Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Casey's Pre-Departure Blog

Bonjour, mes amis!!
In four and a half weeks’ time, I will be en route to beautiful Montpellier in the south of France. Not a big deal or anything. Everyone asks, “So what are your plans for the summer?” It’s one of those questions you face all the time as a college student, but only like 32% of the askers actually care about the answer. So I casually lean back in my chair and mention that I’m going to France. They start caring. At that point in the conversation I usually answer an important text or check my important nail beds... let the message sink in.
But really... I’ve never been out of the country before, and how great it is that my first international experience will be in France! I’ve studied French language since grade school, but I must say it doesn’t come in all too handy around here. Whenever I venture to drop a French phrase around here, I get an impatient “Huh?” and a “please-stop-trying-to-show-off” eyeroll. Fine. You have left me no choice but to go where my skills will be appreciated. Au revoir, suckers!
But really... To be perfectly honest, one needn’t be fluent to get by in France. Most French citizens speak English. I’ve resolved to study anyway before leaving-- it’ll be interesting to see how far my French will get me.
Sooo let’s talk about how extremely pumped I am about going! I live for new experiences, and what’s more unfamiliar to me than a month in a foreign country, taking classes in a foreign university, walking the streets of a foreign capital city? Ohh and the food! Expect a thorough analysis of French vegetarian cuisine. It might be slim pickings, since French cuisine is typically rather meaty and fishy. While I normally follow a vegan diet, research tells me I’ll probably have to accept cheese if I want to get by over there. But cheese is a big deal in France, so I’ll probably dive head-in to that and return to the states a cheese connoisseur. And oh, what to pack... I’ve been told by at least six people that the south of France is hot hot hot in July. That’s a start.
We leave New York on July 3rd and fly back in on the 31st, so we’ll have an entire month to explore and be French. I’ll miss American Independence Day on the fourth but I’ll be off celebrating French Independence Day (La Fête Nationale) on the fourteenth. Exciting much?
I’ll be taking a course in French language and one in French culture (for a total of 6 credits) at the University of Montpellier. Apart from Intensive Intermediate French last summer, my college career has been (and will likely continue to be) French-free, as I’m quite-busy-enough-thank-you with my premed curriculum. I love the French language and culture, but there’s little wiggle room in my fall and spring schedules as long as I’m fulfilling the requirements of a Biology major and premed student (when my brain shifts to full out science gear). I think if I’m going to go on with my French, I’m gonna do it the right way-- overseas, bien sûr!
Till next entry..

À tout à l’heure,

1 comment:

  1. We may be separated by an ocean but will be together in heart as you venture off into this new experience! The world is your oyster, the sky is the limit! Grasp all that you can from your journies and live them to the fullest. Enjoy and Godspeed my love.