My name is Anna, and I am 15-years-old. I will be traveling to Nice, France this summer! This will be my first time participating in an Abbey Road Programs trip and my first time to France. Actually, it’ll be my first time out of the country. I decided to study abroad because I want to further my knowledge of French language and culture and meet new people. What better way of doing that than fully immersing myself in a French city? I can surround myself with all things French while living with amazing people who share the same reasons for traveling and the same passion for French as I have.
The other reason I want to study abroad is that I believe I need to leave my world, the San Francisco Bay Area, and everything or everyone it has to offer to see what else is out there in the world. By traveling by myself, I can grow as a more independent individual. But by living in France, I can experience a whole new world that is only in Nice. When choosing where to study, I knew I wanted someplace warm, by the water, and just a pleasant place in general to live. Nice was exactly what I was looking for. The Nice program is a residential one, which appealed to me because I can get used to living with many others who are very different than me like I will do in college.
All of my life, I’ve always been afraid of unknown things, situations, people, etc. I used to spend sleepless nights worrying about a something I knew nothing about. The mystery never failed to scare me. I was comfortable with living a routine, familiar life. But I soon found out that when I push myself to try new things – even when I’m scared to – I often end up enjoying them. I usually just need to push myself a little bit. But I know I love to learn as much as I love to speak French and be in beautiful places, so I have no doubt that I will enjoy myself in Nice
. I am most nervous about being halfway across the planet with no one I know very well. But I am not too worried, because I know everyone else participating in the Abbey Road program will be overcoming some anxiety and fear of their own, so I will not be alone. After I get settled in, I’m sure the excitement of meeting new people and learning new things will surpass any, if not all, of my fears. I am also a little worried about my language abilities when I first arrive.
It has been a few months since I have taken an actual French class, so I may be a little rusty. But I’ve heard it will be very easy to pick it up again – I just need some practice. My last fear is trying new food that I have never tasted, activities I have never done, and things in general that I have never experienced. But that is all part of adventure, and I am willing and ready to open myself up, expand my horizons, and live like a true French citizen! -Anna