France, oh how I will miss thee

Alps

 

With one week left, I have so much to look back on. I have been taking classes at Stendhal University (Grenoble III) at C.U.E.F. I absolutely love everyone I have met in my classes. Everyone is from some different country whether it be Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, South Korea, China, Netherlands, U.S, or Iran. The French program is great here, since French is the only common language between the students in class, it forces everyone to use only French. Also, I came to really appreciate learning Arabic at Salve. It helped me make so many friends here in France that speak Arabic. There is a strong population of Arabic-speakers, so I am able to practice French and Arabic in Grenoble. They were all very excited and surprised that America has classes that offer Arabic language courses. Without Arabic, I would not have met some of the most amazing people that have changed my life.

Patrick Foley, our program director, is probably one of the greatest guys in the world. He has made this experience so special and unique. We have made different French dishes every Thursday, including escargot and Frog Legs. I’m loving every moment of this trip, and I wish I could stay so much longer!

Frog Legs

 

A friend from the CEA program and I went to Paris for the weekend and had a blast. We saw so much in such a short amount of time. We went to the Eiffel Tower, of course, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Pantheon, Musée d’Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, and Versailles. My favorite part of the city was the 18th district where Sacré-Cœur is located. It was truly enchanting and full of life. One tip while at Musée d’Orsay: do not take photos… I learned that the hard way…

Most people in Paris speak English, so for those who want to practice French, it is harder to find a patient Parisian with whom to practice French. I loved Paris, but I was truly glad that I chose Grenoble for my studies. I will never forget this wonderful weekend in Paris.

The Louvre!

 

This recent weekend I decided to go on a few day trips with some of my friends. On Friday, I headed to Geneva, Switzerland for the day since it is so close to Grenoble. I fulfilled my lifelong dream of seeing the U.N. and Lake Geneva. The city was charming and super interesting since there is such a mixture of languages. Most citizens are fluent in at least three languages, which I absolutely adore. It was really neat to see the sites from the Calvinist movement as well as the collection of watches and chocolates. I am already planning my trip back to Geneva!

The U.N. Geneva

United Nations

 

Geneva, Switzerland

Lake Geneva

 

Geneva

The junction of the Arve and the Rhone Rivers-they don’t mix!

Annecy, France

 

On Saturday we decided to go to Annecy, France. This city is definitely one of the best honeymoon locations. There aren’t many tourist attractions, but the city’s architectural beauty and romantic feel attracts people from all over the world. The water from the Lake is the clearest water I have ever seen. It glows a bluish-turquoise color while the Alps sit in the background. While at Annecy, we had their famous Fondue (beyond delicious) and visited some of the chateaus. Afterwards, we went kayaking and swimming in the lake. This day is by far one of my favorites due to the breath-taking views, an impossible image to forget. Annecy is also known for having some of the best hiking locations. I would love to go back someday!

 

The Magical City of Annecy

 

This trip has been beyond amazing. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to come to France. I have been able to do so much in a short four weeks, and I know that I will return someday soon.

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