April 15, 2014, by Guest blog

I now feel a strong connection with France

Growing up, I moved around a lot. As I had lived in different places and had attended several different schools, I thought settling into France would be easy. I was wrong. Settling in to a new country where another language is spoken is completely different! Getting back on the plane after spending a lovely two weeks at home for the Christmas holidays was one of the hardest things ever. I felt like I had nothing to go back to and that I was leaving all of my home comforts, my friends, my family and my dog.

Things really turned around after Christmas though. My French had come on a long way since September and I felt a lot more confident when I spoke French. I slowly began to overcome my fear of looking or sounding stupid and decide to bite the bullet. I spent more time with colleagues and tried to make more effort with people I had met since September. Granted the nicer weather towards the end of my time in France helped when suggesting activities to do! I went to the cinema with my colleagues and French friends and watched French films (with no subtitles) and was very proud of myself for having understood most things. I also went on bike rides and long walks with endless hours of conversation!

It takes time to build up any relationship, be it in another language or in your mother tongue. The more you get to know someone and the more time you spend with them, the more comfortable you feel. Soon I didn’t care about feeling stupid if I made a mistake or didn’t know a word. Because of that I feel like I’ve also made a connection with myself. I’ve been studying languages for so many years and it is crazy to think that only recently have I found the confidence that I have been searching for for so long. This is due to the help I have received from my friends that I have made in France. The kindness and generosity of some of the people I had the pleasure of meeting in France truly touched me and made it very hard to leave. I certainly will try my very best to keep in touch with them for years to come. Back in January, I never would have that thought that this was the way I would be feeling now that I’ve left France! I now feel a strong connection with France and the French way of life and I am now seriously considering moving there after finishing my degree.

Posted in Making connections