Train stations, beaches, and lots of fun activity filled our day yesterday, July 7th. We started off in the classroom for the first time and surprisingly it was air-conditioned, which was pretty awesome. You forget how much of a luxury that is when you’re without it for a while! During class, we took a short written French test and an oral exam, which I was previously decently nervous for but the teachers made it very non-intimidating which was great. After taking the tests and playing some games with the class, we returned outside to some hot, hot weather and ate lunch in the shade. After lunch, we had some free time-, which I used to go buy some fruit at a local market (yum)! Next came the long walk to the train station and unfortunately a missed train, but waiting for the next one wasn’t so bad because chatting with the other kids in the group is always fun! When the train rolled up, we all anxiously hopped on, excited to see the gorgeous Beaulieu-sur-Mer! It definitely met our expectations- the water was super clear and the town itself was very charming. We all swam at the beach until it was time to return home to a wonderful dinner with our homestay parents!
Today was another great day spent in St Laurent. We had our first day of class, which was very hands on- my favorite way to learn. We were first split up into classes by level and then we went out into the Vieux Village and asked locals about the history of the city. It was a very interesting way to learn about our surroundings and strengthen our French, much better than just sitting in a classroom. When we did go back to the classroom, though, we talked about what we had learned and went over some things that we didn’t understand, which was also very beneficial. After class, we had lunch and free time, during which I went to a café with some new friends and got some terrific pain au chocolat! It has been so nice to be able to interact with French shopkeepers and restaurant workers, and I can already see my French improving. We had electives after our free time, and mine was conversation. I enjoyed conversing in French and we played lots of fun vocabulary games that our small group enjoyed.
Later that day, when electives were over, we headed over to a small room down the street where we ate some birthday cake and delicious French tarts (it was a boy on our trip’s birthday today). After the party, we headed home and spent time with our families. For dinner, we had a very yummy meal of hamburgers, melon, and tater tots! My roommate and I also held a very good conversation with our host family, as we have been able to do lately since the flow of our speaking is much better. Our group finished the night out by the beach, eating gelato and sitting by the sea! It has been a great start to the program- and I am very excited for what’s to come!