Prior to my summer program in France with Abbey Road, I wished to immerse myself in the French culture, expand my French vocabulary, and generally have a better understanding of the French language. I was so excited to come to France for the first time and explore the depths of the French Riviera. I couldn’t wait to meet my host family and spend time with them, grasping a deeper understanding for their culture and lifestyle. My primary goals of this journey, which stayed intact throughout the month I stayed in France, were to better my French, fully immerse myself in the French culture, and take as many amazing pictures as I possibly could. Throughout my stay in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, I felt I was fully immersed in the French culture; staying with a host family allowed me to fully experience a French lifestyle as well as improve my French, for I was forced to constantly speak French whenever I interacted with my family. I established a great relationship with them, while in France and hope to keep in touch! My teachers/chaperones were incredibly thoughtful, sweet and personable. They made us feel so comfortable and became more than just teachers and event coordinators. They were someone we could go to with anything, making my experience even better. As for my fellow Abbey Road goers, the moment I introduced myself to everyone in the group, I knew we would all get along. There was never a dull moment amongst everyone in the group and it was so difficult to say goodbye. People in my group live all across the United States, ranging from New York to California. One of the girls on the trip lives in Hong Kong, China, making the departure more emotional than I anticipated. The thought of being apart from these people for over twelve hours scared me, and seemed too surreal to be true. The entire experience has a surreal vibe when I reflect back. To think I spent the majority of my summer in France with such amazing people seems too good to be true. One of the things I absolutely loved about this trip, surprisingly, was the daily class. Every Wednesday, class was held in Nice, where we would get to practice our French. Our teachers would assign us talking topics and we’d go out and converse with the locals, whether it be in outdoor food markets or on their way to the local Bolangerie. This way of learning helped expand our vocabulary and practice speaking French in real-life settings, where we’d debate politics, discuss local cuisine, or an upcoming futbol match. We also would take trips to museums, where we’d get the opportunity to experience a cultural aspect of the French, which was also something I enjoyed. This trip was something completely life changing, and I’m so glad I chose Abbey Road this summer!
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Summer Program in France / Post-Departure Reflection ....