having moved to this country and lived here now for seven months, I do feel like I can safely say that I have made connections. This comes first undoubtedly with the language. Having used it every day as pretty much a first language, I have reached a point at which I feel at ease, of being able to use and live with it, ultimately without fear of embarrassment or making mistakes, which is a great step from how I was this time last year. This is the same also with the French way of life. Living in a new country you have no choice but to fold in with customs, practices, habits. And particularly when doing so with French people, it’s been a chance to see what it’s really like to be truly français.

But also connections with other countries too, and this is thanks to the variety of friends that I’ve made here. Firstly, with other Anglophones; I have met people from Canada and the United States, and despite thinking that we knew pretty much all there was to know about our mutual language and thus ‘similar’ lifestyles, we have learned a great deal about the differences that do in fact exist, not only between our different varieties of English, but also our cultures and practices.

I have also had the opportunity to gain a great deal of exposure to a country I had never happened to visit before; Germany. Having a German flatmate, and becoming good friends with her and another German girl who also came to work in our town, I have learned a great deal about the country, culture, practices and traditions, if admittedly not the language!! I have also become friends with someone from Spain, who just so happens to be incredibly patriotic and adores imparting information about his country! And I have been lucky enough to meet people from Italy, Poland, Austria, Algeria and Madagascar too, amongst other places, and I’ve really loved getting the opportunity to learn more about countries I didn’t know much about. My curiosity about the world has been heightened even further, if that was even possible!!

The more time we’ve spent with one another, the more we’ve learned, and I think that’s something that will never cease to surprise me and give me pleasure. And I can only hope that these connections I have made will not only remain but continue to grow, allowing me to learn and experience a great many more things in the future.

Posted in Making connections