A Travellerspoint blog

March 2018

First week in France

sunny 17 °C

My first Week In France

11/02/18 - 16/02/18

Someone once said "Live for the moments you can't put into words". I feel like that might be why so far I have failed to keep up my writing. What I have seen and done here in France in the short time I've been here has been too amazing to try and sum it all up in a few paragraphs... But I'll give it a try. Here's a day to day summary of how I coped in my first week:

Saturday:
I arrived in Marseille with 4 other girls that were also doing an exchange in the area; one of which is going to the same school as me. I had talked with three of them the day before as we were staying in the same hotel room and the fourth I had met that morning while running through the airport to catch our flight. Now, let me explain, the only reason we had to run through the airport was because the hotel messed up our wake up call. The call was supposed to come at 6am but instead it came at 7:30. We rushed and made it down to the airport transportation just before 8 but lots of other people were also late and we had to wait for them. So... we had to run to catch our flight. I was lucky and got a window seat and saw lots of the French countryside.
Upon arriving in Marseille I was greeted by my exchange partner and her family. We then drove 20 minutes to my new home. We played lots of games and after dinner they told me we are going to Paris for a week during vacation. Yay!
I feel even in this first day my French got better. Its not like in a classroom where you have the option to speak in English or there is a dictionary nearby. When you are surrounded by people speaking French you have no choice. You have to just try your best to understand and communicate.

Sunday
My first full day in France. I set an alarm for 7am because of the time difference I wanted to make sure I didn't sleep in. My French family knew that I ate cereal in the morning in Canada and they had picked up some Corn Fakes for my breakfast. So sweet. We chatted as we watched a lot of the Olympics and I got my school bag ready for the next day.

Monday
First day of school! I got up at 7am and had everything laid out from the night before so I was ready before everyone else. I also don't have to make my school lunch in France so it's a lot faster. When we got to school I met a bunch of people that I don't really remember the names of and gave lots of kisses. We then went to History class. The teacher talked very fast and I have no idea what we did. We then had French where we talked about 4 of Picasso's self portraits. We then had a recess before going to Math. Ah, the universal language of numbers... or so I thought. I still didn't understand anything! Finally it was time for the prepared lunch. We had Pasta with a zucchini pesto and pork with a bolognese sauce. After lunch we had English where I was bombarded with questions about my life. Next was Spanish which was very hard because I'm still learning French. I had to go from Spanish to French then French to English. For the last class of the day we had Physics and Chemistry. I actually understood some of it! So proud.

Tuesday
I found that most of the people in this school know who I am and I constantly find people starring at me. Math was the first class today and I understood a bit more. I think we are working on primary dividers. We then had Sport (gym). In Sport we played badminton and it turns out I'm really bad at it. After Sport we had lunch. Chilli! We went to the games room. We played Gobb It and Werewolf. We then had Science where we are learning about the evolution of humans. We watched a video almost like Bill Nye. After a short break we had Technology where we are building a robot. And in History I actually understood more than yesterday, so my French is getting better!

Wednesday
Yay it was a half day. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are 8:30-5:30 but on Wednesday and Friday 8:30-12. Also, today was Valentine's Day. Half a day and all 3 languages. First we had Spanish. We watched an episode of Tintin and I didn't understand very much. We then had French where we took up a dictée type thing that I wasn't there for. Last, but not least, English. English is actually harder for me than I thought it would be because they are learning about irregular verbs and tag questions. I don't know any of the irregular verbs cause we didn't learn it. And if anyone knows what past perfect is please help me. And tag questions are when you say a stem end and then add a question, aren't they? Some of my exchange partner's friends came over after school and we had a little party for Valentine's Day.

Thursday
First we had Spanish. We had a control (a test) on Tintin. I had the option of whether or not I wanted to do it. I tried so I am very proud of myself though I did it mostly in French. We then had French and I am even prouder because I actually answered 2 questions. (What was the early style of art that Picasso used: figurative; and what was the style he used in his later life:, abstract). We then had a short break before a free period where we worked on Science homework in the back of the class. For lunch I had tartiflette (a traditional French meal made with potatoes and onions). We had a really long break before Sport (gym). We played ping pong. Even though I have a ping pong table at home I was still not very good, but it was fun. We then stayed after school to watch the grade 7s dance spectacle.

Friday
Last day of my first week. I think I've got the kisses thing mostly down as we do it every morning. Today me and my partner took the bus to school. We only have a half day today. First we had History and I understood more than Monday. I have noticed a big improvement in my ability to comprehend. After History we had Music. My first music class and we had another test. I don't know what it was on, but I tried. Thankfully this was a written test, but I have to learn a song (Skyfall by Adele) to sing. Yes sing! I'm going to die... I played a bit of the piano which was nice because just before leaving Canada I played a lot of Piano as a way to manage stress. We then had math before going home. That evening we watched a French tv show that I really liked, Les Reines du Shopping.

I have decided to do a Songs of the Week type thing. So these are songs that I've heard a lot this week. Most of them will be in French as we mostly listen to French Music. My songs of the week for week 1 are:

Résiste - France Gall

And

Pour Les Hommes - Anthony Kavangh
The French version of You're welcome from Moana.

I am very happy to be here in France and I swear I am going to write the rest of my blog posts asap. I will post the French parts after I get caught up. I have written everyday in my journal so I just have to transfer it here and eventually translate it. Life is just a little crazy when you're going to school 9 to 5 in French.

-Ailsa

Posted by Broken_Compass 13:36 Archived in France Comments (0)

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