Danielle Limon is a freshman studying journalism. She is traveling and studying in Avignon, France during Spring Quarter. Interested in her journeys? Follow them and and follow her Twitter, @daniellelimon.
So, after 3 months of preparation, 4 days of packing, an 8-hour plane ride, a 3-hour train ride and a 5-block walk to a hotel, I finally arrived in Avignon, France.
It’s gone a lot better than expected, in some aspects. I actually understand what most people are saying to me, which was extremely unexpected, and I like my host mom and the transition to living with her and two other girls from our group is going pretty well.
But there’s a lot that goes into being dropped in the middle of a foreign country and there are certain things I wish I would have known/listened to/thought of:
- I should have listened and actually brought more DVDs
- The “suggestion” that bringing your dictionary is a good idea actually a requirement
- Packing nail polish would’ve been a good idea after all
- I should have brought a book in Spanish.
But overall, I would say that yes, I was prepared for this trip. That’s not to say that it’s been easy, no, not by any means. For the first week I was, and still kind of am, exhausted. Not only am I walking more every day, I’m spending most of my energy trying to constantly speak and think in French.
So overall, I guess you could say that so far, it’s been worth the struggle. If you’re thinking of studying abroad, here are the real questions to ask yourself.
- Am I okay with traveling for hours?
- Am I really ready to leave my friends and family for that long?
- Do I know what I really have to gain from this experience? (This one was my deal breaker – I could gain everything)
- Will it make me happy?