Looking at all of the different programs to learn French and spend the summer with was the easy part, but choosing one was the hard part. I chose Abbey Road summer study abroad because of the homestay option, the extended period of time abroad, the optional Paris extension, the group size (about 30), all of the excursions, and also because it was located on the sea. After these 28 days or so, I’ve realized that all of those reasons for choosing this program were absolutely true and I am extremely satisfied with the time I’ve spent here.
I’ve met 30 new friends, some of which I’ve become very close to and will most likely keep contact with for a while. All the cities and sea towns that we visited were amazing because each had different qualities to them, but all had that French/Mediterranean flare as well. Cultural experiences like that are what really give you a taste of what the country is like. The homestay aspect of the program is what truly immerses you into the language and culture because all we did was speak French at home.
The fact that St. Laurent is a smaller city was awesome because there weren’t hundreds of tourists roaming around taking away from the French culture (just 30 of them). All of the local shops and bakeries knew us very well because not every day do they get American teenagers coming into their stores. St. Laurent had the small city feel but was also just a quick bus ride/train ride away from lively Nice. We would go to Nice about 2 or 3 times each week where we could spend time at the beach or walk around town. All the kids here have become very close and we will have a tough time separating Thursday, except for the ten of us going on the extension to Paris. This program has been all I asked for and more. After this amazing study abroad, I don’t know if I’ll miss the friends, the memories, the pastries, the sea, or the country most!