April 25, 2014, by Guest blog
I can now say that I have friends from all over the world
Post by Matthew Watts
So, my time in France is nearly over! These last seven months have really flown by and I can’t believe I only have six months left before I’ll be back in Nottingham to do my final year of university. I have enjoyed the assistantship and have enjoyed teaching English, even though it has been challenging at times (especially when I explain every week that the question ‘What did you do at the weekend?’ must be answered with the past tense and not the present!).
One of the best aspects of the year abroad for me has definitely been making connections and meeting new people. It started way back in Valencia when I met people there whilst studying in a language school (people I still talk with) and then in Madrid when I made some really great friends over my summer there and we’re hoping to have a “reunion” some point soon. It of course carried on here in France; I’ve made friends with my colleagues whilst working here and will remain in touch with them in the future. I can now say that I have friends from all over the world, from France, Spain, Venezuela, China and the rest! And I’ve also become really close with the Spanish assistant whom I live with here in France and hope that we stay good friends. This is really one of the highlights – meeting all these people and learning about them and their cultures and countries, it really makes you much more aware of the world.
Speaking different languages is obviously what enables me to make these connections and I do feel that my French has improved a lot during my time here, as has my confidence in speaking it. It has been difficult at times, given that everyone will take any opportunity to practice their English! My spoken French has definitely improved the most whilst here and I’ve finally gotten used to the little oddities of spoken French, such as saying ‘quoi’ at the end of sentences as a filler word, the meaning of which changes depending on the context!
I leave France next week and am hoping to go home for a week and then back to Spain before heading to Brazil for the summer. Hopefully all goes to plan!
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